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Tuesday 21 Nov 2017

Getting Organized: Preparing for the Transition to Adulthood


If you’re a parent of an adolescent with autism who is 14 or older, it’s time to start thinking about the transition to adulthood. I know 14 may sound early, but it’s really not. The more time you take to prepare and get organized, the easier the transition will be for all parties involved. Autism Speaks has done and excellent job putting together a toolkit to help parents and teens during this transition planning process. An entire section of the toolkit is called “Getting Organized” which has tips for parents on how to put together an organizational system to keep track of all documents, what has been done and what needs to be done. They also provide some sample forms which may help you stay organized and track all the “to-do’s” of the the transition process. They suggest putting together two binders: Medical/Legal Matters and Transition.

Binder 1: Medical/Legal Matters
This binder may include information such as:

  • Medical contact list
  • Diagnostic report
  • Log of medications
  • Other Medical paperwork
  • Transition planning log
  • Special needs trust
  • Guardianship
  • Conservatorship
  • Social security information
  • Medicaid information
  • Home and community based waivers information
  • Letter of intent

Binder 2: Transition Matters
This binder may include information such as:

  • Contact log for support personnel (see form in toolkit)
  • Post secondary goals from transition plan
  • IEP goals
  • Transition plan tracker (see form in toolkit)
  • Community living
  • Employment
  • Day programs
  • Post secondary education
  • Housing

I highly recommend getting your own copy of the toolkit (download is free, or they can send you a copy) because it is full of valuable information that will help you with this process. In addition to getting yourself organized physically with binders and other organizational tools, I also recommend getting yourself mentally organized by seeking out support of other parents who are going (or have gone) through this process. Take advantage of these community support groups because they can help you navigate through the many times confusing maze of transition services. If you are a parent who is going through this process or has gone through it previously, please post your questions or comments below. Together we can help each other make amazing things happen!

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