Creating opportunities for social engagement for individuals with ASD during adulthood may improve quality of life as well as lessen the impact of autism symptoms. Individuals with friends enjoy greater psychological well-being and have a greater sense of self-worth. This is important because lack of friends and loneliness are associated with an increased risk of depression, anxiety and less life satisfaction and lower self-esteem. Indeed, as individuals with ASD age, their risk of depression increases.
Thoughtful planning is needed to ensure adults with ASD have regularly scheduled social opportunities. These may be with peers with disabilities or typical peers who share similar interests. Regardless, the individual with ASD should be a part of the planning so that the activities and new circle of acquaintances/potential friends are of interest and serve as a motivator for the individual to expand beyond his or her comfort zone.
Cambridge Adult Day Center is great way for a young autistic adult to have the socialization needed for a healthy quality of life. The social time can be comfortably integrated into a routine and the time spent can be used to learn and practice social skills within a peer group. It is also a chance to share a special interest, develop some lasting friendships based on common interests and learn the skills needed to become more independent.
In the video, you'll meet Cambridge participant Will and his mom, Carolyn. While Will is not autistic, a brain injury at birth has presented some challenges. Carolyn shares with us how Cambridge has built social relationships for Will, leading to independence and a sense of belonging.
Contact Cambridge Adult Care Center today for more information!
We're grateful to the family of Carolyn Daniel for allowing us to use this precious footage of her and her son. Sadly, Carolyn passed away not long after filming was complete. She is missed every day.