My social workers seem to fear me and would rather give into “my demands” than sit around the table
Original post from Special-ism
‘…………..by Zach Zaborny
With the Summer months on the horizon, comes the end of another school year. If you have a child that is a senior in high school, that means graduation. If you have a child that is a senior in high school, with autism, that means it’s time for a new transition period. As a parent, you might be wondering what might be next for your child. Maybe they are going to college. Maybe they are going to a trade school. Maybe they are going to work somewhere. Maybe they don’t know what they want to do next.
I happen to be on the autism spectrum and after I graduated high school, I had to go through a transition period. It was new and scary and exciting, all at the same time. But, with the right supports around me, I moved along pretty well.
I would like to share three simple tips that can help your child with autism, have a successful time transitioning after high school. So, here they are:
1. Make a Plan, Even if it’s a Small One
The most important thing you can do as a parent when your child is finishing high school, is to help them have a plan in place, even if it’s a small one. As someone on the autism spectrum, I enjoy structure and don’t do well with the unknown, so I like to always have a plan. After your child graduates, the plan can include a number of things.
If you want to help your child go to college, that’s a plan that plan might include finding a suitable college, looking into college resources, on campus vs. off campus visits, or many other college planning related activities.
If your child isn’t sure what they want to do and they want to explore different options to find something that best fits what they want to do, that’s a plan that could include sitting down and determining interests that your child would like to pursue.
A plan in this case, means just doing something.
2. Have a Support Figure Lined Up after Graduation
Another great way to help with success for transition after high school, is to allow your child the chance to have a support figure in place, aside from you. As a parent, you do so many great things for your child, but no parent can do everything at once. A great example of a support figure can be a resource teacher from school or a counselor.
If they want to go to college, the support figure can be there to check in on them and ask how school is going or just to be there to talk if your child needs an extra ear. In a college environment, the support figure might be found within the school’s disability support services or university counseling services, as colleges typically have a counseling department.
The same thing can be said about work. If your child gets a job after high school, the support figure can stay in touch with your child to see how the job is going and just generally check in with your child. In this instance, a school guidance counselor might be a good support during work or the employment search. During a visit to a potential workplace, it would be good to ask a manager what support staff might be available on the job site.
It’s important for the support individual to be around after the transition period starts, to help your child deal with change as a way to say, “It’s okay. Change might be scary, but I’m still here. I’ll be around if you have any questions or just want to talk.”
When I graduated high school, I headed off to college. I continued to stay in contact with my therapist and I was glad I did. Having that resource available was great and it was nice having someone other than my parents, that I could talk to.
3. Give Your Child Time
Graduating and experiencing life after high school involves the unknown and probably some trial and error. As a parent, you can help your child by allowing them to try new things when they graduate to let them see what works and what doesn’t. If your child decides to go to college and changes their major ten times, then that’s okay. If they want to get a job and if for some reason it doesn’t work out and they want to try a different job, that’s okay too.
Part of the transition period after high school means that your child will have new experiences to encounter and they might not always be perfect on the first try. Allow extra time for adjustments. If your child will be living independently, there will certainly be time for mistakes and that is okay!
Be a cheerleader during the transition period, not just a coach.
If your child is graduating and going through a transition period, remember these three tips: Make a plan, line up a support figure and allow time to see what works and what doesn’t. By following these three tips, you and your child, could have some nice success during the transition time. ………..’
The report The Other Care Crisis is published by Scope, Mencap, The National Autistic Society, Sense and Leonard Cheshire Disability. The leading disability charities are concerned that the debate about social care reform has focused on the needs of an ageing population and sidelined the thousands of disabled people under the age of 65 who rely on care in everyday life.
All persons should be able to expect a reasonable standard of living and a social life, while for most of us, this will be reliant on ourselves to fund all of this by gaining employment and then organising our spending budget accordingly.
But there are persons within all communities for whom this is impossible or extremely difficult. Here I am referring to persons with a disability for whom the prospects of employment are not possible, or can only be gained by some considerable effort. For many persons, their only or main knowledge or involvement with people with a disability, will be academics who are disabled like Stephen Hawkins or the athletes who are disabled like in the Para-Olympics.
But, I am afraid these people are in the minority, there are many disabled persons for whom, none of the above is possible, even some basic employment may not be possible. The only income these people with disabilities will have, come from State Benefits, provided they are lucky to live in a country which provides these benefits. I say lucky and perhaps, this is not the correct word, because no matter how it is reported in local and national media regarding benefit fraud, State Disability Benefits are not easy to obtain, especially in the current financial climate. Please also bear in mind that these benefits are only to provide a reasonable standard of living, what ever reasonable means. Is reasonable another way of saying standard or average?
The report mentioned above ‘The Other Care Crisis’ is focused on the situation in the UK, where the provision of these benefits are from Central Government agencies, mainly connected to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
The current benefits are:
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults – what you’ll get, eligibility, applying, Personal Independence Payment
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is paid at different rates depending on how your disability affects you
Carer’s Allowance is money to help you look after someone who needs to be cared for – eligibility, apply, claim for DS700
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) money if you can’t work because of illness or disability – rates, eligibility, apply, assessment
Access to Work is money to help you do your job if you have a disability or health condition – eligibility, how to apply
Attendance Allowance helps pay for your personal care if you’re older or disabled – rates, eligibility, apply, claim form AA1A
Apply to become an appointee for someone claiming benefits – how to apply, stop being an appointee
But DLA is for 16-64 years olds, to be replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from April 2013 for new claimants, with existing DLA claimants being contacted over the next 2-3 years.
But as stated above, if your only income is State Benefits and these are cut, this is bound to affect your standard of living. If, this was only reasonable to start with, then what will it be called. If reasonable is standard or average, then is this bringing the funding down to provide a sub-standard of living or below average?
If you feel this is unreasonable you can contact your MP by following the link
In addition to the State Benefits, a person with a disability may be entitled or may be in receipt of a care package from their Local Authority from funding provided by Central Government. This will be in the form of Direct Payments from a Personal Individualised Budget. An individual will be expected to make a contribution from their own income towards their budget. These Direct Payments are not additional general income, but are there to pay for the costs of care, which have been shown to be required from the Assessment of Need and the resulting Support Plan. The Assessment of Need will be undertaken by an assigned Social Worker and the Support Plan from information in the Assessment will be prepared by either the assigned Social Worker or an assigned Support Planner. The Support Planner could be either employed by the Local Authority or from an independent organisation.
But due to the current financial crisis in the World and especially the UK, all Local Authorities have been directed by Central Government to make savings from their spending. This is not only for this year, but from the last few years and also for some years to come. All persons in receipt of a service from a Local Authority are effected, not only those receiving benefits. So, not only could your sole income of State Benefits be cut, but Local Authorities will also be tightening their own eligibility criteria for entitlement to Direct Payments. This will further affect your standard of living.
Should this essential spending, even be subject to cuts?