As your child approaches adulthood, it is time to begin looking for her dream as an independent adult.
• What activity does she seem happiest doing? Is there one task at school or home that she seems to enjoy most?
• What obvious natural abilities toward certain tasks does she demonstrate?
• Has she done special assignments or projects in school that could be adapted to some kind of vocational experience?
• What is her level of physical strength and interest in tasks that involve physical exertion?
• Is there an activity that she is more independent doing than others? If so, can you relate that activity to a potential job?
Too often, older kids and adults are placed into vocational programs because of what is available, not because of what works best. When it doesn't work out, they are homebound or forced into other vocational placements that may be equally frustrating to them.
You can build a better future for your child by tapping into their natural skills, finding a realistic job that fits them and working to achieve that dream.
Adapted from Parenting an Adult with Disabilities or Special Needs: Everything You Need to Know to Plan for and Protect Your Child's Future by Peggy Lou Morgan (AMACOM 2009).