Intensive Support • Ages 18-22 • Goal:

Transition to a Postsecondary Program

Action step 1.

Think about your skill sets.

Many people with autism have uneven skill sets. For example, you may have strong reading and math skills. But you may need time and support to develop other skills, like:

  • Organization
  • Self-regulation


Some of these skills may take longer to develop than others. To give you the time you need, you may want to:

  • Stay in special education longer, up to age 22
  • Take more than four years to get a high school diploma
  • If you don’t have a high school diploma, get a general education diploma (GED).
  • Work with a tutor
  • Do home school
  • Take college prep courses

Resources

Words to know

Action step 2.

Take another look at plans for after high school.

As you grow, your interests, skills and support needs may change. Plans you made a few years ago may not make as much sense now.

It’s smart to take a new look at plans, choices and decisions. And it’s OK to change them if that’s what’s best for you now.

Resources

Words to know

Action step 3.

Choose a program that offers the right accommodations.

Student services are different after high school. Programs after high school don’t have special education services or IEPs.

Some programs welcome students who need intensive support services, like a one-to-one aid. You may need to arrange and pay for these services on your own.


Some colleges have programs designed for autistic students or for students with learning disabilities. These provide support with your schoolwork and with social and life skills.

Resources

Words to know

Action step 4.

Transition to a postsecondary program.

Before you can start a program, you may need documents like:

  • A medical evaluation
  • A recent IEP or 504 plan (within the last 3 years)
  • Consent forms that allow the school or program to contact your parents

As you start your program, you may need additional support with things like time management, organization and self-care. Your needs may change over time. So review your supports often so you have what you need for success.

Words to know

You’ve reached the end of the action steps for this support level and age group.

  • To find services and providers in your area, visit our Resource Guide.
  • For direct contact with a member of our Autism Response Team, call 1-888-AUTISM2 (1-888-288-4762) or en Español 1-888-772-9050.
  • Send an email to: help@autismspeaks.org.