my son is 21 and has aspergers. i kept him mainstreamed all through school and he graduated.but now what? Its hard now that his high school friends have moved on and he cant get a job,We've been letting him take a few classes at the local college but,its just a stop gap and its been a real struggle for him there. i feel like hes falling thru the cracks and if it wasnt for the strong family support we have ,i shudder to think where he might be by now.

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Francine956 - posted on 08/19/2012

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I can sympathesize with your concern for your son. I work with post secondary students 18-22 who have moderate/severe disabilities. And the question always arises " what happens when these students leave my classroom?" first' off didn't your son have an exit IEP from his school? This should have been a time when the educators as well as you and your son came up with some sort of plan for his future. I agree with Anaquita, you should definitely allow him to use his interests to self advocate what he wants to do. You can look into programs such as ARC or contact your local regional center for more information. Hopefully they can provide some direction for your son. In CA students remain in our program until the age of 22. During their time in our program we help them learn how to utilize the public transportation system to get to job sites where they volunteer their time, while learning valuable job skills. I would definitely try and discover what your son has a passion for and help him find some sort of employment in that field. Another idea is for him to become an entrepreneur depending on his likes and capabilities. There are several success stories on YouTube that you may find inspirational. It is going to take some research but will be worth the time and effort to help your son feel like a productive member of his community. I hope this helps in some way, best of luck to you and your son.

Anaquita - posted on 08/18/2012

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What is his passion? A hobby or some such that he *really* likes? If he has one that could be worked into a job, or be profitable somehow, I would see about helping get the education or training needed to do so. That would also help give him more confidence to succeed.

Terry - posted on 08/17/2012

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I too find myself in a similar situation, as our Son turned 21, in June. He is a bit more involved as he also is Bi Polar, Epileptic, and has mild CP, which left him very impaired as far as his ability to learn, comprehend and recall anything he learns. We have Staff for Him, but, wonder what will happen if he stays unemployable , he is starting volunteer work at the animal shelter in a couple of weeks, but we've not had any luck with imployment even through his high schools programs because of his anxiety in new settings.
It truly sounds like you are doing all the right things. If I was you, I would get into contact with the MAAP group and see what kind of ideas they have. GOD bless and keep in touch!

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