As parents our fears can stop us dead in our tracks when it comes to “letting go” of our adult children. I would like to share a short story with you about a woman I met. This gal was a mother to a fourteen-year-old daughter who had autism. She was high functioning in many areas. They lived in a small town her daughter, husband, and herself. Since the town was so small everyone knew her daughter and they all felt safe. I told her about my son living in his own apartment by himself. I received a comment back from her. She responded by saying that living alone is such a lonely life.
I never thought of my son’s life as being lonely. I called Brandon’s independent living counselor to find out if he saw Brandon as lonely. Maybe I was missing something and maybe it was true. His counselor said, “ No, I think Brandon is happy living by himself. “
The reason I wrote about this story is because as parents we have our own experiences and views and it is very important we do not allow our limitations and fears to become our children’s limitations and fears.
Our children with disabilities have the right and need to be able to make choices. This is part of growing up and becoming independent. I have had to rearrange my thinking in order to allow Brandon to live alone. I have had to change my views and limited experiences even though I have lived on this planet for many years. My experiences are just that they are only mine. My son has his own experiences good or bad and he has grown from them just as we all do. Our children learn life by living life.
Are you interested in preparing for your child’s future? If you are in the Los Angeles area I hope you will join us. If your child (any age) is a client at a Regional Center they will often cover the cost for you to attend our conference.
For more information visit: AutismIndependenceFoundation.org