Launching Adult Children: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance in Their "Special Needs" Son or Daughter

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent?

If you have an older teenager with ASD Level 1 (i.e., Asperger's, high-functioning autism) who has no clue where he is going in life, or if you have an adult child still living at home (in his early 20s or beyond), then this will be the most important letter you will ever read:

Parents of teens with autism spectrum disorder face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

Parents face issues such as college preparation, vocational training, teaching independent living, and providing lifetime financial support for their child, if necessary. Meanwhile, their immature teenager on the autism spectrum is often indifferent – and even hostile – to these concerns.

As you were raising your child, you imagined how he would be when he grew up. Maybe you envisioned him going to college, learning a skilled traded, getting a good job, or beginning his own family. But now that (once clear) vision may be dashed. You may be grieving the loss of the child you wish you had.

  • Is your child 17-years-old chronologically, but more like a 9-year-old emotionally?
  • Is your child now an adult – and still living at home doing NOTHING?!
  • Are you concerned that you will be taking care of this child well into his 40s?
  • Do you have serious doubts that your child will be able to “make it in life”?
  • Does the thought of him “living on his own” worry you beyond measure?
  • Is he more concerned with video games than getting a degree, learning a skill, finding a job, or dating?

The Launching Adult Children With Aspergers and HFA Guide is guaranteed to (a) increase your child's motivation level, (b) empower him to either seek employment or continue his education, and (c) assist him in developing self-reliance, confidence, and a passion for life!

Testimonial: “James is 19 years old, and for the last year had been doing nothing but playing video games. Before I found the your guide, I was so worried and stressed about James... but thankfully I found your website, because now the lack of motivation, lack of self-confidence, and disrespectful attitude have been greatly reduced. James has enrolled in our local technical school and is currently studying to be an auto mechanic. He has always loved anything that was mechanical in nature, and is now applying his passion at school. Now I'm a big fan of your work and tell my friends about these common sense methods that you teach in your guide.”   ~ Tina H.

Since 2010, the number of adult children with an autism spectrum disorder still living at home has tripled. Here are the top 4 factors contributing to this phenomenon:

1. They Are Cautious or Clueless— They are unsure how to discover their ideal career path. They approach college with a trial-and-error mindset only to find out that it is not what they expected. Some AS and HFA college students, for example those who had an all-consuming interest in video games, may see college as little more than a “ticket” to a job as a computer programmer.  This student will likely face some rather serious adjustment issues when he discovers he must complete certain required classes unrelated to computer programming.

2. They Are Unprepared— They are overwhelmed or unmotivated to live independently. They would rather play it safe by occupying the family home, playing computer games and delivering pizza.  Adult children on the spectrum don't move out because they've got it made!

3. They Have Mounting Debt— They have accumulated significant credit card debt, and moving back in with their parents is a way to pay it off.

4. They Have Personal Problems— They don't have effective life-coping skills, have failed relationships, are grieving some other loss, or wrestling with a challenging life event.

Do you want your child living with you
when he's 20 ...30 ...40 years old?

How much longer are you willing to wait
for him to begin to take some responsibility?

Adolescence can be difficult whether or not your child has AS or HFA. In situations where they do, however, there are special challenges that differ depending on the child. Some parents find themselves dealing with a child who is a loner, who has few friends and focuses on one or more hobbies or preoccupations. This type of child may be independent in some ways, but lacks the maturity to truly be self-reliant in life (so far anyway).

The idea of being independent can be frightening for teens on the spectrum – and equally scary for parents. This can be due to:
  • picking up on the fears of their parents and not being prepared to take risks
  • needing extra care because of their condition in the early part of their life
  • parents wanting to protect their "special needs" child from negative experiences in the wider community
  • the understandable difficulty for parents to ‘let go’ of a child for whom they have given up a great deal and who they love unconditionally

Like all teenagers, the teenager with AS or HFA is harder to control and less likely to listen to his parents. He may be tired of parents nagging him to look people in their eyes, brush his teeth, and wake up on time for school. He may even hate school because he is dealing with social ostracism or academic failure.

As you prepare your adolescent for college, technical school, or the workforce, keep in mind that people with this disorder often do not understand how the “social world” operates. They have problems with the basics (e.g., handling criticism, controlling emotions, working with the public, taking college exams, showing up on time). However, this does not mean they cannot learn a trade, attend college, or hold down a job. Once they (a) develop some specific coping skills and (b) master certain aspects of education and/or employment, young adults on the autism spectrum are often able to perform just as efficiently as their “neurotypical” (i.e., non-autistic) counterparts.

Helping to prepare your teenager for life after high school is one of the most difficult tasks you'll have as a parent. Although it can be hard to imagine your baby as an adult, with the right approach, helping your teen make the transition into adulthood can be both crisis-free and rewarding.

Trestimonial: “Reading this ebook has completely transformed my experience of being a parent of an adult-child affected by Aspergers. After learning about why these individuals lack motivation, and how to actually get through to them, my son listens to me all the time! I have really become a ‘life-coach’ of sorts for my son. And he has made more progress in the last 3 months than he did in the last 3 years. Now I know more about how to respond to his needs and to give him structure. I don’t feel the same intense pressure to be a “super-mom” anymore. It's amazing actually. My son is cooperating more, and I'm more relaxed. He is actually working full-time, has put some money into a savings account, and we are making plans to go apartment shopping next month. I recommend the Launching Adult Children Guide to all parents I meet now.”   ~ Jill & Mike P.

In Launching Adult Children With Aspergers and HFA, parents will learn everything they need to know to help their adult child:
  • Become independent
  • Cultivate decision-making skills
  • Develop emotionally
  • Handle emerging social situations
  • Learn coping strategies needed to thrive
  • ...and much more!


Have you tried for several months - or years
to motivate your child to do something with his life?  

Do you feel as though you have
“tried everything” but nothing works?

Those Days Are Over!  

Now You Will Discover the Secrets to
Motivating the Unmotivated

Parents who use the methods outlined in the Launching Adult Children With Aspergers and HFA Guide can expect the following:
  • their child actually taking the initiative to seek employment
  • seeing their child bring home his first paycheck and opening a savings account
  • hearing their child express an interest in attending college or learning a trade
  • dating and establishing romantic relationships
  • getting his driver’s license
  • getting his own home or apartment
  • ...and much more!

An autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong condition, but AS and HFA teens and young adults can - and do - develop coping skills to “make it in life” and to function just as efficiently as their neurotypical counterparts.

=> Most adults on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum lead a fulfilling life professionally as well as personally.

=> Most of them marry and have children.

=> Most are able to work in mainstream jobs successfully.

Now is the time to begin the process of promoting independence and self-reliance in your older child. The longer you wait, the more difficult your job will be - and the less motivated your child will be to grow emotionally, socially, financially and vocationally.

Parents just want to protect their "special needs" children from anything that might harm them. So we reached out our arms and gathered them in. To some degree, we were "over-protective" or took responsibility for them so they could live as normally as possible. But these choices we made, as parents, carried consequences.

Even though our AS and HFA children may be in their late teens or early adulthood, they may still look to us to take responsibility, assist them financially, clean-up after them, and provide them free room and board.

When we shelter our children, or do what they can do for themselves, they become overly dependent. Worse, they don’t challenge themselves, develop self-confidence, or learn the life-coping skills to function out in the real world - on their own.

Learning self-reliance and independence can come early, or can come later in life. But it does not happen without your help. In this guide, you’ll learn how to foster the development of self-reliance in your child, how and when to let him do things on his own, what to do when he needs help, and what to do when things go wrong.

Testimonial: “Within JUST TWO WEEKS of starting this program, I noticed my daughter was less needy and dependent. She was the one who actually took the initiative to talk to my friend (who owns a gift shop) about part-time employment. I was at my wits end with my Aspergers daughter when a friend of mine suggested that I visit this website and try the Launching Adult Children With Aspergers Guide. I have to admit I was very skeptical at first… I'd tried many things and nothing seemed to work with my aggressive, rude 20-year-old. Within two weeks of using the techniques, I started noticing a dramatic difference in her. She's happier and more confident than I've ever seen her.” ~ Jason & Margie D.

A special word from Mark Hutten, M.A.

Dear Parents,

There's always an explanation: A 23-year-old AS or HFA college grad wants to hold out for the right job rather than jump into an underpaid makeshift position. Rents are inflated, so a 27-year-old daughter on the spectrum moving out of her boyfriend's apartment couldn't possibly afford a place of her own. With two bedrooms to spare, parents can re-house her -- right?

Whatever the reason, young adults on the autism spectrum are returning home -- or never leaving -- in increasing numbers (e.g., following graduation, the dissolution of a relationship, the loss of a job, etc.). They often live rent-free and subsidized, with no scheduled date for departure. 

As parents, coming to terms with our adult child's limitations also means facing our own... In midlife, a central aspect of parents' identity is how our kids have turned out (i.e., what kind of adults they have become). The lives of grown kids constitute an important lens through which we judge ourselves and our accomplishments. It is through reconsidering their adult successes and failures that we seek, retroactively, to validate the kinds of parents we were and the responsible caring we provided. 

It may be very difficult to move away from a job that wasn't done perfectly, especially parenting, but parenting skills were never designed to work for grown children. We need to define the limits of our relationships with them and our involvement in their problems, since those are the only limits we can set now. We need to find ways to stay in meaningful contact with them while we work through our own midlife tasks of coming to terms with our gains and losses, reconsolidating our identity, and reclaiming our lives now that we have reached the limits of our parental role. 

What is called the "post-parental imperative" demands that we make sense of who and what matters when we return to the self we put aside to raise our kids. Because we've done that -- whether we think we flunked or passed parenting, it's over. We won't get another chance at it, which is the good as well as the bad news. Our job now is to come to terms with the choices we've made in our own lives, abandon some dreams and commit to fulfilling others, allow the silenced voices inside us to be heard, and make the most of the time that's left. We can do that - we must do that - regardless of whether our kids ever achieve what we still believe is their golden, unlimited potential. But that will only be possible if we start concentrating on our own lives while we're waiting for them to get lives of their own.

A rising chorus of psychologists and sociologists says parents simply aren't letting go when they ought to—not only impeding their child's adult independence, but also hampering their own post-parenting lives. In the absence of an acute crisis or devastating financial setback, the consensus is that moms and dads should look twice at the reasons they continue to shelter their grown offspring. If parents can get over the idea that they're not being "parent enough" or that their "special needs" children still "need" them, then they can get on with their new lives.

~  Mark Hutten, M.A.

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About the Author

Mark Hutten, M.A. is the creator of Online Parent Support, LLC with a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology. He is a parent-coach with more than 30 years’ experience. He has worked with hundreds of children, teens, and adults with ASD Level 1. He presents workshops and runs training courses for parents, teachers, marriage counselors and other professionals who deal autism. Also, Mark is a prolific author of articles and ebooks on the subject.

Contact Information:
Phone: 765-810-3319