Lifespan Resources From the Web

Franca Pastro, BA, ASAT Board Member and Parent
Peggy Halliday, MEd, BCBA, ASAT Board Member

lifespan

The following links showcase a non-exhaustive list of publications and websites of other organizations that provide important information about autism across the lifespan. ASAT developed this list because there is a shortage of high quality resources readily available to support individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families as they enter adulthood. This list is updated on an ongoing basis as resources develop. We wel-come any outside suggestions of resources that would be of value to be included in this list.
Revised: January, 2018

Advocacy

Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA)

AFAA is a national consortium of prominent organizations created in 2009 with the goal of setting national priorities and transforming public policy and programming for teens and adults with autism spectrum disorders. The website provides summaries and links to information related to AFAA’s efforts and initiatives to increase appropriate housing and residential support, improve employment opportunities, and foster community integration for adults with autism spectrum disorders. AFAA Facebook Page

Families for Early Autism Treatment (FEAT)

FEAT is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization of parents, family members, and treatment professionals dedicated to providing best outcome education, advocacy and support. The emphasis for teens and young adults is on parent support networking. This website is for the Northern California autism community; however, it provides links to FEAT websites throughout the USA and Canada.

Transition to Adulthood

Autism New Jersey (ANJ)

ANJ’s website provides resources that serve as guidelines to individuals with autism no matter where they live in the USA. The information provided helps make the process of transition to adulthood a smoother one. Common concerns are broken down by age: Transition (14-21 years) and Adults (21+ years).  Links to such topics such as Understanding Guardianship, Sheltered Workshops, and Aging Out of the School System offer information about financial and behavioral/instructional supports available at the time of transition and beyond.

Organization for Autism Research (OAR)

OAR is a nonprofit organization dedicated to applying research to the daily challenges of those living with autism. The OAR website contains free downloadable information for families and professionals, as well as information on studies, research and grants.  The Life Journey Through Autism series includes  A Guide for Transition to Adulthood (in English and Spanish), which has been reviewed by ASAT and available on our website.

 Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks website provides valuable information for adults and those transitioning to adulthood.  The Transition Tool Kit serves as a guide to assist families on the journey from adolescence to adulthood.

The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation

This foundation’s website provides links to various resources that may not typically be considered during the transition process. These include resources for legal information, religious services, recreational programs, safety and community issues, art, music and theater programs, as well as vocational and educational resources.

Aging with Autism

Recently renamed Autism Wellness, the organization offers information about services being developed to enrich the lives of “more significantly involved individuals with classic autism.” This website provides links to resources that discuss current initiatives and issues regarding the transition to adulthood for this population, and shares information about evidence-based program choices. The organization recognizes that the needs of individuals with autism change throughout their lives, and supports specific programs for teens and young adults, adults in mid-life, seniors and elders. Aging with Autism Facebook Page

Employment

Alpine Learning Group

Alpine was one of the first school programs in the USA to provide children and adults with autism with comprehensive, scientifically-validated educational and behavioral services. This website offers the following free downloadable manuals. The Supported Employment and Volunteerism Training Manual for Employers is a guide for community employers of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  This manual was reviewed by ASAT and available on our website. Also offered are the Employee Characteristic Assessment and the Site Assessment. These two manuals aid clinicians in evaluating the appropriateness of potential jobs and volunteer opportunities for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Organization for Autism Research (OAR)

OAR’s Understanding Autism: An Employer’s Guide is a free downloadable manual with valuable information not only for employers, but also for those seeking employment.

Hire Autism is the latest employment initiative from OAR for individuals on the autism spectrum.  It offers a job posting board, direct access to local employment opportunities, a profile builder, simple format job applications, and helpful resources for the workplace.

Autism Speaks

The Employment Tool Kit available in Autism Speaks’ website gives suggestions to help adults with employment search.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

JAN is a source of guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH provides employment and education opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. The program is dedicated to workforce development that benefits the individual, community and workplace. Project SEARCH has more than 400 program sites in over 40 states, as well as in Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, and Ireland. The organization coordinates four distinct programs: High School Transition Program, Adult Employment Program, Vocational/Educational Clinic, and Replication and Dissemination.

Virginia Commonwealth University – Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE)

VCU-ACE is a university-based technical assistance, professional development, and educational research center for autism spectrum disorder in the state of Virginia. VCU-ACE offers a wide variety of online training opportunities for professionals, families, individuals with ASD, and the community at large. The purpose of the VCU Research Rehabilitation Training Center (RRTC) on Workplace Supports and Job Retention is to study those supports that are most effective for assisting individuals with disabilities, including those with autism, in maintaining employment and advancing their careers.

Housing

Autism Housing Network

The Autism Housing Network is a platform for sharing housing options, existing and emerging housing models, for adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.  A Housing Directory lists many types of living environments throughout the USA. Autism Housing Network Facebook Page

Autism Speaks

The Autism Speaks Housing and Residential Supports Tool Kit was created to assist individuals and families as they identify and secure appropriate residential supports and services. It was reviewed by ASAT and is available on our website.

Post Secondary Education

Organization for Autism Research (OAR)

OAR has put together Finding Your Way: A College Guide For Students on the Spectrum, a guide intended to help students with ASD become better prepared for college life and academic. It discusses topics such as how to prepare for changes in the transition from high school to college, the role and importance of self-advocacy in college, strategies to establish and maintain daily routines and structure, and how to navigate social relationships and resolve conflict with roommates.

College Autism Spectrum (CAS)

Students with autism who have the intellectual skills required to attend often have extreme difficulty navigating the academic and social complexities inherent in the college experience.  CAS offers resources for students, parents, schools and professionals, to increase self-management skills needed to independently organize and integrate all aspects of college life.  CAS also provides a list of post-secondary institutions around the country that offer training and certification programs as well as individualized and group support services some with associated costs.

Autism Speaks

In its Post-Secondary Educational Opportunities article Autism Speaks describes different post-secondary education models and institutions available to young adults with autism who have higher cognitive levels or Aspergers Syndrome. It also outlines the basic differences between the role and responsibilities of the school, students, and parent in a High School setting as opposed to college. Sections of the article review how to prepare for college, choosing the right school, and other key skills the student needs to have to pursue further education.

Legal

Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA)

COPAA is a user friendly website for IDEA and 504 resources across the United States. An independent, nonprofit national organization, COPAA works to protect the legal and civil rights of students with disabilities and their families. The COPAA community welcomes anyone who works primarily from the family perspective at the local, state and federal levels in the courts to promote meaningful programs that give all students a chance at success. COPAA helps parents to locate advocates, attorneys, and related professionals through their website directory.

Adults Social Assistance Support Services

National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS)

The ASDDDS website lists Developmental Disability Services by state, providing each state’s intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) agency address, phone number and the corresponding website.

Social Security Administration (SSA)

The USA SSA website describes benefits for adults with disabilities, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid and/ or Medicare, and, specific to employment, PASS (Plan for Achieving Self-Support) and Ticket to Work programs. Financial, medical, and employment information is also available.

General Information

Organization for Autism Research (OAR)

OAR is a nonprofit organization dedicated to applying research to the daily challenges of those living with autism. OAR funds new research and disseminates evidence-based information in non-technical language, friendly to the consumer. Life Through Autism: A Parent’s Guide to Research is a very valuable resource for parents, teachers and other providers learning to navigate the research on autism. This guide has been reviewed by ASAT and available on our website.

Autism Society

The Autism Society website offers guidelines to assist families with transition planning as an individual with ASD moves through the school system and into adulthood. The focus is on identifying an individual’s interests, abilities, and needs. Quick links on the left side of the page lead to information regarding employment, housing, and relationships, as well as to valuable supports for self-advocacy.

Autism After 16

Autism After 16 provides information and analysis of adult autism issues, by publishing articles and listing resources on transition, postsecondary education, employment, housing, finances, and health issues.

Maison House Autism Foundation

The For Parents section of this website offers a compilation of information, videos, toolkits, and articles to assist parents find answers regarding the future of their adult child with autism.

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