Finding independence

We are at a strange crossroads between childhood and adulthood right now. My daughter is close to 18, surrounded by kids each day who are becoming more independent by the minute, yet still somewhat stuck in her own stage of development.

She came home from an after-school activity one day last week soaked through her clothes. It was cold and raining and the group had went outside. It broke my heart to see her come in the door all wet, although she didn’t care one bit. My mind was racing. Why didn’t someone get her coat? Why didn’t anyone tell her to put up her hood?

To be honest I am stuck on that day because it describes life as a whole right now. I want to let my daughter be independent and do things on her own with kids her age but I also want her to be taken care of and sometimes those two things don’t add up as neatly as I had hoped.

I think it is hard for any parent to send any child out in the world and hope for the best but it is that much harder when you have a child who might stay a child a little bit longer than the rest. I’m trying to find a balance between offering help and promoting independence and, just like the past 18 years with autism… there is no book to explain this chapter either.

How do you help your child with autism be independent? Is it a struggle to give enough support but not too much?

About Jessica

Jessica is a 30-something mom to five, four in her arms and one in her heart. On any given day you will find her taxi-ing a teenager, mopping up the latest "art project" and trying to remember when she turned the crock pot on… all the while, looking for the closest Starbucks drive thru. Jessica Watson can also be found at her personal blog Four Plus an Angel, on twitter (@jessbwatson) and on Pinterest.

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