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A Guide for Transition to Adulthood

Adulthood represents a time in one’s life where there are increased levels of independence, choice, and personal control. These are all qualities that can and should be part of any autistic adult’s life. For many young autistic people and their families, the transition to adulthood is a daunting one, marked by significant changes in available services. Proper planning can ease this difficult transition, however, and ensure that all autistic individuals build the skills and establish the supports that will allow them to take advantage of all that adulthood has to offer.

Updated in 2021, OAR’s Life Journey Through Autism: A Guide for Transition to Adulthood (2nd ed.) provides an overview of the transition to adulthood process for parents who are traveling this path with their child for the first time. Packed with evidence-based tips, resource recommendations, informational handouts, and activities for parents and young adults, the guide includes information about how to:

  • Initiate the transition planning process and engage your child, their family and friends, the school’s professional staff, and representatives from adult service systems as members of your child’s transition team.
  • Prepare for the changes in available supports and legal protections that accompany the transition to adulthood.
  • Center the transition plan around the interests and strengths of your child.
  • Equip your child with the self-determination skills they need to advocate for themselves, problem-solve, set goals, and develop a plan for their own future.
  • Prepare your child to navigate higher education, employment, independent living, and other relevant aspects of adulthood.

A Guide for Transition to Adulthood is available as an interactive, fillable PDF download and as a physical guidebook with detachable activities. There is also a Spanish translation of the previous version of this guide available for download.

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