23 Feb Overcoming fear and anxiety
Whose feelings are you protecting?
A mom said, “I cannot seriously consider sending my son to your program! I would be sad to send him so far away from South Carolina, and I think he would be both puzzled and sad if we told him we were thinking of sending him someplace where we could barely see him.”
I appreciate your heart wanting to protect your son from confusion, rejection, and sadness. It is hard to launch a young adult with Autism without good communication, clear goals, and aspirations. Every parent has great emotional investment in their children especially when that child has disabilities. Every child deserves the opportunity to express their feelings about their frustrations as well as their hopes and dreams.
During my first interview with a young man from out of state, I asked, “Where do you want to be in five years?” He enthusiastically expressed his goals, dreams, and aspirations. Then he had the biggest smile.* This was his first step in developing trust with our Team.
A visit to Sedona and our Pathways to Independence program will help both of you deal with some of your fears and anxieties. As parents, we are responsible for launching each young adult into adulthood. We will not live forever and cannot pass our responsibilities off to our other children.
Sedona Lago Gardens and Pathways to Independence provide educational programs and experiences that equip an individual with an autism diagnosis with skills for independent living. We focus on four domains: Executive Functioning, Vocational Training, Social skills (friendships and other relationships), and Life Skills.
Your son will make friends here. Perhaps friends for a lifetime. These skills may not have developed when he had a super-concentration on math and technology. Employers do want well-rounded employees.
The Autism Society of America reports that 85% (8.5 out of 10) of young adults with ASD are unemployed and continue living at home. Anxiety is the number one challenge along with isolation, and depression. It is sad but true that the suicide rate is 30% higher than any other group within that age range.
Upon your son’s attaining the skills to fulfill his goals and aspirations, he will return to Columbia to be near you with the skills necessary for independent living. He may need some temporary transition support, but he will not want to become a burden on anyone in the long term. You will have peace of mind.
Please know that your son will have holidays and vacations for home visits. There are direct flights to your home state. You and your family will always be welcome to enjoy an escape to Sedona and encourage your son. When you visit, he will be thrilled to share insights and achievements in his program, and introduce you to his friends at Sedona Lago and around the community.
Your son is more capable than you might imagine. By providing him a sojourn at Sedona Lago Gardens, you are signaling that you have confidence in him and want him to have a happy and fulfilling life. He will blossom. You will have peace of mind.
At Sedona Lago Gardens, we can help you and your loved ones overcome your fears and anxieties. Together both of you will grow and mature through this experience. Call us today!
*The story told is true, but we did not use the young man’s name to protect his privacy. I shared this experience from the beginning of his journey at Sedona Lago Gardens!
– Gary Wagner, President of Sedona Lago.
Learn more about the Pathways to Independence Program.