I’ve come across this observation. It said “Do you remember how eager we were to grow up as a child? What were we thinking?!” I’m trying to transition myself. There are life skills like cooking, laundry, personal hygiene, and many others. There are things like the basics of finance, investment, balancing your checkbook, budgeting, and paying taxes. I’m presently learning the latter list, which neither grade school nor college taught. I still have to learn how to cook, too. It’s a cliché, but growing up is very difficult. I cannot imagine how much more challenging it is for someone with ASD.
Transition begins at 16 for a student with U.S. special education services. Teachers ask about interests and goals to be put in the IEP. That same student may be eligible for adult services. However, whether he or she receives them depends on funding. Guidelines for eligibility and funding are set by each state. Zosia Zaks, a rehab counselor who works with adults with ASD, summarized: When you get to be 18 or 21, it’s like falling off a cliff. We don’t do a great job of educating parents about what’s going to happen after school ends.”
What is to be done with this process? Experts have said planning optimally begins when children are young. “Parents ask me, ‘When should I start with transition planning?’” said Ernst O. VanBergeijik Ph.D., M.S.W. “I say ‘Age six,’ and people look at me like I’m out of my mind. ‘That’s way too early, they say.’ But I say, you need to visualize your child at age 21.” Daily living skills can be taught early, while complex ones can be broken into small steps and increased in complexity, he explained.