By Jessy McCulloch, Autism Home Support Services
Teacher: What are your greatest dreams about your future?”
Jeremy: “I want to have my own house with roommates, good friends, a fun job and be learning.”
Teacher: “What are your greatest fears about your future?”
Jeremy: “That I will not have enough money.”
Teacher: “What barriers might get in the way of accomplishing your goals?”
Jeremy: “You know I need good helpers. I need people that respect my intelligence.”
-Interview with Jeremy Sicile-Kira Transition Year 2007-08
Jeremy is the 19-year-old son of the author of this piece, Chantal Sicile-Kira. You may recognize his name from his appearance on the MTV True Life segment “I Have Autism.” Preparing him for the adult life he envisioned, she asked herself these questions:
- What would today’s adults on the autism spectrum point to as the most important factors in their lives while they were growing up?
- What has made the most impact on their lives as adults in terms of how they were treated and what they were taught as children?
- What advice did they have to offer on how we could help the children of today?
Then, she set out to find their answers. In interviewing a diverse array of individuals, “No matter the differences in their perceived ability levels, [these] 10 skill areas were important to all.”