The Staircase to Life After High School (especially for individuals with ASD and their advocates)

Just for today what is the priority you have for your life? Can you express what ways you will continue to learn and grow as an individual?

Has your priority been learning and practicing specific life skills such as cooking a simple meal, cleaning your apartment or room, making purchases on the internet, or problem solving a much needed car repair? If you have made progress in these or other skills, congratulate yourself. Being more independent or less dependent upon others is an achievement. These and many other life skills are necessary to functioning as an adult with a disability (i.e., ASD).

But over focusing on life skills only can lead you to a life of emptiness, void of social connections, and a limited direction for personal and career growth. If you find yourself in this place, read the questions below. Then think about them and write on a piece of paper or on your I’PAD or computer what you want to have happen. The purpose of this exercise is to get you moving in your life, and to start feeling good about yourself. You might want to ask someone to read your answers or work with you on answering these questions. These questions are an excerpt from my book, Becoming Remarkably Able: Walking the Path to Talents, Interests, and Personal Growth (Published by AAPC)

1. Is there something that would get you excited about each new day? If so, what would it be?

2. What can you do well? Or what could you do well if you had time to practice and learn?

3. What is your interest? Your passion?

4. If you could wipe away all fears and anxiety from your future, what dreams do you have?

5. If you could only do one thing with your life, what would that be?

6. Do you lose track of time when involved in an activity or interest?

If so, what is the activity or interest?

7. Do you love the challenge of figuring out the solution to a problem? Give an example.

8. Do you delight in learning more about something specific? If so, give examples.

9. When you have a choice between something to learn, (ex. playing the guitar) or being entertained (ex. going to a concert), how often do you choose the learning experience?
How often do you choose the entertaining experience?

10. Do you pursue an interest or a particular activity beyond the time others might spend?

Jackie M. Marquette Ph.D.
Autism Transition Specialist
Building Stability and Capability
in Youth with Developmental Disabilities