For reasons that continue to escape me, autism is typically described as a disorder of childhood. Well, sure, autism is usually diagnosed in the first few years of life. But it's not like it just - poof! - disappears with the onset of puberty. In fact, most people who are diagnosed with autism will be autistic throughout their lives.
When I first started writing about autism, there was an explosion of diagnoses of very young children. Everyone I knew seemed to know or have a toddler or elementary school student on the spectrum. That was ... more years ago than I care to admit.
Today, those adorable toddlers and primary schoolers are teenagers. Many are already well into adolescence or young adulthood. And those young people are joining an ever-growing pool of adults who are newly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.
Is your son or daughter with autism nearing his or her 18th birthday - or looking at high school graduation? What plans do you have in place as he or she steps over the threshold of adulthood?
Share your hopes, fears, and plans - and read up on some of the important steps you'll need to take as your child nears and reaches maturity.
Photo Credit: Sarah Murphy