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Help support families caring for loved ones with autism. 

Upon turning 22, your loved one will no longer receive services through the school district. It's important for you and your loved one to plan for residential, vocational, social, medical, and educational needs and goals before then. Below are some important to-dos and milestones to help you prepare for the transition to adulthood and adult services. We also encourage you to call us or, better yet, schedule an appointment to meet with one of our autism specialists.

Age 18 - 20

  • At 18, your child may be eligible for Social Security benefits.  By this age, you should ensure that the SSI application has been submitted and a determination completed. All men must register for the draft at this age. Failure to do so will affect government benefits.
  • At age 18, your child has either graduated from high school with a diploma, has connected with a Transitional Agency, or is in an education program until the age of 22. Invite your Transition Coordinator from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to an IEP meeting. Refine and strengthen the Vision Statement. Update and strengthen the IEP Transition Planning 
  • Complete the DDS Eligibility Application for adult services and send all documentation to DDS.
  • If seeking guardianship, confirm the transfer of parental rights, or complete a formal guardianship process.
  • Begin to explore options for housing. You can find housing information through our Resource Directory. Begin applications for Section 8 housing.
  • Consult with an agency that offers Adult Family Care services, to determine if it is a good option for your family. The AFC program provides a stipend and support to family caregivers.

Age 21-22

  • Begin to network and identify adult health care providers. Your current pediatric providers can begin communicating with the selected providers. Explore our Resource Directory for providers in your area.
  • You should have a meeting with your DDS Transition Coordinator to discuss post high school services options. These may include: residential service; individual supported employment, group supported employment; community-based day services; day habilitation; participant-directed employment with individualized day supports. You should also receive a letter of prioritization from DDS which identifies your loved one's level of eligibility for DDS services.
  • If seeking guardianship, confirm that transfer of parental rights has occurred or a formal guardianship process has been completed.
  • Explore housing options in our Resource Directory. Complete Section 8 housing applications.
  • Continue to engage in meaningful and balanced activities that support physical, social, and emotional well-being. Your regional Autism Support Center or Family Support Center will offer options for adult recreation. Explore our Resource Directory for other recreation resources.