A new tool kit released Thursday is designed to make the transition to adulthood easier for those with autism by giving families an overview of the options and resources available when it comes to housing, employment and other issues.
The kit from Autism Speaks was developed by parents and professionals and is geared toward families of those ages 13 to 22.
At more than 100 pages, it covers topics ranging from developing self-advocacy skills to sexuality in addition to practical concerns like housing, education and employment options after high school.
“There is a tremendous need due to the aging autism population,” says Peter Bell, executive vice president at Autism Speaks. “There are so many adolescents transitioning to adulthood and families need guidance.”
The advocacy group estimates that more than half a million kids with autism will become adults in the next decade.
The transition tool kit is available as a free download. Families can also request a customized paper copy complete with resources in their area, which will be assembled by individuals with autism who are working with Autism Speaks.
Bell says the organization hopes to hire one of the individuals full-time in the coming months to handle requests for the kit in addition to other duties.