Life transitions – Towards your own home and further studies
”Challenges due to sensory abnormalities easily rise to the surface especially in life transitions. Life transitions always involve a change, and change almost always puts a greater strain on you. At the threshold of adulthood, you face several changes, even at the same time – for example, accepting a study place and moving out of your childhood home often coincide. The more other strain there is, the harder it becomes to cope with sensory overload.”
The times of change in life, or life transitions, are often challenging for young people on the autism spectrum. Life transitions include, for instance, moving out of your parents’ house and into your own apartment and going on to further studies. To succeed in these life changes, every young person on the autism spectrum needs support and guidance with life management and how to leverage on their personal strengths.
It is not self-evident that a young person on the autism spectrum can build working routines in their daily life, take care of regular meal times, rest and relaxation, and manage their relationships with other people so that they do not wear themselves out. They may also have difficulties identifying personal resources and competencies. From the perspective of their studies and the ability to later cope at work, it is important to grow up to be independent and have the ability to take responsibility for themselves and their life. Independent living skills and mastering them and the skill to ask for help and rely on others are also the basis for coping as a student.
“The thing that has helped me the most is creating new, working routines in my daily life.”
Many young people on the autism spectrum need support and guidance in times of change. This means, for example, a stronger structure in their daily life and studies than in previous phases of life or support as they practise the skills needed to live independently and to adapt to a new environment. Building a positive self-image and finding their own ways to manage stress often require support as well. Feeling like the new environment suits you fosters a sense of security.
Life transitions should be planned individually
Planning life transitions should start with you! It is important to identify your strengths, skills and interests so that your goals for the future can be as realistic as possible. Becoming independent often puts a much greater strain on you, which is why it is important to focus on your self-knowledge and mental wellbeing.
You should start planning the new phase of life and the upcoming change early enough and together with your support network. The key is to find a path you can follow while pursuing your interests and utilizing your skills. You can always specify and adjust the plan later on. You should keep in mind that you, too, are bound to have many strengths and you have what it takes to succeed as long as all your abilities and skills are put to use. Good groundwork increases the likelihood of success.
- What could help you prepare for the period of change?
- How can you anticipate the upcoming change?
- What routines could help you during the period of change?
Significance of wellbeing in life transitions
Daily routines and rhythm, regular meals, exercising in a manner that suits you and getting enough rest are basic elements of wellbeing. Relationships and enjoyable moments as well as a positive image of yourself and your strengths make you feel better. Taking care of your personal wellbeing facilitates coping, learning and managing in everyday life and supports mental wellbeing. It is a resource that helps you see life as meaningful.
Hand of Well-being
You should not neglect your well-being! Developed for the Step to Adulthood project (Askel aikuisuuteen), the Hand of Well-being contains information about the elements of well-being and tips to support your well-being. Please remember that you can improve your well-being and practise and learn the skills associated with it.
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