When an individual ages out of traditional therapy for autism it can present daunting challenges for a young adult or teen, as well as their parents. Where do I go from here as I transition to adulthood? What resources are available for housing, employment, mental health counseling, and other supports long-term?
RDI® Is for Everyone
There is no age limit on RDI®, and it is not traditional therapy.
In the podcast episode, Moving into Adulthood with RDI®, Dr. Rachelle Sheely discusses what is important when transitioning to adulthood, “…problem-solving, flexibility, teamwork, relationship building, analysis and appraisal, perspective, taking self-awareness, ongoing growth and development, uncertainty management, creativity and innovation.” These are elements of RDI®.
Dr. Sarah Wayland interjects, “The skills you’re learning (in RDI®), like how to navigate a dynamic environment…that’s life (e.g., life as an adult). We can all benefit from learning about the world in that way and how to handle the inevitable barriers that are thrown in our way. It is beneficial to anybody at any age.”
RDI® is a worldwide resource for autistic children, teens, and adults. It is never too late for RDI®.
Today, there are many resources available for autistic teens that are transitioning to adulthood, as well as parents, and autistic adults looking for support.
Long-term care support is crucial for the unique needs of autistic individuals. Support should never stop at childhood.
Autism Speaks – Transition Tool Kit – The topics covered in this guide include self-advocacy skills, legal issues, housing, and employment options. This downloadable kit is a guide for the journey from adolescence to adulthood.
Autism Speaks – Resources and Services for Adults with Autism – This site provides access to a variety of networks designed for autistic job seekers, parents, transition to adulthood, housing, and residential supports. A resource guide is also available with filters for each state, life stage, as well as level of support.
AANE Asperger/Autism Network – Programs and Services – AANE provides supports for autistic adults and teens that help with learning, community building, and problem-solving. Services and programs include coaching (in selected states or online), online conferences, webinars, and workshops, online support groups for adults and teens, interview prep programs, online community connection sessions, and some local (Massachusetts) services, such as housing consultations, in-person social events, activities, and interest groups.
It can be hard for an autistic to find steady well-paying employment, but help is available.
Jobs for the Neurodivergent – Jobs for Humanity – This is a global job board that connects neurodivergent job seekers with employers across the world. The perks include a team that works with employers to make the hiring process smooth, including actively scheduling interviews for you.
Delivering Jobs – “You are employable” whether you already know that you enjoy a certain style of work (such as the rhythm of constant repetitive work), or whether you want to further explore your talents. Delivering Jobs is a system that identifies your interests and skills, helps you choose a field of work (in the United States), and gets you connected with employers who provide equal access opportunities.
Job Seekers and Students – Autism Speaks – Autism Speaks provides resources in the United States, many of which are free. Some of their resources include the Roadmap to Meaningful Employment, the Employment Tool Kit, and links to other autism employment networks. The Employment Tool Kit is designed to help you research, find, and keep employment. It also includes stories, tips, and other learning resources.
Housing models are not much different for any person, autistic or not, but whether or not an individual needs supported living, group living, supervised living, or community-based care can make the choice of housing more complicated.
Housing and Residential Supports Tool Kit – Autism Speaks – This tool kit provides teaching and overviews about housing options, a planning tool, funding options, and housing opportunities (in the United States) that meet the needs of people with autism.
Autism Housing Network – The goal of this network is to provide sustainable, high-quality, residential choices for adults with autism. This network also provides a housing directory, as well as education about housing options, opportunities, virtual tours of housing options, and a “Turning 18” checklist.
Mental Health Counseling
We all need help from time to time. When adult autistics seek counseling, it is imperative to find a professional who not only engages with autistics but understands the unique challenges and issues that the individual has.
Psychology Today – It is easy to find a therapist who works with autism on this site. Simply select your state or a large city that you live close to, and then select the option autism. You can also personalize your search by the type of therapy that you are seeking.
Mental Health Match – Autism Spectrum – Browse for a therapist that works with autism on this site by entering your zip code. Don’t want to meet in person? Many of the professionals listed on this site offer remote therapy.
Friendship and Support Groups
Whether you are seeking support, or you are looking for friendship, there is no shortage of groups for autistics.
Meetup – Meetup contains a global collection of groups that gather regularly. Type the word autistic in the “What do you want to do?” search box, and depending upon your location (we selected London), you might be surprised by the number of Meetup groups there are for autistics. Our search results included a variety of autistic groups – informal for adults, formal for adults, social groups, peer groups, interest-based groups (film clubs, professionals, etc.), and groups specifically for autistic men or women.
Wrong Planet – This is an active ‘old style’ online community forum specifically designed for autistics. You may have never heard of Wrong Planet, but it comes highly recommended. The General Autism Discussion has a total of over a million posts, so if you need connection, but you would rather do so from your computer, this could be your place.
Spectrum Suite – This site is owned by Samantha Craft, an adult autistic blogger, writer, and speaker. On this page, Samantha provides a collection of links to online autism, Asperger’s, and neurodiverse global community groups.
Autism Society Affiliate List – This site consists of a nationwide network of Autism Society affiliates. Narrow your search down by selecting your state. Each affiliate provides community events, recreation, as well as social and support groups (virtual and in-person) located in specific areas of your state.
Join Our Community
You do not have to seek wide and far to find support, education, and resources for parents, professionals, and adult autistics. We have a community of people who get it!
We hope you join our Online Community today.
Click to enlarge infographic.