Children with Asperger Syndrome (AS) often have a team of parents, teachers, therapists, and other people to help them advance toward the goals in their Individualized Education Plans. But what if you are now an adult with AS? Did your AS traits and needs disappear when you reached the magic age of 18 (age of majority)? When you graduated from high school, had you learned all the basic skills you needed to handle the myriad challenges adulthood presents?
At AANE, we have spoken with thousands of adults with AS. Some have independent, satisfying lives. However, many adults we know—interesting, bright, funny, and talented people with much to offer—have gotten stuck in their lives. Most of them did not receive an AS diagnosis and appropriate interventions when they were children. Even younger-diagnosed adults may have received inadequate transition services in high school, or they “fell off the grid” when they exited the structure of high school or college. Many may be unemployed or underemployed, lonely and discouraged.
Perhaps this is how you feel. Perhaps you don’t know what to do, where to turn for help. But there’s hope! You can put together a team to help you overcome obstacles and move toward a more rewarding life.
By Jamie Freed
Asperger/Autism Network (AANE)