Driving is a big step for teens and young adults on the autism spectrum. It’s one of many choices individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make as a part of the transition to adulthood. Driving can contribute to the development of the individual, enhancing access to community activities, employment opportunities, and social relationships.
Transitioning from a teenager to adult is a big step. There are many important factors that are involved, especially your health and health care. The transition from seeing a Pediatrician, to a doctor that only handles adult medical needs is quite a change. However, this transition is a part of the road to independence and self-advocacy. Your health and well-being are an essential part to successful independence in school, work, and other social activities.
Stories of South Dakotans with disabilities and the resources that have helped them lead successful lives.
South Dakota law says:
- The child will legally become an adult at age 18.
- They will be responsible for making their own decisions – no matter how significant their disability.
- Parents/guardians will lose their right to make decisions on the child’s behalf.
If you believe the child’s disability prevents them from making decisions to keep them healthy and safe, you need to plan ahead to ensure a power of attorney, conservatorship, and/or guardianship is in place when the child turns 18.
It is best to allow a young adult to keep as many rights as possible. Carefully consider his/her limitations – and abilities – when making these decisions.
South Dakota law says:
- You become an adult when you turn 18.
- You make all of your own decisions.
- No one can speak on your behalf (unless you give them permission).
When you become an adult, you may need extra help from someone when making decisions to keep yourself healthy and safe. There are different ways that people can help you.
Your son or daughter is getting ready to graduate from high school. What an exciting time, full of hopes and dreams for a happy, productive, and quality adult life filled with work, community, friends, and activities. Let’s turn the clock back and re-visit the many things throughout your child’s life that make this outcome possible.
Nationwide, most youth look forward to the day they become “legal” adults, meaning reaching the “age of majority.” The age of majority is determined on a state-by-state basis and South Dakota has set it at eighteen. When youth reach the age of majority, their legal relationship with their parents and society changes dramatically, probably in several ways in which youth (and parents) are unaware.