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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.

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Transition Toolkit

Cartoon rendering of a child surrounded by a circle of school supplies.

Image by HelgaKhorimarko via VectorStock

From changes in school or work environment to changes in healthcare providers, transitioning can be both an exciting and a difficult time for individuals with autism and their families. Similarly, providers, such as educators, direct support professionals and specialists, may often wish they had the information necessary to help make these transitions as seamless as possible. Families and individuals are often thinking about and planning for transitions from the very beginning, and as individuals age, their needs may vary. Below you will find a collection of transition toolkits across the lifespan, organized by transition period from infancy through adulthood. This resource page is designed so you can find these toolkits in one place, making the journey a little easier. Click on the transition period you are interested in to view resources and toolkits available.

Newly Diagnosed

Autism Speaks: 100 Day Kit

This link will take you to a page where you can download a free toolkit explaining what parents need to begin learning about after their child's diagnosis of autism.

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Early Intervention (EI) to Kindergarten - Ages 0-5

Moving from Preschool To Kindergarten

Leaving preschool to enter a more formal educational system represents a major transition for every parent and child. The environment will be new, challenges will be different and new relationships will be formed. While parents of children on the autism spectrum (ASD) initially may approach this time with trepidation, it actually represents an opportunity for learning and developing new friendships and relationships.

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Planning for Successful Transitions Across Grade Levels

Students with and without disabilities must adjust to changes in teachers, classmates, schedules, buildings, and routines. The transition from one grade to the next can be especially challenging for a student on the autism spectrum (ASD). However, these students can make this shift more easily with careful planning and preparation.

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Booklet: A Family’s Introduction to Early Intervention in Pennsylvania

This booklet from PaTTAN explains how to request Early Intervention services, eligibility criteria, rights and responsibilities, individualized family service planning for ages birth to three, and individualized education planning for ages three to school age.

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Importance of Early Intervention

The Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Program (Part C) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was created in 1986 to enhance the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities, minimize potential developmental delay, and reduce educational costs to our society by minimizing the need for special education services as children with disabilities reach school age. Part C provides early intervention (EI) services to infants and toddlers aged birth to three with developmental delays or a medical condition likely to lead to a developmental delay. Part C is not intended to be a stand-alone program. The intent is to build inter-agency partnerships among state agencies and programs in health, education, human services and developmental disabilities.

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Early Childhood Resource Collection

This collection of resources covers different topics related to early childhood including information on developmental milestones, signs of autism, early intervention services, and resources for families of young children who were recently diagnosed with autism.

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The Transition Process from Early Intervention to School-Age Programs

This resource provides information on Preschool Early Intervention services, multi-disciplinary evaluations, and provider agencies for ongoing Preschool Early Intervention services.

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Elementary to Middle School - Ages 5-11

Tips for Transition to Middle School

Beginning middle school is a stressful time for any student, but it can be especially challenging for a student with autism and his/her parents or caregivers. Planning the transition process should begin several months before the student enters middle school. Here are some tips that may help you manage the transition process.

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Going to Middle School

Starting middle school is stressful for any student, but the process can be even more challenging for a student on the autism spectrum (ASD) and for his or her parents. Many things will be different. The school will probably be larger, the campus more confusing and the enrollment may be several times greater than in elementary school. The student likely will not know his or her new teachers and, in turn, the teachers might not know anything about the student. The aide, if one is needed and provided, may be a stranger. Many of the students will not know their classmate with ASD. Planning for the transition process will ideally begin several months before the actual transition occurs.

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Planning for Successful Transitions Across Grade Levels

Students with and without disabilities must adjust to changes in teachers, classmates, schedules, buildings, and routines. The transition from one grade to the next can be especially challenging for a student on the autism spectrum (ASD). However, these students can make this shift more easily with careful planning and preparation.

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Middle School to Secondary/High School - Ages 11-21

Tips for Transition to High School

Beginning high school is a stressful time for any student, but it can be especially challenging for a student with autism and his/her parents or caregivers. Planning the transition process should begin several months before the student enters high school. Here are some tips that may help you manage the transition process.

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PA Secondary Transition Guide

Resources from Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network to facilitate and aid a young person's progress toward the attainment of goals related to education, employment, and community living.

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Assistive Technology and Transition Planning

The Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning is designed to help families prepare for those times during which their child moves from one environment to another and from one developmental stage to another. The focus is on the role of assistive technology during those times.

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ASAN Toolkit on Health Care and the Transition to Adulthood

ASAN’s toolkit on health care and the transition to adulthood provides resources for advocacy both on an individual and a system-wide basis.

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Autism Transition Handbook

Making the transition from school to adult life is challenging.

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Charting a Course for the Future

The process of planning and providing transition services based on individual student needs may be challenging with today's complicated systems of education and limited resources.

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ASAN Toolkit on Health Care and the Transition to Adulthood

ASAN’s toolkit on health care and the transition to adulthood provides resources for advocacy both on an individual and a system-wide basis.

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Planning for Successful Transitions Across Grade Levels

Students with and without disabilities must adjust to changes in teachers, classmates, schedules, buildings, and routines. The transition from one grade to the next can be especially challenging for a student on the autism spectrum (ASD). However, these students can make this shift more easily with careful planning and preparation.

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Post-Secondary - Ages 18-26

Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism.

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ASAN Toolkit on Health Care and the Transition to Adulthood

ASAN’s toolkit on health care and the transition to adulthood provides resources for advocacy both on an individual and a system-wide basis.

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Accessing Home and Community-Based Services

This handbook was designed to help people with disabilities find and use resources that empower us to live and be in charge of our own lives in our own homes and communities with the supports that we need.

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Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Advocacy

This website provides information and resources related to the new Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) settings rule and what each state is doing to meet these requirements.

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Medicaid Waivers for Individuals with Autism

This page is about Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers in Pennsylvania. HCBS Waivers are a type of Medicaid program that provides long-term services and supports to groups of people who need support to live in their communities.

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Employment Toolkit

Job related tips and resources helpful for family members, service providers, business leaders, and anyone who is helping someone with autism find and keep a job.

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Employment Resources for People with Disabilities

This resource from the Public Interest Law Center Of Philadelphia (PILCOP) provides a list of employment resources for Pennsylvanians with disabilities.

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Employment Resource Collection

This is a collection of resources focused on employment, aimed at helping individuals with autism find, and keep jobs.

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AASPIRE Healthcare Toolkit

This website has information and worksheets for adults with autism, supporters and healthcare providers. It focuses on primary healthcare.

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A Practical Guide for People with Disabilities Who Want to Go to College

This document provides a practical guide to help people with disabilities who want to pursue their education goals at a community college, career institute, four-year college, university, or graduate school. The guide provides an overview of the challenges and supports needed to help achieve this goal. These include: finding the right school, locating supports, managing your disability and your education, and using your new educational qualifications in the search for a better job. Other areas addressed include assessing your own interests and skills, funding your education, disclosing your disability, and locating supports and services to succeed in school. This versatile guide can be used by consumers, rehabilitation and/or case management personnel, and family members/friends or individuals with disabilities.

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Preparing to Experience College Living

High school students on the spectrum are accustomed to the natural supports they receive from their family, their school and their community. Relatives, friends and community members often offer accommodations and support without even realizing it. In addition, federal law such as IDEIA (Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act) mandates a free and appropriate public education for every child with a disability, and every student with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) receives individual support services. But these supports disappear when students with ASD enter college and encounter new academic and daily living challenges.

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Post-secondary Educational Opportunities Guide

Deciding what to do after high school can be a difficult process. This guide will help you and your family explore the various options available to you. The guide provides a closer look at four-year universities, community colleges, vocational/technical school, life skills programs, and more. The information will help you find the program that is right for you.

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Leaving the Pediatrician

Although many teens with autism receive help with the transition to adult services, very few are prepared for another vital transition, that from pediatric doctors to providers who treat adults.

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PYLN Secondary Transition Toolkit

The Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN) has created a secondary transition toolkit to assist youth in their transition into the adult world. The best thing about the toolkit is that it was written and designed by youth with disabilities who are members of the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN) for youth. It can also be used with families and professionals as a youth-friendly Toolkit for transition. Within the Toolkit there are three phases: Phase One: Accept Yourself! Phase Two: Declare Yourself! Phase Three: Empower Yourself! Each phase is filled with PYLN members’ transition stories, along with information and activities to help you take charge of your life!

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Older Adults

Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities

On Monday, December 11, 2017, National Disability Institute (NDI) released a report titled Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities: Findings from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation National Financial Capability Study. NDI’s analysis of data from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study provides compelling evidence pointing to the need for solutions that advance financial stability and capability for people with disabilities.

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Cents and Sensibility

The Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation developed this guide as part of their mission to provide financial education to people with disabilities.

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AASPIRE Healthcare Toolkit

This website has information and worksheets for adults with autism, supporters and healthcare providers. It focuses on primary healthcare.

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Lifespan

Autism Speaks School Community Toolkit

This kit provides helpful information about students with autism to promote understanding and acceptance at school.

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Jump-Starting Community Inclusion

This toolkit contains sixty-six practical first steps that community mental health providers can take to more effectively support their service recipients’ participation in everyday community life.

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Bullying

This resource, developed by ASERT for ASDNext, provides information on the types of bullying and ways to prevent it from happening.

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Bullying Prevention and Intervetion

Bullying, including cyberbullying, is a serious problem that impacts many children but is even more prevalent for children who have disabilities. This resource provides information from various sources about bullying, how to prevent it from occurring, and what can be done to support individuals who have experienced bullying.

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Cyberbullying

This resource, developed by ASERT for ASDNext, provides information about cyberbullying as well as tips on what to do if you have experienced cyberbullying. Please click on the link below to access this helpful resource.

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