Tag Archives: transition to adulthood


The Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders is offering a parent workshop on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 6 to 8 pm. There’s a cost attached — $25 per family. See below for more details.


10 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Independent Life After High School | SKILL #6

Two of my family members celebrated their graduation from college in the past week. Part two of my son’s ITP meeting was yesterday. The issue of transition to independent adult life couldn’t be more imminent. So we continue our discussion with our tip #6.
Whether your child is going on to post-secondary education, employment or both, personal hygiene is essentialGrooming and personal care tells others how you feel about yourself. So help your kids learn to send out the message that they care about themselves and how they look. A little effort can go a long way.
SKILL #6 – Teach your child proper grooming.
I divide this lesson into two categories:
    1-      Grooming practices
    2-      Vital personal info
Looking presentable on a consistent basis takes some work. Simplify the process by making
personal hygiene a routine.
–   Wash face morning and night
–   Reinforce hand washing        


–   Shampoo hair regularly
–   Comb hair and know when haircut is needed      
Image–   Shaving—Men shave facial  hair; Women shave legs and underarms

–   Brush teeth and tongue [at least twice a day]–   Floss
–   Have breath mints handy—bad breath is a big turnoff!

–   Exercise
–   Keep nails trimmed and clean [finger and toenails]
–   Use deodorant daily
–   Clean ears
–   Body spray or perfume—use sparingly [less is more]
–   Makeup for women—use sparingly [less is more]
–   Check zippers/buttons/snaps
–   Clean clothes on a clean body
–   “3 Fit Rule” – 1) Fit your body [not too large, not too small] 2) Fit the weather 3) Fit the occasion

First impressions are important. Start now to help your child make good grooming a habit, so it becomes easier when he’s out there on his own.


Maintaining some basic personal health info is another important skill.
–   Organize a system and stick to it
–   Know how to fill/refill a prescription [Have your teen call in for refills.]
–   Height, weight, DOB, SSN & blood type
–   Help your teen arrange this material into a binder.
–   Teach your teen the importance of keeping certain data private [SSN, etc.].
–   Have your teen make his own appointment [this is great practice!]

Being in charge of one’s body on various levels is just another step toward living independently—and successfully.

If you’ve missed any of my earlier lessons you can find them on my blog
at https://autismresourcemom.wordpress.com. For more ideas, contact me today at Debora@autismresourcemom.com.

I Kid You Not

I’m not a hoarder, but there are just some things I don’t/won’t get rid of. For example, I keep all the handmade birthday and Mother’s Day cards I get from my husband and son. It’s our tradition—we take existing family photos and put them in the card with goofy captions. They are sarcastic, irreverent and sometimes ridiculous. But I cherish them completely. And I have a file drawer filled with them. I keep way too many emails and I used to keep all the Christmas cards I received, until I ran out of room. I also keep boxes, but that’s another story.

And since Feb. 15, 2007, I have kept a very special voice message on my cell phone. It’s my son, at age 9, calling me as my husband and I vacationed in San Francisco. “Hi mom and dad,” he starts out, haltingly, in his high-pitched voice before it changed, “just wanted to know if you got to San Francisco easily.”  Image

He knows a lot about cities, landmarks and such. It’s one of the things he’s interested in.

“Hope you see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Statue of Father Serra at the Golden Gate Park of San Francisco. Well, I hope you have fun there and I’ll see you on Sunday. Thanks. Bye.”

Ahh, such innocence. So many memories come alive with that brief message.

Just the other day I played it for my husband. He broke into tears hearing the little boy’s voice from the past. “What’s that from?” he asked incredulously, wiping his eyes.  Image

I told him that I couldn’t bear to erase that message. That I’ve been re-saving it for years. One of these days, I’ll record it or something, onto another device. But until then, it will remain in my saved voice message box. Along with one from Joey Travolta [John’s brother]. I kid you not.

Can you blame me for keeping his message? My son’s, that is. I’m so glad I never erased it. Right at my fingertips I can hear how far we’ve come. And as we prepare for his ITP, this is just what I need when I feel this transition to adulthood is going too fast for my liking. I just hit the replay button and hear gentle words and a tiny voice from the past. And I always have a tissue ready.