New Adventures with Autism

New Adventures with Autism

To clarify, what I mean by “new adventures” are really new experiences.


I have an adult with autism. At age nineteen, my child feels very confident doing certain things by himself. He wants to be independent.

Recently, my child has had some significant yet common new “adventures/experiences.”

With that in mind, we have no problem with most of these new adventures (I’ll explain more later).

What was a recent new adventure?

Getting his blood drawn.

Before his appointment, I explained the “blood draw” procedure. I had to emphasize the “you have to keep your arm completely still while the nurse removes the blood.”

After that, I told him that I routinely donate blood. I hold my arm in that position for 10-15 minutes. It is uncomfortable, but not unbearable (for me).

At this age, my child wants to do things by himself, so I dropped him off at his appointment.

When I picked him up, he had the bandage on his arm. He said everything went well.

So, there’s that new adventure.

What’s another new adventure?

After that new adventure, my son has a need for glasses.

Both my husband and I needed distance glasses at around the same age—nineteen to twenty.

Our son was recently at a Dodger game and couldn’t read the scoreboard.

Therefore, we booked a trip to the optometrist the next day.

What happened at the optometrist?

My son went into his appointment along, however, this visit was a bit different than the blood draw visit.

First, I booked my own yearly appointment, so I was there, too.

Second, I had to pay.

Third, once my son got his diagnosis (yes, distance is a problem, not a huge one, was glasses were recommended) I had to take him out to the glasses area and help him choose his first pair.

He tried on several pairs until he found a pair he liked (I liked it, too).

Then, we had to sit down with the glasses person so they could do their thing (order, size, etc.)

On the way home, I explained to my son that both of these “new adventures” are life-long experiences.

Above all, my son did great with both of these two new adventures.

What’s the one thing that makes us feel a bit uncomfortable?

Traveling to Europe, potentially without us. Or, even alone.

I would object to my child traveling alone to Europe at this time in his life. I’ve only been to Europe once and that was with a frequent European traveler.

Going alone? At age nineteen? With no “travel by myself” experience.

In addition, I think I’d still object if he travels with friends.

In other words, he has gone to a movie by himself on the bus, but that is very different than a trip to Europe, especially a non-English speaking country. I traveled to Hawaii by myself in my 20s. Never overseas.

That one is still an open question… Can this adult with autism have that new adventure at this time?

I’ll leave that question open, and relay to my child that we will discuss it.

In conclusion, new adventures, new experiences, for my child, is awesome.

Keep them.

However, be smart. And, responsible.

All a mother can ask.

New Adventures with Autism.


More on Kimberly Kaplan:

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