The importance of planning for the future and #inclusion in the workplace

When you first hear the word Autism associated with your child, every single aspect of your life changes. I’ve experienced that life-altering moment three times now and it never got easier to hear.

I spent so much time simply trying to survive the daily battles while they were younger and frankly, I still am today.

When you’re an Autism parent, planning ahead doesn’t always work out. In our case, we rarely planned ahead because it became clear that we were destined to live moment by moment, never knowing what would happen from one to the next. That’s just the way it was for us and truthfully, almost 18 years into this journey, we’re still living moment to moment.

When you’re living in the trenches, trying to survive from one moment to the next, the idea of planning for the future is sometimes non-existent.



As an example, I know how important it is to financially plan for the future. Saving for things like college or even retirement are critically important. When you’re a special needs parent, on a limited income, just trying to make it through the day, that kind of planning isn’t always a priority but it is very important.

In our case, we’ve always had to be careful because Gavin is on disability and there are income requirements or limitations that we have to be mindful of in order to ensure Gavin’s continued insurance coverage. When we first started, my insurance wouldn’t touch Gavin because nothing Autism related was covered. Disability ensures that his health care is always covered. As a result, we’ve not planned for the things like retirement. In fact, we live very much day to day, without the ability to absorb anything unexpected.

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  • BeckyW says:

    Okay, this is a good start to a conversation. My oldest son, the one with high-functioning autism, went to the Ohio Bureau of Rehabilitation and they took time, over months, to prepare him for adult things. I’ve been told the name has changed but this is what I’ve found online. (Links at bottom.) It’s possible that there is some kind of employment Gavin could do and a local employer who would be willing to try.

    The second thing that goes along with Gavin’s development is where he lives. Hopefully things will continue to work out for you all. I read awhile back that it can be better to place special needs adults in group homes sooner than rather than later. SN adults do better if they are living outside their parental home when their parents die. (I can’t find that specific study but these links talk about staying at home vs living in a group home. AND ALSO: I seem to remember Gavin’s prognosis for his condition was not too good. So of course those things are also a factor in making choices.)

    Ohio rehab services:
    http://ood.ohio.gov/
    https://oodworks.com/
    http://ood.ohio.gov/BVR-BSVI/BVR

    Special needs adults housing:
    https://specialneedsanswers.com/housing-options-for-adults-with-special-needs-14975
    https://www.smilefil.org/blog/housing-options-for-adults-with-special-needs

  • Facebook Profile photo Caitlin Britten says:

    I have autism and I work three jobs at the moment but probably going to two. And I’ve had great success using Voc Rehab and my local job coach as well as Department of Labor they let me see them every month about how things are going.

    • Facebook Profile photo Rob Gorski says:

      Do you have any advice for parents like me or for others transitioning into adulthood and seeking employment?

      • Caitlin Britten says:

        Yes Rob, my advice for people like you or for other people transiting into employment is to contact department of labor because they can do internships and also contact voc rehab and they’ll be able too help you out and be there for you. And if they give you a counselor that you don’t like or a provider you can switch to another person. I used to not have a counselor and provider that I didn’t get along with and I get along w way better with my current people. Both voc rehab and department of labor have helped me be where I’m at today I would defiantly recommend getting in touch with them they’ll be there for you, listen to you and help you out. My team does a great job of helping me out and usually you’re with the same people but if not they’ll find you very nice people to help you out.