Autism Spectrum


leaving school and leading your own life

Diary of of transition – from school to adult life


The end of Year 12 is looming for many Australian teenagers. One family in Sydney todays starts a transition diary here on Launchpad.  

To maintain the anonymity of the teenager, we’re using pseudonyms. He may not want future employers to be able to read about the ups and downs of this crucial stage in his life.

So, we’re proud to introduce: TransitionTeen and his mum, who’s doing most of the writing, Mum On The Run.



Our Family’s Transition From School Story – a Comedy in Many Parts

So, it’s August and where are we at?

TransitionTeen attends our local public high school where he is doing a non-ATAR HSC. This means that most of his subjects have no ATAR score attached. (ATAR is the mark which you use to apply for university.)

The only ‘difficult’ subject that he’s doing is Music 1. He’ll have the performance exam in a couple of weeks and then one written HSC paper in October.

So compared to most Year 12 students, TransitionTeen’s life is not too busy and not too stressful.

Only it doesn’t feel like that to his mother!


What are the worries?

TransitionTeen is not good at planning ahead or in working things out for himself. Thinking about the future isn’t a big part of his day.

But what WILL he do after school?

His idea is to be a world famous musician.  Why not?  

But he has no idea how to navigate the tricky route from schoolboy to stardom and success. 

I’m trying not to be totally bossy and decide everything for him. He needs to do at least something for himself.

Big sigh!


So what are we doing now

So far we have:

Next is to look at some colleges where music is taught.

The ideal would be a course where not much theory is needed. Or in fact none would be grand!

I’ve written TransitionTeen a simple list with five things to do. These are easy things like looking up websites and reading material.

He really does need to start doing small things for himself.

And I must get him doing his own washing soon too. Theoretically he knows what to do. It’s just doing it that’s the problem.

This mum knows the road ahead will have rocky moments. My great big son does not do well with changes, disruptions and a lack of routine.

So there’s a bit of self-care going on too. I have to stay calm, when when he can’t.

Wish me luck!

Are you the parent of a teenager? Or a young adult who is about to leave school?

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.


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