According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 68 children in the United States has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents of children on the spectrum often spend years researching, negotiating, and advocating for services and support for their child in the school system and in the community. As their children grow and approach young adulthood, the thought of repeating the process a whole new system to help their child navigate the adult world and independent living can be overwhelming.

Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, has just released version 2.0 of their popular Transition Tool Kit. The kit was created to serve as a guide to assist families on the journey from adolescence to adulthood and provides suggestions and options to consider to help your child with ASD find their unique path. The toolkit covers:

  • Self-Advocacy
  • Developing Independent Living Skills
  • Planning for Transition
  • Legal Matters to Consider
  • Community Living
  • Employment and Other Options
  • Postsecondary Educational Opportunities
  • Housing and Residential Supports
  • Health
  • Technology
  • Resources

Anyone can download the PDF version of the Transition Tool Kit for free. Family members of adolescents and young adults with autism between the ages of 13 and 22 in the United States may request a complimentary hard copy of the Transition Tool Kit by filling out the Transition Tool Kit order form.

Autism Speaks has also created separate transition timelines for each state, since the transition process differs for each. The timelines include additional information and state agency contacts that may also help families navigate this transition. Here is the Illinois timeline.