TWAP027: How To Be A Good Parent To Your Young Adult

Helping Young People With Autism Transition To Adulthood, with Mari Nosal, M.Ed.

Are you grappling with how to parent your young person into adulthood? You’re in luck! Here with me today is the one and only Mari Nosal.

Mari Nosal is an author and blogger who’s worked with children and adults in the field of special needs. She has a Masters degree in Educational Foundations and a B.A. in psychology and has worked with children, parents, and educators within the classroom and the wider community.


She’s written The Ten Commandments of Interacting With Children With Autism, and she’s here to share her tips on how to be a good parent to your young adult.

Listen to The Podcast

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The importance of realistic optimism as a parent raising your son or daughter
  • You can’t worry about where your child is going to be in 10 years because nobody has a crystal ball
  • Take the future in 90 day chunks and then ask, “What can we work on today?”
  • When you get depressed, look back on how far you have come, rather than only thinking about where you have to go, and how you feel you’re lacking
  • Creating an environment for success is key
  • In order to promote advocacy and self-advocacy, let your child know early on about his/her diagnosis of autism/Aspergers (see post should I tell my child s/he has apsergers)
  • Advocating for your 18+ year old
    • Pinpoint strengths first  these strengths can be harnessed to address challenges – e.g., passionate and stubborn –
    • Then discuss challenges
    • “You look at the diagnosis as a beginning point for informing you how to reach people…you don’t use it to handicap them”  Mari Nosal
  • Break independent living/adaptive skills into smaller steps, starting with the easiest, and moving toward more challenging ones.
  • Set up challenges, but make them safe challenges, with coaching and support.  Make each challenge one step above what they think they can’t do, but what you know they can do.  On the other hand, don’t make a challenge so difficult that a person cannot succeed, and therefore becomes overly discouraged.
  • Regarding obtaining a diagnosis while your child is still in the elementary, middle, or high school system – refer to the Federation for Children With Special Needs to know and assert your rights for your child
  • If, as a parent you feel overwhelmed by all the “expert” advice from other professionals, remember:
  • A young person may need to be pushed to take steps toward independence – barriers may include low self esteem and low self-efficacy (negative – feeling incapable (positive self-efficacy would mean a can-do attitude)
  • Practice empathy as a parent.

Call To Action

Pick one of the tips from the bullet points Mari shared.

Form a positive habit from one of the tips, a habit that will help you become an even better parent to your young adult!  Use my free resource, Change Your Life In 5 Easy Steps, to learn how to do this easily.

Links and Resources

Thanks to Mari for sharing this list of helpful sites.

Parent and Family Sites

Asperger Society | PHP

 Support for Families of Children with Disabilities

Special Education Resources and Links for Parents

List of Parent Support Groups for Children with Disabilities

Federation for Children with Special Needs

Council for Exceptional Children

 Autism Society

Join the Conversation

What topics would you most like covered on the show? Who would you like me to interview? Share you answer in the comments below or Ask me a question via my Contact Page.

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photo credit: moodboard

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 I'm Steve Borgman.  I'm a licensed clinical professional counselor and blogger committed to bringing you hope, understanding, and solutions that you can apply to your life immediately.

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