When your child turns 18, they are no longer legally considered a child and many of the supports that were available to them through education and social services may no longer be available.
This can be a daunting time for parents, as they worry about how their child will cope without the same level of support. However, there are still a number of things that parents can do to support vulnerable over 18s.
Here are a few tips:
Continue to educate yourself about everything that is likely to change once your child transitions from school.
You are the expert supporting your child and best placed to support them to achieve their life goals and choices. The more you know about what’s out there for your son or daughter, the better equipped you will be to help them.
Help them to develop a transition plan.
This plan should outline goals for the future, as well as the steps they need to take to achieve those goals. Schools should help with transition planning but often we hear that the systems in place and limited options offered to young adults are simply not person-centred and do not suit the needs of the individual. Your young person has rights-remember to find out what they are and know how to assert them!
Become a self-advocate.
Learn how to advocate for their needs to education, employment, and mental health services. The challenge here is the child enters into adult services which is a whole new ball game. The familiar systems of school that you are likely to have navigated over the school years morph into new and unfamiliar territory. Seek help well before your child transitions from children’s to adult services!
Find support for yourself.
Raising a vulnerable adult with SLCN or neurodivergence can be challenging. Find support for yourself through online forums and support groups. Contact us for more information about our local parent support groups.
If your young person is still interested in further education, there are a number of options available to them. They may be able to attend a college or university, or they may be able to take advantage of adult education programmes. There are also a number of online courses that they may be able to complete. There are funds and benefits available - remember to find out what their entitlements are. Visit Enquire
Finding employment can be a challenge for people who learn and think differently. However, there are a number of resources available to help them find jobs that are a good fit for their skills and abilities. You can find some helpful information at Youth Link Scotland.
People with who struggle with poor communication skills and neurodivergence are more likely to experience mental health challenges than the general population. If your young person is struggling with their mental health, it is vitally important to seek professional help. There are a number of therapists and counsellors who specialise in working with people with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Support groups for young adults with support needs can be especially helpful as it provides an opportunity for socialising and making friends. Isolation and exclusion are major features for adults who struggle to communicate. Groups and clubs that cater for the range of challenges and sensitivities that affect young people who face multiple barriers and exclusion are a godsend. Quiet spaces with trained staff and peer support from others that they connect with can be a life changer. Contact us to find out what’s on in your area.
Parent and carer groups are a great way for families of vulnerable adults with support needs to connect with other parents who are going through the same thing. Support groups can provide a safe space to share experiences, get advice, and find support.
If you are a parent of a vulnerable adult with SLCN or neurodivergence, you are not alone. There are a number of resources available to you to help you support your child and ensure that they have the best possible life.
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