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3 Tips for Young Adults On the Autism Spectrum to Ask for Help

3 Tips for Young Adults On the Autism Spectrum to Ask for Help

As children with autism age, the focus becomes on gaining independence and the ability to live outside the family home. However, just as and potentially more important, is interdependence, essentially the ability to ask for help.

Asking for help for so many of us is extremely difficult. It requires vulnerability and the risk of an insensitive response. Yet, this self-advocacy skill is crucial to any kind of success.

Figuring out how to ask, who to ask and when to ask will help a young adult on the autism spectrum thrive in the community. And, as they learn to rely on others, their own independence will simultaneously improve.

The Why Behind It

With the attention consistently placed on independence, a fear of needing help is the natural result. No one wants to admit they are not as independent as they had assumed. 

Asking for help also requires interaction with another person that can be unpredictable. You don’t know how the other person will react. This is especially true if you need help with something that, specifically as a neurodiverse person, you struggle with. 

For both of those reasons, the need for help often becomes hidden away among those on the autism spectrum.

  1. Be Specific ýapp Your Needs

Being specific about what exactly you need help with can reduce some anxiety. For instance, if you , asking a professor or teacher for help may seem overwhelming at first. Narrowing your question down to what particular part of the assignment you are struggling with makes the question easier to both ask and answer.

Prior to requesting help, take time to consider what you actually need help with. Is it how to use the bus entirely, or just one part of the process? Do you need help preparing for a test or making a plan to study? You will find people are more eager to help once the question becomes more specific.

  1. Make a Plan

Preparing yourself for situations in which you may not have the answers can help in a moment of need. A plan should include the type of person who can give you what you need at that time, and how you can approach them.

Our residents at ýapp often rely on public transportation. The risk always involved with this is the potential of not knowing where to go next. Making a plan of steps to take and who to ask for help, like a police officer or public transit worker, can build confidence for when and if you end up in that situation. 

  1. Realize You Have Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

Needing help, especially with something that is a result of ASD (autism spectrum disorder), can bring on a feeling of shame. It is crucial in these moments that you remind yourself it is not your fault that others might not understand your experiences, that some have been insensitive in the past when you’ve reached out, or that you need help in the first place. To gain interdependence, you need to first recognize that there is no shame in asking for help.

For our , our staff serves as those helping hands as they transition from secondary education to college or lifelong independence. As much as we promote independence among our students, we also know how vital asking for help is in their lives. For more information on our program and how it can benefit you or your family, reach out here.

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