Some of our most grateful parents are using Everyday Speech to help their recent high school graduates and 21-year-olds transition into an exciting new chapter in their young adult lives. Jobs, college courses, volunteer work, work-assist programs, and community-based outings are just a few of the new scenes their young adults are settling into.
How are they using Everyday Speech? One mother I spoke to this week is noticing that her 19-year-old daughter who is on the autism spectrum misses the structure of high school homework. She cleverly recreated some of that structure with daily Everyday Speech lessons. She carefully crafted her daughter’s lessons to address the skills she needs most in her new job at a school library.
In this conversation, we spoke about how hard it is to lose the sweet friendships and models provided by school peers, most of whom have left for college. It’s heartbreaking to feel the world has left your child behind or to watch your child’s world shrink to something harmfully small. As a parent, what do you do then? You lose sleep scouring websites, you make phone calls, drive unbelievably long distances, and become a life coach in a whole new way.
This conversation reminded me of my time as a high school speech-language pathologist. It’s a time when parents naturally worry about “What’s Next?” They’d ask, “What will we do without these great school programs?” Then I’d watch with quiet admiration as parents grew into their new role of advocating for their children. They were certainly used to advocating for their child, but this time they were forming more community connections than ever. When the program their child needed didn’t exist, they created it. I watched parents find apartments, secure roommates, write grants, and locate sports teams for their children to manage. One father even started a small business with his son based on his son’s favorite job, carving wood.
Only a parent of a child with special needs knows how hard it is to lose the comfort, services, and friendships of a school system or transitional program. We’re glad if Everyday Speech can be a small part of the life-long learning your young adult has ahead of them. To all the parents of transitioning adults, know this: you will continue to advocate with all the fortitude needed for your child in this new phase because that’s what you’ve always done and that’s what love is.
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All My Best,