What Does the Future Look Like for My Son with Autism?

What Does the Future Look Like for My Son with Autism? November 27, 2018

It was recently Red Ribbon week at the boys’ school and each day had a different theme. One day the theme was to dress up like what you want to be when you grow up. My older (typical) son David had lots of ideas—preacher, traveling evangelist (he really wants to ride around in an RV), professional gamer and YouTuber, and my suggestion, a voice actor (he does lots of great accents).

But I thought all week about what James would wear. Not just what he’ll wear for dress up day, but what he’ll be wearing when he’s my age. What does his future look like?

I was mindful of the question as I tried to encourage more independence than I usually do. He returned the cart to the bay in the parking lot after our trip to the grocery store. He got the tortillas out of the pantry so I could make his quesadilla. He put on his shorts all by himself. He didn’t know the word for “microwave,” but he communicated to me well enough to know that he wanted his food heated up. He helped take out the recycling. He “swept” the kitchen floor. I encouraged any skills he could strengthen that will make his future life (and my future life) easier.

 

I don’t get discouraged when I think about his future because he has such a great role model in my sister. She turns forty-one in a few weeks and has a full and fun life. She lives at home with my parents, she volunteers at a food pantry, she watches her favorite shows each day, she goes to exercise class, and she adores her nieces and nephews. She’s happy.

Picturing James living a life similar to my sister’s is a huge encouragement to me. I know God will be there every step of the way with His peace, provision, presence, and power, just as He has been for Syble.

What do I want for James? I want him to enjoy life with us, find something he loves and do it each day, serve at our church, and be healthy and active.

So for future career dress up day, James went as Uncle James, and I will look optimistically into to the future as he follows in his aunt Syble’s footsteps.

More encouragement if you’re thinking toward your child’s future:

Sandra Peoples encourages parents to hold on to hope as the editor for Key Ministry. Her new book, Unexpected Blessings, helps parents move from a place of pain to finding their purpose in their Plan B situation.

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