Transitioning from childhood to teens can be a strange but exciting time for many adolescents. It can especially be a struggle for the parents of teenagers during this transition, as they try to understand and guide their teen. Parents of autistic teens may have some special challenges during this period. It’s a momentous point in time and our team at Shelley B. Ortved is here to give you the necessary knowledge on your child’s transition.

Here are five facts parents of autistic teens should know to help them every step of the way:

1. Symptoms May Get Better With Age

As your child transitions to a teen, their symptoms may not be as impairing as when they were young. However, the disability itself may become more apparent in the teen years. The difference in behaviour between your teen and their peers may become more obvious and the social demands will increase. Teens on the autism spectrum are more likely to experience a social disability as well. 

2. The School District Can Assist Your Teen

Schools prepare kids for the future and the workplace as well as how to help kids engage socially and appropriately. Most schools will have inclusive classrooms with specially trained teachers to assist teens on the autism spectrum. They can help children develop employable skills and improve themselves. Some schools also teach teens about independent living to feel more liberated.

3. Autistic Teens Additional Support With Academics

High school can be challenging, and sometimes maybe especially difficult for autistic teens. Additional support for academic and social skills is crucial to help teens continue to develop and grow. Academic support can be sought outside the school grounds, especially to help improve your teen’s speech communication. Shelley B. Ortved offers programs to help teens on the autism spectrum overcome learning, speech and social challenges to build their confidence.

4. Daily Living Skills are Key

Breaking down tasks if your teen finds it too confusing or difficult is imperative to their development. Handling a complex task together and reinforcing the completion of the task helps improve behavioural skills. Much more prompting is required for a teen on the autism spectrum and you may need additional help; which is completely normal! 

5. Employment Is Possible

Autistic teens are completely capable of having stable employment with the right training and social skills. Supporting your teen and giving them access to this assistance – whether they are low-functioning or high-functioning – will allow them more opportunities. Step-by-step instructions and training on social cues and task completion prepares the teen for a more professional environment. 

Your autistic child deserves to be confident during this transition to teenagehood. At Shelley B. Ortved, our speech pathologist practice can assist with proper articulation, language comprehension and social interaction. No speech or language difficulty is too big and we offer programs specifically catered to assist children and teens on the autism spectrum. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about our speech therapy services.

Related: Understanding Language Development in Preschoolers