Problem Solving is a skill of autistic adults that has to be learned if one chooses to be independent. From the moment we decide to get up to the moment we go to bed, people work on problem solving. Central to this responsibility is the simple fact in order for autistics to live successful lives independently, they must be able to problem solve when it is necessary to do so.
When something happens in the autistics range of needing to take care of themselves that they are indeed fully capable of but just don’t want to creates the understanding that those that are family or caregivers that are unpaid to help the autistic overtaxed and exhausted by numerous phone calls and texts. When if it has been established that in fact the individual can do it and if they do not as long as they are not in harm, then they can suffer the consequence of not getting the enablement from the caregiver or parent.
I want to specify that there is a big difference of a parent or caregiver WANTING to help out the person because they KNOW that they need the support and cannot do it alone. However, when the caregiver KNOWS that the autistic person can do the task with assistance and may need a prompt or two to get forward to do what needs done, then that is where the parent or caregiver has to show their tough love and allow them to acquire the ability to solve the problem at hand and do it for their benefit, because what happens if that parent or caregiver isn’t in their lives anymore, what will they do? Will they go into a meltdown with no one around and cause a ruckus for those around them? As long as parents and caregivers enable our autistics by doing and not teaching them not to do things, if they do not learn and you as the caregiver are no longer in their life, then how will they learn the skill if they need to learn It of a sudden?
Another aspect of problem solving in the adulting world is to accept when it is time to stop when an autistic individual doesn’t know when to do something or when something happens and garner the courage to ask for help. Many times, we feel ashamed that we have to break down our sense of pride and ask for help, especially if we did something that was our own doing. However, in the end it is the right thing to do and the autistic individual must be ensured that whenever they are doubt of something, especially when being an adult, it never hurts to ask for help.
Granted, essential to problem solving is teaching an autistic individual as many skills as they can possibly learn in the time they can before becoming independent. This can be done with the caregiver or parent and other supports as necessary. But by having these skills can limit the need to reach out to others on a continual basis that to the others can be overwhelming and exhausting. In any instance of being independent, assure that you have all the bases covered with what to do in many common instances, have supports if necessary, to ensure that if something does happen, you can have those go tos.
Additionally, as an autistic individual, I encourage individuals to connect with other individuals via social media as they can network and tackle life’s challenges on layman’s terms so they “get it with others that get it”. Individuals with autism want nothing else but to belong and part of that is to have someone that can relate to them and understand them for who they are when they possibly have no other avenue in making a mutual connection where someone can communicate on their level and make them feel confident in who they are without judgement. Yes, I know there’s people out there that take advantage of others, however if you do your investigative work on social media, you will find people out there who have the same features and likes as you and get just who you are.