Gina Badalaty, Parent of 2 kids with disabilities, Professional Blogger
While I'm not sure what functional level your son is at, I think that one of the first things you should do is understand his strengths and weaknesses, and take stock of where his life skills are. Gage them against what a typical 13 year old child would be doing by now and ask if can do those things, such as getting ready for school on his own, make his own breakfast, clean his room. Once you've targeted specific areas in life skills, take a step by step approach to addressing each one individually.
I'm going to recommend several books that I have found helpful: - "Steps to Independence: Teaching Everyday Skills to Children with Special Needs" by Bruce L. Baker and Alan J. Brightman. is geared more towards lower functioning children, but does include several chapters on independent living skills such as self care, home care and academic skills. This books actually helps you break down any task by goals and lets you design a plan to help your child achieve those goals. - "How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger's" by Jennifer McIlwee Myers is great because the author is a self-proclaimed "aspie at large." She not only gives valuable insight into how a child with autism or Asperger's thinks, her perspective ranges the gamut since she is highly functional and has a brother at the lower end of the functional spectrum. She gives concrete solutions on what she did to achieve certain skills, such as learning to dress appropriately for a job interview or how she learned the importance of punctuality. - Finally "The Loving Push: How Parents and Professionals Can Help Spectrum Kids Become Successful Adults" by Temple Grandin, Ph.D. and Debra Moore Ph.D. will be released in March, 2016. I'm currently reading it and it is a specific guide on how to help autistic kids, especially adolescents, take steps to be success in their life, including education, work and other skills they need to succeed. Just about any book by Temple Grandin is wonderful because she too provides clear insight on how to be successful as an autistic adult.
You should work together with your son's school to address some of the life skills you may be more concerned about. I've had great success working with teachers, special ed, therapists and guidance counselors to help my children in areas such as speech improvement, behavioral management, social skills, peer groups, life skills and even potty training, as well as significant levels of inclusion and, of course, encouragement in academics they enjoy, like science. I consider school staff part of the team to help my kids learn critical life skills, and we exchange ideas that benefit all of us.
Finally, I also encourage you to have your son participate in activities that are geared for children with special needs or autism. Special Olympics is one of my favorite venues because it covers so many sports. My children thrive in this atmosphere, which focuses on doing your best and gathering with other athletes over competition.