My name is Sybille and I’m the parent of a 22 year old son, Justin, who is diagnosed with high functioning autism. I would like to share our experience with transition from high school to adulthood, as well as share a couple resources that have helped us tremendously.
Justin was introduced to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) of Pierce County where he quickly became an advocate for himself. Each county had a DVR office, find your local office at www.dshs.wa.gov/dvr today. After a presentation to the DVR council asking to have a chance to “prove” his skills and abilities, they agreed to work with him. They set him up with Freedom Consulting, a job placement program that helped him apply to Tacoma Community College. He is now attending his first semester at Tacoma Community College.
Things to consider when applying to college:
Most colleges have disability support. Research is highly recommended prior to applying, it’s never too early to start investigating!
Continue using successful and appropriate accommodations. See what worked in your student’s 504 Plan.
Look into the bus transportation buddy system in your county. Pierce Co. offers bus training to learn how to ride public transportation. See what’s available in your area.
Start thinking about transition to employment or higher education early—starting during their middle school years is recommended.
Resources my family has used:
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Washington State Offices: http://dshs.wa.gov/dvr/ContactUs/dvroffices.aspx
Services offered: Counseling & Guidance, Counselors for Deaf & Hard of Hearing, Assessment Services, Benefit Planning, Independent Living Services, Assistive Technology Services, Training & Education, and Job Related Services.
Freedom Consulting, LLC
Services offered: Work Strides, Dependable Strengths, Job Club, Job Development, Job Retention, Community Based Assessments, Independent Living Services, Benefit Planning Group, and Adult Counseling
Phone: (509) 209-0947
School Books photo by Wonderlane via flickr