- NBC's Dateline aired "On The Brink," an hour-long special which focused on autism and the issue of aging out of school-based services. It was a show where I didn't have to be psychic to know what was coming next; a crisis for our children, families and communities. Our communities have not sufficently addressed the issues facing families for our children for life after highschool, ongoing education, to access to vocational programs, or housing. Individuals with autism are not being given consistent access to what they need to contribute to society, work and share their gifts. Many young adults on the spectrum can work, they can pay tax's they can financially contribute to our society, and we need programs to make this happen.
Lastly, we began life skills at home when Nick was 11 and I'm so thankful we did. Today he can do chores, he has learned to be consistent, follow direction and mostly engage in un-desired tasks. I did'nt know how important this would be when we started, but I know now....thank goodness we started at home because his school can't offer what he needs. Donna
- The Transition Tool Kit was designed to serve as a guide to assist families of individuals between the ages of 14 and 22 on the journey from adolescence to adulthood. The kit contains information on topics like self-advocacy, community living, postsecondary education, legal matters and more.
- The Community-based Skills Assessment, developed through a contract with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, is a tool to help parents and professionals assess the current skill levels and abilities of individuals with autism beginning at age 12 and continuing into adulthood in order to develop a comprehensive personalized transition plan.
- The Postsecondary Educational Opportunities Guide helps young adults and their families explore the various opportunities and learning environments available after leaving high school. This tool kit offers the best possible resources on the topic of postsecondary education to help families explore all of the various options available.
- The Housing and Residential Supports Tool Kit was developed to assist individuals and families as they identify and secure appropriate residential supports and services by providing an overview of housing options and tools to help access these services.
- The Employment Tool Kit provides young adults and adults with autism with tips and tools to help them research, find and keep employment in the current competitive labor market.
- Autism Speaks is committed to increasing services and expanding opportunities for the rapidly growing population of young adults and adults with autism. To that end, we have launched a Housing and Community Living initiative to increase access to housing and residential services of adults with autism by reducing HCBS waiver wait lists and improving housing vouchers, and to expand the capacity of service providers who care for them. You can read more about our HCL initiative HERE and sign up to join this initiativeHERE.