Transition to Adulthood
Planning for adult life
As your child reaches adolescence, you will begin to work with him or her, your school district and others to develop a plan for the transition to adulthood.
It's best to think about what adult life will include - a job, post-secondary education, a day habilitation program, living outside of the family home? Once the goals are decided upon (and they can change), a transition plan will be developed that builds the skills necessary for your child to be able to achieve these goals in adult life.
It is important to start early.
Preparation for the transition process happens in school. Students with autism have the right to receive comprehensive transition services. Under IDEA, school districts are responsible for providing the supports they need to meet their goals for after high school to the best of their abilities.
Each student's Individual Education Program (IEP) process must include transition planning services for all special education students at age 16. Ideally, this process should begin as early as 12 or 14 years old.
The funding and the services available through IDEA are not available once the student has received a high school diploma or aged out of the school system (depending on the student’s needs, ages 18 – 21). So it is crucial that these services are set up while the student is in the school system.