Transitioning into Adulthood
When a neurodiverse child reaches the age of 14, school case managers can begin talking with them about transitioning into adulthood. This can include: attending post secondary education, vocational trade school, getting a full time job, etc.
I recall my high school case manager Mr. Schaffer talking with me about my future after high school when I was a freshman. I told him I wanted to work with children. This began my journey towards where I'm at today. Now I work with over 20+ neurodiverse students as a behavior specialist and for autistic clients within Full Spectrum ABA as an Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), blogger, autistic advocate, and co-director of the autistic advocacy program. You may ask: Was my transition easy after high school?
The answer is NO. It took me over a year after I earned my associate's degree before I returned to college to earn my Bachelor's degree. It was while I was working as a paraprofessional in a autism self-contained classroom in NJ that pushed me back to earn my Bachelor's degree. I will say that my transition wasn't easy, although the key with my transition after high school was having a great support system. So what routes can neurodiverse young adults take to transition smoothly after high school?
Here are some options to follow through after high school:
Get a job coach to help you look for part time or full time work. If you are not interested in attending college, have a job coach help you develop skills to gain a good job, such as from resume writing to interview skills.
Research vocational trade schools to learn a trade. Trades are still so needed in our world today to stay in demand, such as plumbing, electricians, home construction, etc. Not only trades make a lot of money, but learning a trade can help you in the long run.
Post secondary education like college can help neurodiverse individuals gain a good career for the long run. After I gained my Bachelor's degree from Purdue University Global back in October of last year, I applied to become a behavior specialist for the school district in FL, and got the job after attending a job fair. The timing of everything was amazing! It comes to show that earning a degree makes a big difference in peoples' lives.
Finding nonprofit organizations to volunteer or be a part of to gain services after high school. In many states throughout the country, services for neurodiverse people run out after age 18. Nonprofit organizations and various programs are growing to help neurodiverse young adults continue services needed after high school. Research nonprofit organizations and special education programs within your state.
Have any questions about transitioning into adulthood for neurodiverse people? Share them in the comment's section!