It’s time for my son’s yearly plan to be updated for OT (Occupational Therapy). His OT therapist asked me what I think he needs to work on. I couldn’t think of anything, except speech goals. She couldn’t think of anything, either. I am working on things at home, and my son’s school is working on some goals. What we are working on are daily living goals that he is now able to learn because of the basic skills he has mastered in his OT sessions. My autism child’s therapist and I agreed that it was time to end his therapy sessions with her.
My son started receiving therapy for OT and speech when he was two years old. He is now 14, and it’s been a long road to get to this point. It’s going to take some adjustments in continuing without the OT sessions. They have become a part of my son’s life. It’s a great accomplishment to have them ending, and I am proud of my son.
At home, we are working on teaching my son how to dust, sweep, wash dishes, bathe himself, and brushing his teeth. We are also working on folding clothes, putting them away neatly, and preparing meals. He has the basic skills needed to learn these tasks. We have been working on him bathing himself and brushing his teeth independently for several years. Each year that goes by, he makes improvements. It’s slow, but the repetitiveness of having him do these himself has helped him improve his skills.
My son may never be completely independent, but I have hope that he will at least be able to take care of his basic needs. He requires constant monitoring and help with everything. He is able to wash dishes with a minimum of assistance, but has to be supervised. Dusting and sweeping isn’t easy for him. He has difficulty with coordination, but I expect him to continue to make improvements as he continues to work on these tasks.
I’m now looking at the future for my autism child with hope. I thought he would be receiving OT therapy most of his life. Now, it is coming to an end. I have hope that one day will come and he will no longer need speech therapy. I think it’s important to have hope for my child’s future. In four years, my son will be legally an adult. We will be facing a lot of new challenges. I will have to go through the process of being appointed his legal guardian. Someone asked me why I would have to do that. I’m his mom, I shouldn’t have to. I explained that once he becomes 18, he will be an adult. That changes everything. I will always be his mom, but I will have to have the legal right to make decisions for my adult child.
Have you gone through the process of becoming legal guardian of your autism child? How was transitioning to that role for you and your child? Did you face new challenges and situations?