Preparing for a lifetime tip sheet

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For a person without a disability, a dramatic change from school to job searching can be very stressful and challenging. For a person on the autism spectrum, this shift can be even more complex and demanding. Transition planning helps ease the move from school to adulthood for students with ASD.

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Preparing for a lifetime tip sheet

  1. 1. Preparing for a LifetimeFor a person without a disability, a dramatic change from school to job searching can be very stressful andchallenging. For a person on the autism spectrum, this shift can be even more complex and demanding.Transition planning helps ease the move from school to adulthood for students with ASD.Many students leave school unprepared to handle simple daily routines such as paying bills, balancing a budgetand maintaining an orderly living environment. According to federal regulations, student who are beneficiaries of Individual Education Programs (IEP) must have transition services outlined beginning at age 14. Transition planning serves several important functions including: o Introducing family and student to adult service system o Determining support required by student to live, work and participate in community as an adult o Identify adult service system gaps and inadequacies, enabling transition team members to advocate for more appropriate services o Providing information to adult service providers about individual needs o Providing info critical to determining appropriate IEP goals o IEP—to target skill development necessary for a smooth transition Individual transition plans (ITPs) are used as the mechanism to guide transition activities. There is a parallel format which focuses on helping students without disabilities move from school to work. In some states, school districts write both career plan focuses solely on work, while ITP document becomes the mechanism to address the following isssues: o Work/post-school options o Income support/Insurance o Residential options o Transportation needs o Medical needs o Community recreation and leisure options o Maintenance of family/friend relationships o Advocacy/guardianship o Trusts/wills and long-term planning o Graduation or school exit date The ITP should address employment, home, friends, family, leisure and recreation opportunities as well as long-term life planning. It is important to involve the person with ASD in his own transition planning. This is called self-determination and refers to making life choices, personal goals and initiating a plan of action. Skills you need to determine your future: o Communicate preferences o Set achievable goals o Make choices o Manage time o Identify and solve problems o Learn how to access resources o Self-advocate
  2. 2. Person-centered planning means to assist in designing a vision and plan of action with the person. Itprovides support network with the opportunity to articulate a future vision with the person.When everyone understands the desired path to adulthood, the process of planning and programmingbegins. The ITP will focus on: o Current and future goals o Identify strategies for achieving identified goals o Present a timeline for follow-up o Identify responsible people or agencies for each objective o Clarify how various roles will be coordinatedOther than careful planning and program development, there are still many things to consider beforeadulthood. Below are some considerations: o Let the student choose his course of study so it will be of interest o During the school year, these skills should be taught for success:  Being organized  Being prepared  Completing tasks  Following directions  Interacting with others o Involve the person who is involved in curriculum options to teach other important life skills such as cooking, repairing items and handling personal finances o Encourage students with ASD to become involved in school activities o Pursue apprenticeship programs and volunteer for real work experience o Begin building their resume o Prepare the student for social demand of the work place. Teach appropriate behaviors o Teach appropriate hygiene and dress for specific work settings o Instruct about social interchanges around appropriate topics o A job-coach may be needed to problem-solve & assist with adjustment o Consider safe and efficient means of transportationPeople with ASD make important contributions to society when prepared and supported. Our job is toguide these people to determine their future. **Information provided by ASA Autism Society of America**

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