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How do we prepare our son for our daughter's leaving for college?

Our son is 15 this summer and autistic. He's mid-to-high functioning but extremely close to his sister, who will be 18 in 6 weeks and heading off to college in the fall. She won't be out of state, and we're in RI, but she'll still be half an hour or so from us and might be home for a couple weekends a month. Even now, when she goes out with her friends, he waits up for her. Last night, she spent the night with a friend and didn't say anything until late (which I wasn't thrilled about, but I let it go). He slept in her bed! I'm really afraid this will be very difficult for him. We have no other children.

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LIZARD66

Asked by LIZARD66 at 5:58 PM on Mar. 29, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • This might seem like a silly answer to your question but I am just wondering, Do you have a pet? I was thinking maybe if you got him a new puppy he might turn his attachment to the puppy and not miss his sister quite so much. Just an idea.
    nannabart

    Answer by nannabart at 10:38 PM on Mar. 29, 2009

  • My son is high functioning autistic as well. He only has his older sister too. If your kids are anything like mine. He depends on her to be his best friend. I will be facing this in 2 years. I would take him to her new college. Have him walk around the campus so he can visualize where she is after she leaves.
    I would make up a large calendar so he can can see the days she will be gone, count down to the days she will be home. Maybe even mark one day a month that you can visit her. Have certain times marked on that calender when she will call him.
    Ask if she could leave him a favorite pillow or stuffed animal. I agree a new pet might be a wonderful idea. If he likes animals. Before she leaves take a lot of random pictures of them together, Then put them into a slide show DVD he can watch when he misses her. There are activities for Autistic teens in RI. One is the Autism Project of RI. Maybe it would be a fun distraction.
    CelticFaerie

    Answer by CelticFaerie at 6:48 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • Thank you both. :)

    We don't have any pets and live in a tiny house, so I don't see getting one soon, although all three (including DH) want a dog. There's the expense, too, but I have thought on more than one occasion that a dog might be good for him. We'll have to talk about it more.

    CelticFaerie, these are all great ideas! :) Thanks so much! I should be involved with the AP, too. I have thought of it many, many times. They used to be practically down the street from us.

    Thanks again, ladies!

    LIZARD :)
    LIZARD66

    Answer by LIZARD66 at 8:13 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

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