Autism Spectrum Center | Transition to Adulthood

Transition from youth-based services to adult-services can be a challenging one for individuals with autism and their families. Here are some resources that can help:

Employment

AANE: The Asperger / Autism Network (AANE) works with individuals, families, and professionals to help people with “high functioning autism” to build meaningful, connected lives

Institute for Community Inclusion: Helping ensure individuals with disabilities have access to employment and educational opportunities.

Jewish Family and Children’s Services: Offers support to a wide range of individuals within the metro Boston area.

Massachusetts General Hospital’s Aspire Program: Helping individuals with high cognitive ASD or a similar profile make social connections and develop independence.

  • Aspire Internship Program: Individuals are placed with an employer partner and receive ongoing support from a career counselor and peer groups.

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC): state government agency that helps individuals with disabilities live and work independently.

Asperger Works : private group helping individuals with autism who can work find a job.  This group works primarily in the Merrimack Valley of MA, and run by individuals with autism.

Education

AANE: The Asperger / Autism Network (AANE) works with individuals, families, and professionals to help people with “high functioning autism” to build meaningful, connected lives:

Institute for Community Inclusion: Helping ensure individuals with disabilities have access to employment and educational opportunities.

  • Think College: Directory to search for colleges that offer support for individuals with disabilities

Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment (Mass Department of Higher Education): Offers grants to college-school partnerships to support eligible public high school students with intellectual disabilities, ages 18–22, to increase their academic and career success by being included in a college or university. 

Wright’s Law: Provides information on the IEP process

Massachusetts Department of Education

  • Chapter 688 Referral: made by school district at 16 (or 2 years prior to leaving school), gives students an Assigned Transition Coordinator and connects student with DDS for transition to adult services

Federation for Children with Special Needs:

College Autism Spectrum : Private group helping individuals with autism prepare for college

Social/Independent living

AANE: The Asperger / Autism Network (AANE) works with individuals, families, and professionals to help people with “high functioning autism” to build meaningful, connected lives:

The Arc of Massachusetts: 18 local chapters provide services and supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Massachusetts General Hospital’s Aspire Program: Helping individuals with high cognitive ASD or a similar profile make social connections and develop independence.

  • Aspire's programs for adults focus on exploring meaningful work opportunities, transitioning to college, developing relationships and accessing resources for living independently. Programs focus on the development of self-awareness, improve social competence by teaching ways of thinking and being social, executive function, and life skills in a supportive and structured setting.

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC): state government agency that helps individuals with disabilities live and work independently.

Federation for Children with Special Needs:

NESCA-Newton:  Private agency that will assist in transition to college as well as other matters related to transition.   

Guardianship

State forms: This is a link to Massachusetts state forms specific to the guardianship process.  You will find the Clinical Team Report form, and other helpful legal forms.

Financial

Exceptional Lives Social Security Income (SSI) Guide: Reviews whether your child qualifies and how to obtain SSI.

Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL): Works with DDS to provide reimbursement for programs/activities to promote community engagement and independence (e.g. educational fees, a Personal Care Attendant, entertainment, gym membership, transportation, rent).

Transportation

Uber Pilot Program with The Ride: Offers low-cost Uber rides for individuals with an ID # through MBTA’s The Ride.

Adaptive Driving Program:  Private agency that offers added support to help you/your child learn to drive.

Health care

Got Transition: Guides and Information about how to prepare for transition to an adult medical provider.

General resources

Autism Commission: State agency focused on autism-specific resources—they have developed a guide to transition in MA.

Jewish Family and Children’s Services: Offers support to a wide range of individuals within the metro Boston area.

  • Disability Life Span Solutions: Full range of services designed to support you and your child as they age into adult life (fee-based)
  • Disability Resource Network:  Free information, referral, and consultation service. Helping you connect with programs and services that promote the fullest participation in the community.  

Federation for Children with Special Needs: The LINK Center: connects families, professionals and individuals with disabilities ages 14-26 with information, supports, and services.

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC): state government agency that helps individuals with disabilities live and work independently.

  • Transition Services for Students and Youth: (age 14+) includes technical assistance, training, and individualized transition planning for students and families to help them prepare for life after high school.

Autism Housing Pathways Turning 18 checklist:  Helpful tool to keep you on the path toward adult life with a focus on housing

Ability Path: Their “Journey to Life After High School” roadmap is a long document, but it covers everything from education to employment and housing, with real stories from individuals with disabilities and their parents.

Housing

Autism Pathways:  Website specific to securing affordable and appropriate housing for individuals with autism