With autism diagnoses being as common as they are now, there will be thousands of adults with autism in the next decade. As your child with autism heads into young adulthood, is he or she ready? What can you do to prepare or provide for his or her future? A family law lawyer can help, but only if you know what it is you would like to do to help your child as they become an adult.
Most parents would prefer that their autistic children not end up in group homes. Thankfully, high-functioning kids on the spectrum will only encounter mild difficulties as adults. These difficulties are related to getting and keeping housing, getting and keeping a job, and managing money. If you are so inclined, you can give the house to your child when he/she turns eighteen. Rather than encourage an adult child with autism to stay living at home, you are instead giving them the home that they grew up in and you are the one moving out.
There are several benefits to giving the family home to your child with autism. One, it is a place of familiarity and comfort, which means that they will not be quite so anxious about where they will live as an adult. Two, it frees you from having to live with your adult child, who will be able to handle most personal care and household chores by the time you leave, and may otherwise backslide on caring for themselves if you live under the same roof. Three, it fosters greater independence for your adult child with autism, which is what most high-functioning kids with autism want anyway. Your lawyer can make this property transfer smooth and simple.
Your family law attorney can also act as a financial guardian, or officially make you the financial guardian of your adult child with autism. Until your child demonstrates good financial skills and pays bills regularly, you can assist them with managing their money. You do have to go through proper legal channels in court in order to do this, otherwise you could be charged with financial abuse if you just take your child's paychecks and/or disability benefit checks. If you are actually giving your child a monthly allowance on which to live, you can do that through a lawyer too.
Incidents of Discrimination
Additionally, if your child is ever refused a job based on the fact that they have autism, your family lawyer can file a discrimination case. Proving that your child is able and capable of working the job they applied for is easy enough. Proving the discrimination may be a little more difficult, unless the person who got the job is lower functioning or has another disability besides the one your adult child has.
For more information, contact a business such as Baudler, Maus, Forman, Kritzer & Wagner, LLP.