Children on the Autism Spectrum often grow up to find they are unable to cope effectively with the challenges of adult life. This book shows that, with the appropriate lifelong care from parents and carers, it is possible for those with neurodevelopmental disabilities to achieve supported independence and live fulfilling adult lives.
Adults on the Autism Spectrum Leave the Nest provides a guide for parents on how to prepare their children for adulthood, and describes in detail the kinds of services people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) need in order to live independently, away from the parental home. The author explains the importance of the cognitive abilities that enable us to regulate behaviour and adapt to changing situations, known as Executive Functions, and how an individual's deficits in this area can be especially problematic in the adult world. The book provides approaches to managing Executive Function Deficits and describes an innovative therapeutic program that successfully allows adults with ASDs to live with their peers and develop meaningful adult relationships.
This book provides practical and accessible guidance for parents, therapists, people with ASDs, and anyone with an interest in helping people on the Autism Spectrum lead their lives with a sense of dignity and independence.
Nancy Perry graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and completed her Ph.D. with a specialty in Neuropsychology at the California School of Professional Psychology. Her dissertation was among the earliest efforts to explain and explore the developing concept of the Executive Functions. She has worked for over 30 years as a psychotherapist and for the past 11 years as the Clinical Director of a unique program serving adults on the Autism Spectrum. She became interested in this population after training in the field of acquired brain injury, but her interest in the rights and abilities of individuals with challenges stems from early experiences with her two sisters who had substantial disabilities. Dr. Perry lives in Berkeley with her husband and has a grown daughter who lives nearby.
Contents: A Message for Parents. Acknowledgements. Preface. Introduction: Real Lives. Part I: Understanding the Autism Spectrum Disabilities. 1. What are Neurodevelopmental Disabilities? 2. Families Living with Disability. Part II: Understanding Executive Functions. 3. Initiation, or Getting Started. 4. Concrete Thinking and Response to Novelty. 5. Planning, Sequencing and Organizing. 6. Attention and Concentration. 7. Regulation of Emotions. 8. A Glance at Memory. 9. Judgment, Self-Awareness and Self Monitoring. Part III: Reaching Adulthood. 10. Preparing for Adulthood. 11. Living with Parents. 12. Living in a Group Home. Part IV: A Model Program of Supported Independence. 13. The Value of Living with Peers. 14. The Structure and Goals of the Program. 15. The Clinical Methods of the Program. 16. Counseling. 17. Specific Methods Employed at CAL. 18. Teamwork with Parents. Appendix I: A New Idea - A Variation on the Model of Group Home Living. Appendix II: Resources. References. Index.