Teens With Autism: The Transition to Adulthood

Becoming an adult is a big step for teens with autism or special needs, so their transition to adulthood needs careful planning.

If your children present additional needs, helping them through their development is essential. Early planning will give you plenty of time to work on the skills they need to reach their goals for adulthood. It will also give you time to figure out how to support them when they need it.

Design a plan for their transition to adulthood

Teenagers have to be ready for their transition to adult life. To help them, you must take into account several factors, such as:

  • Their short, medium, and long-term goals for the future.
  • Their strengths, interests, and weaknesses.
  • Their current skills and abilities. Knowing them can help you decide what other skills to teach them and which ones should be improved with practice.
  • Your needs and how to balance them with theirs.

Talking with teachers, support staff, therapists, siblings, relatives, and friends is ideal to complement this plan.

Every teen’s transition plan should be different and tailored to their needs, but you should also consider these areas:

  • Education.
  • Work.
  • Developing an autonomous life.
  • Social interaction and community participation.

How to prepare them for transition periods

  • Let teens play an active role in their health care. It is important to explain their condition to them at a young age.
  • Make sure they can explain their condition to others. As they grow, teach them specific self-care routines, such as pain management, proper rest, and nutrition. Help them develop a relationship with their physician and encourage them to ask questions and participate in the appointments.
  • Consider their interests when seeking training and vocational programs.
  • Be a good role model. Remember that you, and other family members, are your child’s most important teachers.

Each one of our tips should be applied according to the condition of every teen. At this stage, we also recommend seeking the help of professionals, who will be able to tell you what to do and how, and will be by your side throughout the process.

Let’s remember that we must be patient, try to understand them, and inform ourselves about the way they see the world. Going into adulthood may not be easy for them, but with our help and support, it can be more bearable.

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Help your teen with autism become an adult.

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Children and Teens With Autism: Why Social Events and Parties Are Hard for Them

Socializing and going to parties help children with autism spectrum disorder improve their social and communication skills. However, most social events can be tough to handle for them. The best way to help your children progressively develop their social skills is by planning everything with time.

Reasons why holiday events can be difficult for children with ASD

  • Children with autism have problems with communication and social interaction
  • They find it difficult to wait, organize, or solve unexpected situations
  • They are easily overwhelmed by their surroundings
  • They are disturbed by noise, screams, and loud music

That said, if we apply the right strategy, parties and meetings can be a great opportunity for them to develop their communication and social skills.

Planning social events with your child within the spectrum

Taking your child with ASD to a social event is not mandatory. Do what you consider convenient and what you can both handle. Plan every detail to help your kid feel comfortable and confident.

Strategies to prepare children for the event

  • Tell them a story about a party. Focus the story on a specific theme, for example, respect for turns, or how to behave when someone wins a game
  • Exchange roles with your child. For example, represent a scene about how to greet others, how to get to the place, etc
  • Show them videos of parties. There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing common behaviors at social events. This is called video modeling
  • Plan the supervision of your child with your partner or ask a trusted family member to help you
  • Make an emergency plan if the child starts feeling overwhelmed. You can take him/her for a walk or accompany him to a quiet place
  • Take a “support kit” that contains all his/her favorite toys, books, and food in case of a crisis.

Development of skills to help your child with autism manage social events

Over time, children with ASD can learn many skills, such as:

  • Teamwork
  • Respecting others’ turn
  • Sharing
  • Being patient and calm
  • Accepting losing a game

These will help them enjoy the holidays and learn how to interact in all kinds of social events and even at school.

How can you help them develop these skills?

There are many ways to help children with autism improve their social skills:

  • Tell them stories about social events. This strategy will show them how to behave and what to expect at parties
  • Practice losing in different games. This way, you can teach them there is nothing wrong with losing sometimes
  • Teach them to say “good job, you win” and “congratulations”

Tips for organizing a party for children with ASD

  • Plan the event with a clear and precise structure
  • Use a decoration with something your child likes or based on his/her special interests
  • Try to avoid unstructured games
  • Avoid anything that could distress your child. For example, don’t play loud music at the party if it bothers him/her
  • Ask other family members for help if he/she gets angry or has a crisis
  • Make sure adults attending the event know what to do to help your child in case of an uncomfortable situation

Having children with ASD doesn’t necessarily mean that your social life and theirs is over. On the contrary, if you prepare the parties or reunions with enough time, these events can be very useful to improve their social skills and teach them how to appropriately relate to others.


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Help your child or teen with autism to face the social events and parties of the holidays.

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Meet the Children with Autism Who Are Excelling

The world is inhabited by exceptional people, geniuses who stand out for their abilities and who have earned our admiration for making a difference. Within the autistic spectrum, there are kids with unique conditions and qualities who never cease to surprise us. Meet the children with autism who are excelling and are true examples of overcoming.

Rafael’s story: the polyglot child with autism spectrum disorder

A story of overcoming that is worth knowing, Rafael is a Brazilian boy who since 2 years of age presented problems to articulate words clearly. He was born with autism and difficulties in learning to speak. Even his relatives came to believe that he suffered from hearing problems.

Today, at just 7 years old, he can communicate in 9 languages: an exceptional case that serves as an example to millions of people. He learned from a tablet, according to his mother, Juliana Lancer Mayer. His story caused worldwide shock and controversy.


From the moment the neuro pediatrician diagnosed him with Asperger’s at the age of 2, his mother sought other opinions from specialists, but they all agreed on the same diagnosis. Many doubts invaded her about what they could do to improve socialization and the possibility of communicating better. In this regard, Juliana Lancer Mayer commented to BBC News Brasil:

“My other children developed rapidly, but it took time for Rafael even to learn how to sit when he was little. Until 2 years old, he did not interact, did not look in the eyes and seemed to be deaf. We did tests that showed that he had no hearing problems.”

The kid received therapy to be able to communicate better despite the typical limitations of autistic disorder, but the methods failed to solve anything. Some people recommended the child’s mother to give him a tablet to improve some skills. At first, the family was reluctant but then decided to do so.

“I was worried because, suddenly, he (Rafael) began to speak as if he spoke the language fluently, without having received classes or leaving the country,” said the mother.


The device changed Rafael’s life. He focused on its contents until he started learning languages. The first one he learned was English.

Greta Thunberg: the pro-environment girl

These days everyone talks about Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish who has been an icon of awareness about climate change since 2017.

This teenage prodigy was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her perseverance in the fight for the environment. If she won this award, she would become the youngest person to receive it, overtaking Malala Yousafzai, winner of the prize at just 17 years old in 2014.

Greta was diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2015. In relation to this disorder, the Aspergers Argentina Association clarifies:

“It is a condition of neurodevelopment, a variation of development that accompanies people throughout their lives. It influences the way they give meaning to the world, processes information and relates to others.”

“Aspergers was included among the Generalized Developmental Disorders (TGD) and is currently incorporated into the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).”

This condition and its difficulties in socialization were not an obstacle for the adolescent activist to work to raise awareness about the damage caused to the environment. On August 31, she added the following text to her Twitter account:

“When those who hate persecute you because of your appearance and differences, it means that they have lost their way… And then you know that you are winning! I have Aspergers and that means that sometimes I am a little different from the norm. And, in certain circumstances, being different is a superpower.”

The passion that moves her for the cause of saving the planet has aroused the admiration and respect of many, even revolutionized the networks when a #AspiePower hashtag went viral, that summoned all those who have the disorder to discover their talent.

The active participation of Greta in the Summit for Climate Action at the UN attracted the attention of the world. It was a very eloquent and passionate speech that greatly moved the attendees.

“They have stolen my dreams and my childhood with their hollow words, and yet I am one of the luckiest. People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction, and the only thing you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare they?”

Everyone in the UN auditorium directed their applause at the defiant young woman, but Greta, with a content cry, long blonde braid and pink cheeks proved that difference can also be a super-power. The activist has become a symbol of the fight against climate change.

Her speech was directed vehemently towards the most powerful political leaders in the world and focused on the request for concrete actions to protect the planet.

“My message is that we will be watching them. All this is wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back at school, across the ocean. How dare they?”


The most important thing is that his message was seen and supported by millions of people around the world, overcoming the limitations of her disorder -which reduces the ability to interact with others-, a worthy example of perseverance and desire to overcome.

Federico García Villegas: Pablo’s voice in Nat Geo

His story is unprecedented. Federico García Villegas is a 10-year-old Colombian boy who dared to write a story to explain to his classmates and friends what his condition is like. He also created a foundation for those children who, like him, have Asperger’s syndrome.

It all started when he accidentally broke a vase at the house of one of his friends. From there, he came up with the idea of writing a story and selling it to get money to be able to replace the vase.


According to his mother, Andrea Villegas, the story told of a dinosaur that other animals did not understand, nor wanted. Through the story, Federico was able to express for the first time how he felt in front of others.

After opening up to his parents and exposing all his feelings in an unusual way, Federico said he did not want other children to go through the same thing he did, and proposed to sell his stories and create a foundation.

This is how the idea of ​​the Federico García Villegas Foundation came about in 2017 with the slogan “I am different, I am like you” with the mission of providing support, attention, and guidance to families with children with autism, and achieving true academic and social inclusion.


The foundation is financed by the stories of Federico. The first one is called Crylo, of which 500 copies were printed that were already sold out of the showcases.

Federico was diagnosed from a very young age. At the age of 8, he was encouraged to record a YouTube video in which he explained in general everything about his condition, what it was like to live with the syndrome and why he did not feel different. In a short time, the video received thousands of visits.

He has been a victim of bullying from his classmates for suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome. For this reason, he was motivated to transmit it in a video.

The video popularized by the boy caught the attention of the Nat Geo Kids’ producers, who contacted him to propose participation in a television series called Pablo. He was selected to interpret the voice of the protagonist, Pablo, a 5-year-old boy with autism, very ingenious and artistic, whose drawings come to life in the “art world.”

The script was written by talented people with Asperger’s who incorporated original and funny stories about their own everyday experiences.

“I am very happy to give a voice to Pablo! If children see Pablo, they will know what the world of children with autism is like, and then they can learn to have more patience and be a more inclusive generation,” Federico told the local newspaper The Nation.

His participation in the series allows a beautiful message to be transmitted to the world.

Adhara Pérez Sánchez: the genius girl who wants to save the world

A neurotypical kid at the age of 3 is learning to speak or walk, but when this Mexican girl reached that age, he already assembled 100-piece puzzles, began to read and study algebra. She was diagnosed with the Asperger’s but with an IQ of 162, when the average score is 90, which makes her a gifted kid.

She is currently 8 years old and dreams of becoming an astronaut and belonging to NASA, “I want to save the earth,” she said. The CNCI University Cumbres campus awarded her a scholarship to complete her studies, including an English course for his future aspirations.


The people tell her “the genius girl” because of her IQ and because she is about to begin her career in Industrial Systems Engineering in Mexico City, and then study Astrophysics in Arizona.

At a conference offered at the CNCI University, Adhara spoke about her diagnosis with ASD and also why he was listed as a genius girl.

“My dream is to be an astronaut. I have an IQ of 162 and I want to be an astronaut to save the earth,” says this scientist, who is a Stephen Hawking’s little fan and his theory of parallel universes.

“I think that one day a very massive black hole can end this planet earth and what the human being has to do? Exploring other planets that have water and build ships seeing it from another point and if we imagine that we enter a hole black and we survive applies the laws of Einstein space time and parallel universes,” said Pérez Sánchez.

The academic institute promised to provide support so she can go to the University of Arizona to finish astrophysics studies, in addition to monetary support for her family nucleus.

If this dream came true, the girl would be the youngest physicist in Mexico and the world. Recently, Adhara was invited to an event at NASA because of her exceptional abilities.

Her high intellectual level and her special condition did not allow him to adapt to the traditional school, so the parents decided that she would study at home. In a short time, she finished elementary and secondary school; then, she was able to pass high-school with a single exam.

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Meet several kids with autism with incredible talents and achievements

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Autumn Activities for Children with Autism

The arrival of autumn brings with it a cold and agreeable atmosphere full of colors and fresh air ideal for going out and enjoying the outdoors. There are many activities perfect for children with special needs this season of the year. Do not miss the opportunity to take advantage of an extraordinary sensory experience!

1. Roll down a hill

Choose a hill and roll downward! This develops large motor coordination, motor planning, and vestibular orientation.

If your child is not interested in rolling, get a square piece of cardboard, and throw yourself with him/her down a grassy hill and the fun begins!

2. Heavy feet

In autumn, gardens are full of dry leaves. Encourage your child to look for leaves, pile them up and jump on them! Sounds and smells stimulate the senses and serve as sensory integration therapy.

3. Heavy work in the garden

Collect leaves from the garden! Take tools like rakes, brooms, and bags and ask your children for collaboration to clean the yard.

Activities such as raking, sweeping, picking up leaves, dragging the branches and placing them in the bag strengthen muscles, activate circulation, and promote good practices in children with autism.

4. Walk

You can not miss a healthy walk through trails. Create the route yourself! You can investigate the trails in the community where you live or nearby areas.

Remember to wear appropriate and comfortable walking shoes, take bottles of water to hydrate, a package with snacks, a mobile device and go on an adventure!

5. Treasure hunt

All kids enjoy the search for treasure. Start the training by developing a list of things to find, such as rocks, red leaves, sticks, and other surprises.

Tell them to tell you where they got them and everything you can think of.

This activity stimulates language, communication and the development of fine motor coordination, as well as encouraging the search for information, research, and organization.

6. Ladder launch

Use the outer ladder to implement a game. Hang the numbers 1 to 5 on each step.Then tell your children to throw balls through the steps. Each time they cross a step, they will accumulate points. This is a great strategy for visual monitoring and progress in visual-motor skills.

7. Carve a face!

October is the month of pumpkins! With great care, you can carve a face or take out the guts in the company of your son or daughter.

It is a sensory activity that stimulates the sense of touch. You can ask for suggestions on where they will place the pumpkins. Ask them to count and separate the seeds. Motivate them with a delicious pumpkin pie at the end of the activity!

8. Camping

Many people think that this activity is exclusive to the summer season, and it is not so! The autumn weather is fantastic for kids with sensory sensitivity. Prepare your tent and sleeping bags, flashlight, hamburgers and choose a nearby and safe camp.

Do not deprive yourself of enjoying one of the best times of the year, the sensations, the joy of sharing with your child, the colors, the smells, and the autumn landscape – an oasis of great sensory activity!

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The new season is here, check these amazing activities for your children.


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