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Autism Doesn’t End At 18

July 28, 2020

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From what I’ve seen, some people are under the impression that autism stops at 18 and whatever services the person needs, are no longer needed. Spoiler alert, autism doesn’t end at 18. Autistic adults exist.

What makes people think it ends at 18?

Most schools provide accommodations for their disabled student. Autistic adults have a constant battle with getting support and assistance. Getting social security can be a challenge. It’s a constant and scary world for us. What is going to happen if our parent/guardian dies? It’s even scarier for those of us who can’t find or keep a job.

Exclusive workplaces are the one things that keep us out. Misconceptions, stigmas also play a role.

I will talk about it later regarding things that keep us out of the workplace.

Getting an IEP for your child/teen is not as hard as trying to get a disability. Needing a ton of records. Stressing the fact that autism doesn’t end when you’re an adult.

When you turn 18, you’re legally an adult. At least to me, it feels people think autism takes a vacation when you’re 18. It doesn’t. Autism doesn’t go away at 18.

Here I talk about the things I wish people know about autism

I made a video about my struggles with autism. These struggles are never going away.

I’ve ALWAYS needed help

I had an IEP since the 4th grade. I can’t speak for other kids. It wasn’t hard for me to get an IEP. It can be hard for some kids. Also, not all schools will follow it.

I had different accommodations along the way. For example, one adjustment I had in Jr. high I had my tests modified. My mom talked to the teacher and told them she feels the mere wording of the questions confuses me and that’s why I wasn’t doing well on my tests. After I got them modified I started doing better. I had large portions of text broken down; my mom thought all the information overwhelmed me

I noticed that my mom understood me more up until I turned 18. Although it’s hard to prove for sure, just knowing how she responded to my struggles then vs now. When I turned 18, I still needed help because I was new to the adult world. I’ve been a child all my life so how can you expect me to just know from day 1 what adults do?

All my mom did was child-shame me since I turned 18, I feel this way

It was a difficult transition to adulthood. If I couldn’t “adult” like she wanted me to she will just shame me and say I think like a child. If I have never been exposed to adulting, HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO KNOW WHAT TO DO? The magical fairies aren’t gonna tell me what to do!

When I was a teen, my mom helped me when I needed it. When I became an adult for say, my mom would say I need to do it myself.  How does she expect me to learn if  I have not been exposed to it and if she doesn’t want to show me? I needed to pick a new dental plan back when I needed dental surgery. My mom didn’t even want to help me pick a plan. I ended up picking a plan that didn’t cover what I needed. It caused me so much trouble that would have been avoided if my mom had shown me what to do or walked me through it so I’d know.

That gave me the impression that my mom thought I didn’t need help after 18. My mom doesn’t understand is how do you expect me to learn if I have never done it, never been exposed to it? Remember, I will more likely fail being thrown into something I have never done, learned, etc than to have some guidance until I get it right.

Then again, I should have called my aunt and asked her what I needed. She’s right around the corner. Easily I could have brought my laptop over there and she could have shown me.

Closing statement

Not saying I don’t want to learn how to do anything, I am saying you can’t expect me to just know.

My mom can’t expect me to read her mind to know what needs to be done then complain nothing gets done when it was never brought to my attention.

Autism doesn’t stop at 18. Nor should the assistance the person is getting. If it were a physically disabled person, would you take their support when they turn 18? Then why do it to us?

Autistic teens grow into autistic adults and have to ‘adult’ in a world that makes no sense to us.

I suck at adulting. Being shamed won’t make me better. Guiding me will help me.

Autism doesn’t go away. It never will. It’s neurological.

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