• Autism Help UK

How to look for your child's dreams and aspirations?

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

As any parent does towards the end of your child’s education you will start to begin to think about what their next steps are in preparation for work. Like many children, it can be hard to pinpoint what they want to do at that age. As a parent, you can help narrow the choices down by looking at a few aspects of your child.


Overview:

  • Identifying your child strengths and interests

  • Career objectives

  • Volunteering


Identifying your child strengths and interests


Strengths - You can notice your child’s strength in their ability at performing the task. For example, they might score noticeably higher in maths in all tests, are really good with their computer at home and so on. Any area you think your child exceeds at than others are worth noting down


Interests - These are hobbies that your child enjoys working in. For many, computer games and sports are big interests. However, they might enjoy working on something more productive like doing some graphic design for example.


You will notice that if your child has an interest in the topic that they will have many strengths in that area as well due to repeated practice. When looking for possible career aspects for your child it's best to start off by looking at your child's strengths and interests and seeing what they might enjoy.


For example, if your child loves video games and is great at coding then you can look at a job in graphic designing which incorporates the two together.


Finding a job for your child is a very hard task and can be tricky to pick out. There are so many career paths your child can take. Thankfully there are many services that can help you narrow out a path. Every school will have a career advisor to help set paths.


Career objectives

Setting out a path for your child will take patience and a lot of understanding. Autistic people like having control so it is a good idea to work out and decide long-term goals for your child so they have a better sense of understanding.


Setting out long-term goals is the first step. Once you have the long-term goal set for example your child might want to start a job in IT you can begin to break it down into short-term goals.


A short-term goal example that would help your child get a job in IT would look like this; going to the career advisor, looking at videos online to find out job specifications and what the job is about, looking at university, going for an apprenticeship. Short-term goals are set up to help meet the needs of the long-term goal.


Volunteering

Understanding work can be a hard aspect for your child to grasp the concept of initially. Some autistic children prefer routine and changing from education to a career is a massive change in day-to-day life.


Volunteering is a great way to prepare your child for what work is like. It will help them understand what is expected.


Volunteering also has many other benefits for example:

  • Building on teamwork

  • Gaining confidence

  • Building on practical skills

  • Improving CV

  • Networking (meeting new people)


Don't just jump straight into any volunteering job since there are hundreds of opportunities that lie in this area. If you can’t find one that suits your child's needs then you can message jobs that your child might be interested in and ask if your child can work for them for the week as experience.



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