23 yo daughter with documented high-functioning special needs. Helping her grow, but not making all decisions?


We are parents of 6 adult kids (well, youngest is 18 in a month), aged 17-26. We adopted all 6 (which has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to us—but it’s also kicked our asses at times)

Our second daughter began showing signs of dyslexia, OCD, Asperger’s, and dyslexia at kindergarten. In the early years of school these were manageable as all similarly aged kids were at different stages and it wasn’t so obvious.

As she became older, these conditions made friendships more difficult to maintain and school was more difficult to keep up with. She had great help, but she also dealt with the realities of these conditions. They were and are heartbreaking for her and for us. (My evidence is her own statement that they are AND the testing that has documented her conditions and possible related outcomes as she ages. For example: Making friends her own age. Dating. Putting herself in vulnerable positions. She often misreads intent and has been sexually assaulted. It’s so hard on us all to experience with her.)

Some adult children her age live independently. At times I believe she could — she drives and has a cashier’s job. However, she has attempted suicide 8 times in 6 years, so that doesn’t seem like a possibility right now.

So here’s my specific question:

I often get frustrated with her ability to do things for herself or at home. I’m worried we are enabling her/us.

I start to think: if she can drive a car and buy clothes, can’t she do a load of towels? (The answer is yes, but she may not ever take them out of the washer. It never crosses her mind that the job requires: wash, dry, fold, put away). Or it does, and she doesn’t have a concern about it bc we will just get frustrated and not have her do the towels.

Here is my current situation that I hope you can help me with (ps: new to Scholars; begin certification 2 week in April).

I guess I’m uncertain if I just accept as-is OR shake up model.

C: Daughter does not clean room or walk-in closet even once a week … once a month. (This includes leaving wet towels on ground, food, food container, using family drinking classes for water-painting—and suddenly we find 10 paint-filled glasses in her room, and on and on.)
T: She’s damaging her own/our belongings and our brainpower. (Even shared areas: bathrooms.)
F: Angry.
A: Give her a deadline for cleaning once a week (just food and wet things) and help if needed.
R: She does not clean up/follow the once a week/month plan and her room, clothes, our shared spaces are damaged (carpet is example—marking pens spill into spots on carpet). If my husband and I do this “plan” for her, the room is back to clutter and food/mess within 2 days.

Help. 😢