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Answer the question:Do Jeff, Craig, and Maria have realistic career and/or employment goals? What types of skills do they need to develop to meet their career goals?Response to student discussion board. Please do not mix the question and the students discussion.(Jacob) According to Jeff’s transition plan his long-term goal is to work in the computer gaming industry and that is supported by his short-term goal of working in two jobs in the school or community. In the information provided Jeff was having success working in a greenhouse where he obtained a contract to care for plants that required maintenance. Jeff’s needs that were of the most concern for developing his career plans were his lack of organization, wandering away from given tasks, and interacting with females in a way that could be perceived as off putting. Through this part time vocation Jeff will definitely be helping to organize himself and the tasks that he needs to complete as well as developing a sense of Biological sciences that are of interest to him as well. Jeff will still need to work on task completion due to the criteria given for the greenhouse job, as well as staying in his area to complete his work. This facility does have a described physical barrier to help keep Jeff in his required area though, which will be helpful. Jeff would also still need some practice in social interaction with women to give him some strategies in proper social etiquette.According to Craig’s transition plan his employment goal was to work in a supported job that interests him with short term goals of working different jobs in the school and trying out different community jobs like stocking shelves and assembling furniture. This goal is very much aligned to Craig’s ability levels and through his situational assessments that his job coach arranged Craig will most likely be able to find a job that will be interesting to him and he will be able to do this long term. Although Craig showed an intense desire to work with toys there were no jobs available to him a that time that would allow him to do this. Instead he will be working with assembling and packaging through working in a warehouse shipping position, as this allows him to meet his desires of assembling and packaging items. Craig will need to work on adapting to new situations still and will need help using a high pace to complete his tasks. Both of these needs can be met through on-the-job training to help Craig.Maria’s Transition plan was for her to work in an office setting job. This would allow her to utilize her typing abilities and her accurate spelling and transcribing skills in doing clerical work. Maria was given several situational assessments in the school setting and her teacher determined that she not only enjoyed working in an office setting more than with her hands, but excelled there as well. Maria currently attained a job through her job coach where should would be able to use her clerical skills, but also have to work using her hands. The hands on work involved plating pies and cakes after slicing them, making pizzas, salads, and taking customer orders. This setting works out well for Maria because she gets to use her skills to complete a job that she enjoys, while also developing her social skills in a setting that she can become familiar in and rely on that knowledge. She may have some issues doing the hands on activities, but this can easily be swayed into a reinforcement for her to complete this work with accuracy so she is able to do the clerical work as a reward.Reference:Wehman, P., Smith, M. D., & Schall, C. (2012). Autism and the transition to adulthood success beyond the classroom. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Pub.(BEA)I think Jeff’s goals are realistic. He has an interest in science and that will help him in his job in the greenhouse working with plants. Getting a contract to work by himself will be a good way of developing social skills at his own pace. He is very organized and he finishes tasks that he started all the time and that will help him to self monitor since he is working alone some times. His co-workers are mostly males and that will help him stay away from trouble about his fixation with women’s shoes. He is very strong and likes to be active, that would be factors that can help him keep the job as a long term job. He needs to work on social skills and social interactions with women.Maria’s goals are also realistic although I feel concerned about Maria being able to understand and learn all her duties and responsibilities. Working on an office setting can be overwhelming for her therefore, maybe taking breaks and having someone shadowing until she feels comfortable doing the job alone can be good for her. She can transition well from one duty to the other and she can get used to new routines well. She needs to keep working on he appearance and personal hygiene and keeping personal space.Since Craig enjoys working with his hands, working with the boxes will be a very good job for him. His experience working different jobs in the community like stocking shelfs will help him at his new job packaging. He needs the help of his job coach to keep him on track and to helping with transitions and new situation with tasks.In all cases the students will be successful to have their job coach monitoring and talking to the employers to make sure they understand each of their situations and also to have placed at the position they can work at their best.Read Chapter: Autism and life to adulthood.Reference:Wehman, P., Datlow Smith, M. & Schall, C. (2009). Autism and the transition to adulthood sucess beyond the classroom (1st ed.) Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Pub.
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Life Journey Through Autism:
A Guide for Transition to Adulthood
by
8737 Colesville Road, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 565-2142
www.danya.com
Organization for Autism Research
2000 N. 14th Street, Suite 480
Arlington, VA 22201
(866) 366-9710 (Toll Free)
www.researchautism.org
and
Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center
300 North 18th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85006
(602) 340-8717
www.autismcenter.org
This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information concerning the
subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the Organization for Autism
Research, Inc., is not engaged in the rendering of legal, medical, or other professional services. If
legal, medical, or other expert advice or assistance is required, the services of a competent
professional should be sought.
Copyright  2006 Organization for Autism Research, Inc. All rights reserved.
No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval
system without the prior written consent of the Organization for Autism Research, Inc., unless such
copying is expressly permitted by Federal copyright law. Address all inquiries to the Organization
for Autism Research, Inc., 2000 N. 14th Street, Suite 480, Arlington, VA 22201.
www.researchautism.org
ii
ORGANIZATION FOR AUTISM RESEARCH
Research and resources that help families today!
October 2006
Dear Readers,
In the beginning of 2003, OAR published its first guidebook titled Life Journey Through Autism: A
Parent’s Guide to Research. This Guide serves as an introduction to the world of autism research for parents
of children newly diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Subsequently, OAR published two additional
volumes in the Life Journey Through Autism series, An Educator’s Guide to Autism and An Educator’s Guide
to Asperger Syndrome. What you now hold in your hands is the next logical progression in this series, A
Guide for Transition to Adulthood.
This new Guide, Life Journey Through Autism: A Guide for Transition to Adulthood, is designed to
give parents, teachers, and other education professionals an introduction to the transition to adulthood
process. Each of these topics contained herein could merit an entire volume of its own; therefore, this Guide
is intended to serve as a starting point for parents and educators as they seek to learn more. Further, given
the diversity of expression that constitutes the autism spectrum, it is likely that none of the information
presented here will be relevant to all young adults on the spectrum (with the possible exception of the
overview of laws in support of transition planning); but hopefully, most of it will be relevant to your son,
daughter, student, or client. In that way, A Guide for Transition to Adulthood might best be understood as an
overview of the myriad questions you will need to answer as part of the transition planning process, while
recognizing the answers to those questions will be diverse and individualized, as the spectrum itself.
A few notes on the language used in this Guide: First, you will note that much of the Guide is written
for the parent reader (e.g., “your young adult with ASD”), but the information contained therein is intended to
be useful to a much more expansive readership. It is our hope that educators, transition specialists,
administrators, and even employers and other community members will find this Guide accessible,
informative, and useful. Second, whenever possible, the individual who is the focus of transition is referred to
as the “young adult with ASD.” However, there are times when this individual is referred to, from the parent’s
point of view, as “your child.” In these cases “your child” refers only to the status of the individual relevant to
his or her parents and is not a reference to age or ability. Also, while the terms “he” and “him” will be used
primarily to make reading easier, we are using the pronouns to represent both genders equally.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have worked to put this book together. As
with our other guides, we at OAR have relied on the knowledge and skills of the team at Danya International
to make our vision of A Guide for Transition to Adulthood a reality, and I thank them for their outstanding
efforts. I would also like to thank the members of OAR’s staff and Scientific Council who worked with the
Danya team to ensure this Guide would be as complete and informative as possible. A very special thank
you also goes out to all the parents, professionals and adults on the spectrum who provided comments and
feedback that helped us shape the content of this Guide. Your insights proved invaluable as we sought to
identify those topics of greatest concern to the community. Thank you.
As you read through A Guide for Transition to Adulthood, it is my hope that this resource will help
you as you strive to provide a life of happiness, competence, caring and joy for the individuals with ASD in
your life.
Sincerely,
Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D.
President
Dear Readers,
It is a privilege to be able to collaborate with the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) on this new Guide,
Life Journey Through Autism: A Guide for Transition to Adulthood. Historically, our overarching public goal at
the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) has been to create a broad range of services in
a supportive environment for children with autism throughout their lifetimesfrom early screening,
interventions, and therapies, to enhancing the school-age academic environment and the related behavioral
and developmental challenges that require ongoing attention. This new Guide is one way of continuing to
advance this goal.
For the past several years, SARRC has been developing plans to bridge the gap between services for
individuals and families impacted by autism and the need for training and education. As children enter their teen
years, parents need continued assistance with resources that teach life skills and help them discover their
child’s unique interests and abilities. Fostering such self-identity will prepare young adults with autism for
lifelong inclusion in the community and will maximize their independence, productivity, and enjoyment.
Although many affected individuals can pursue higher education and competitive employment opportunities,
others are more limited. Beyond their varied abilities and interests, limited social skills for nearly all individuals
with autism make it difficult for them to adjust to the workplace. With proper supports and services, coworkers
and job coaches who understand autism, and tools like the Guide for Transition to Adulthood, we believe all
individuals can be supported to lead happier, more productive and independent lives.
Thank you for caring and for taking the time to read and utilize the Guide. Working together, we can improve
the quality of life today for all individuals with autism, and build a better and healthier future for them, their
families, and our communities.
Warmest regards,
Denise D. Resnik
Co-Founder and Board Chairman
iv
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This publication is the product of a collaborative effort between the Organization for Autism Research
(OAR), the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARCC), and Danya International, Inc.
(Danya). OAR and SARCC are dedicated to providing practical information to those living with the
challenges of autismindividuals, families, educators, and other professionals. Danya is a health
communications company committed to shaping healthier futures for children, families, and
communities around the world through the creative use of technology and research.
For Danya International:
Writers
Kristen D. Holtz, Ph.D.
Nicole M. Owings, M.A.
Amanda K. Ziegert
Graphics and Layout
Yen-Wen Chau, M.F.A.
Suzanne E. Willis
Quality Assurance
Kathleen Cooke
For OAR:
Staff
Michael V. Maloney, Executive Director
Peter F. Gerhardt, President
In addition to the members of the Board of Directors, Scientific Council, and staff, special thanks goes
to the following people for their contribution to the content and editing of the A Guide for Transition to
Adulthood: Dan Steere, Ph.D.; Laurel Ryan, MFA; Susan Pieples; Linda Pearl, M.Ed.; Helen Bloomer,
M.S., BCBA; Lori Ernsperger, Ph.D.; Glenda Lewis-Fleming, MSW, ACSW, FAHM; Jerri Jacobs; Bill
Jacobs; Wayne Lemmon; Debbie Hilibrand; Kimberly Lett; Lynne Rick; Sheila M. Smith, M.Ed.; Lisa
Hill Sostack, MBA; Brian H. Abrams, DPM; Terri Cooper Swanson, M.Ed.; Cassie Ryan Wells, M.Ed.;
Sherrill Strong, LCSW; and Shirley Wiley, Ph.D.
Special recognition goes to Hugh Gownley for his continued interest in the needs of adolescents
and adults with ASD and for his generous support of the development and publication of this
Guidebook.
v
vi
THE ORGANIZATION FOR AUTISM RESEARCH
Board of Directors
James M. Sack, Chairman
Great Falls, VA
Lori Lapin Jones
Great Neck, NY
Madeline Millman, Vice Chairman
Englewood, NJ
Thomas Schirmer
Castle Rock, CO
Dean Koocher, Treasurer
White Plains, NY
Edward Schwallie
Manasquan, NJ
Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D., President
Baltimore, MD
Gregory Smith
Lorton, VA
Anthony Ferrera
Hillsborough, NJ
William Donlon
Hicksville, NY
Scientific Council
Brenda Myles, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Special Education
University of Kansas
Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D., Chairman
Organization for Autism Research
Michael Alessandri, Ph.D.
University of Miami
Director, University of Miami and
Nova Southeastern University
Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD)
Michael Powers, Psy.D.
Center for Children with Special Needs
Tolland, CT
Shahla Ala’i-Rosales, Ph.D., BCBA
Department of Behavior Analysis
University of North Texas
Glen Dunlap, Ph.D.
Department of Child and Family Studies
University of South Florida
Robert Sprague, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Community Health, Kinesiology
University of Illinois
Michael Fabrizio, M.A., BCBA
Fabrizio/Moors Consulting
Seattle, WA
Luke Tsai, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics
University of Michigan
Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Eden II Programs
Staten Island, NY
Ann Wagner, Ph.D.
Program Director, Autism and Pervasive
Developmental Disorder Intervention
Research Program
National Institute of Mental Health
Suzanne Letso, M.A., BCBA
Chief Executive
Connecticut Center for Child Development
Michael Londner, M.D., MPH, MBA
Director of Clinical Operations
Johns Hopkins University
Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D., BCBA
Director of Research and Training
Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
James A. Mulick, Ph.D.
College of Social Behavioral Sciences
Ohio State University
Staff
Michael V. Maloney
Executive Director
Geoffrey Pan
Development Associate
Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D.
President & Chair, Scientific Council
Anne M. Danberg
Research and Programs Associate
Douglas W. Marocco
Director, Run for Autism
vii
2007 BOARD MEMBERS
Officers
Denise D. Resnik
Board Chairman and Co-Founder
Denise Resnik & Associates
Herbert McCoy, Treasurer
Operations Controller
General Dynamics
Jeri Kendle, Vice Chairman
Kendle Design Collaborative
Howard Sobelman, Esq., Secretary
Partner
Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
Michael Sklar, Vice Chairman
Designated Broker
Sonata Property Group, LLC
Members
Joe Blackbourn
Vice President
Everest Holdings
Larry Reese
Vice President, Human Resources
Blood Systems, Inc.
Jane Christensen
Healthcare Management Consultant
Mike Reina
Director of Marketing
Southern Wine & Spirits
Joseph Cooper
Executive Vice President
Corporate & Product Development
Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation
Julia Rosen
Assistant Vice President
Research & Economic Affairs
Arizona State University
Kathy Hancock
Executive Director
Fennemore Craig
Heidi Scott
President
Great Scott Productions
Toby Keller
Partner/Owner
Desert Surf Company
Leo Valdez
Senior Vice President/Manager
Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley & Co.
Tom Kelly
President and Chief Operating Officer
Schaller Anderson, Inc.
John Vandevier
Corporate Vice President of Marketing
Hensley, Anheuser-Busch Distributor
Mary Martuscelli
President, Arizona
JPMorgan Chase, N.A.
Cheryl Walsh
Owner and President
WalshCOMM
Matt McMahon
Joint Venture Partner
Arizona Outback Steakhouse Group
Christine K. Wilkinson, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President & Secretary
Arizona State University
Joe Ray
Principal/Creative Director
Estudio Ray
Staff
viii
Lisa Glow
CEO and President
Lyn Marquis
Chief Advancement Officer
Michelle Reagor
Chief Financial Officer
Raun Melmed, M.D.
Medical Director and Co-Founder
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
CHAPTER 1: AGENCY HELP/LEGAL INFORMATION ……………………………………………… 3
Laws and Policies …………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
IDEA, Section 504, ADA, and the Transition Process …………………………………………. 4
State and Federal Agencies That Can Assist in the Transition Process ………………… 5
CHAPTER 2: TRANSITION PLAN ………………………………………………………………………….. 9
Planning to Plan―Reflecting and Gathering Information to Build Your Young
Adult’s Transition Plan …………………………………………………………………………………… 9
The Transition Plan ……………………………………………………………………………………… 16
Implementing and Monitoring the Transition Plan …………………………………………….. 19
CHAPTER 3: STUDENT-CENTERED TRANSITION PLANNING ……………………………… 21
Resources………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23
CHAPTER 4: VOCATION AND EMPLOYMENT……………………………………………………… 25
Finding a Job………………………………………………………………………………………………. 26
What Kinds of Jobs are Available for Individuals with ASD?………………………………. 26
Ensuring Success on the Job………………………………………………………………………… 30
Resources………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 32
CHAPTER 5: POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION…………………………………………………….. 35
Preparing for Postsecondary Education―Where to Go and What to Study………….. 35
Choosing the Right School……………………………………………………………………………. 35
Self-Advocacy: A Key Skill in a College Environment ……………………………………….. 36
Setting Up—and Using—Support Services……………………………………………………… 38
Resources………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 39
CHAPTER 6: LIFE SKILLS ………………………………………………………………………………….. 41
Living Arrangements ……………………………………………………………………………………. 41
Life Skills……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 42
Daily Living Skills ………………………………………………………………………………………… 44
Health………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 46
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 47
CHAPTER 7: LOOKING AHEAD ………………………………………………………………………….. 49
People Involved…………………………………………………………………………………………… 49
Developing a Lifestyle Plan…………………………………………………………………………… 49
Legal Planning ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 50
Financial Planning……………………………………………………………………………………….. 51
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 52
Some Final Comments…………………………………………………………………………………. 53
Resources………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 54
ix
APPENDICES ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 55
Appendix A: Comparison of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504 Legislation …………………. 57
Appendix B: State and Federal Agencies for Transition Assistance…………………….. 58
Appendix C: Contact Log Sheet …………………………………………………………………….. 59
Appendix D: Dreams for the Future………………………………………………………………… 60
Appendix E: Documenting Overarching Goals for Transition ……………………………… 61
Appendix F: Preparing for the Transition Planning Meeting ……………………………….. 63
Appendix G: Developing Self-Advocacy Skills …………………………………………………. 64
Appendix H: Comparing Colleges ………………………………………………………………….. 66
Appendix I: Job Ideas…………………………………………………………………………………… 67
Appendix J: When (and If!) to Disclose …………………………………………………………… 68
Appendix K: List of Reasonable and Common Job Accommodations………………….. 70
Appendix L: Keeping Track of Income and Expenses……………………………………….. 71
Appendix M: Sample Monthly Budget …………………………………………………………….. 72
Appendix N: Information About Exercise…………………………………………………………. 73
Appendix O: Template for Letter of Intent ……………………………………………………….. 74
Appendix P: Calculating Future Expenses for the Care of Your Young Adult
with ASD ………………………………………………………………………………….. 75
x
INTRODUCTION
The transition from school to adulthood is a pivotal time in the lives of all students.
For a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), change of any kind can be
challenging. A transition as momentous as this can seem daunting indeed.
As a parent of a young adult with ASD, however, you have already accomplished so
much, from coping with the diagnosis to addressing all the challenges you may have faced
over your child’s school years. And you will play a much larger role in the transition-related
self-discovery and planning process for your young adult with ASD than you would for a
neurotypical child. Thoughtful planning, good information, and open communication will
help you work with your young adult and his transition team to create a solid transition plan
that leads to success. It is the goal of this guide to support your family with this process.
Beginning at age 16, Federal law requires the development of a transition plan for
learners with ASD. However, in practical terms, transition planning should begin sooner
and, general …
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