Preparing Your Disabled Teen For Independence

Although many parents struggle with letting go when their teen begins to crave independence, for those with disabled teens this may be much more nerve wracking and involved.

Whether the aim is for them to move out, get a job, study at college or university, or contribute more to the household, there’s lots you can do to slowly prepare them – and yourself.

Although much will depend on your child’s condition and abilities, you can begin by letting them help you with small tasks within their capabilities to build confidence, such as folding clothes, preparing meals or tidying up. Let them be responsible for themselves and their own routine, whether this is washing, cleaning teeth and brushing hair without your help or making their own breakfast.  Then give small tasks around the house to do themselves such as putting on a wash, cleaning, planning a shopping list or weekly menu, and gradually  build up, gently stretching their limits.

You may need to put things in place to help them achieve their goals such as equipment, aids or adaptions, written prompts, checklists, pictures or alarms to remind them. There is also lots to consider when ensuring their needs are met outside of your home. If they want to move out of home – will they need supported accommodation or to live with someone else, such as a friend, partner, another family member? Will alarms, hoists or other equipment need to be installed? Will
any adaptations such as ramps or low level counters be needed for their new

If your child is going on to further education will there chosen facility be fully accessible for them? Is there extra support available to them on campus, flexible learning and course materials in braille or larger text? Are there specific grants they can apply for to help them?

If they want to get a job, what adaptions would employers need to make for them? Disability Employment Advisers can help with job seeking, government schemes and training as well as offer advice about disability friendly employers in your area.

Below are some links to further information to help you and your teen take those next steps to independence.

Scope Website
National Careers Service