The purposes of this Report are to summarize existing federal investments focused on the transition period from childhood to adulthood for individuals with ASD, and to identify gaps in federal research, programs, and services that support youth with ASD during this critical time period.
Part 1 of the Report provides background information on ASD and the need for support and services during the transition to adulthood. Part 2 presents an overview of federal programs that provide research, services, and supports applicable to youth and young adults with ASD. Part 3 summarizes information obtained from key stakeholders on this topic. Part 4 of the Report offers a synthesis of findings and recommendations for further consideration of systematic improvements in research, services, and supports focused on ASD and transition.
In this Report, ‘services and supports’ is used to convey the range of needs that youth and young adults with ASD may have, including health and behavioral health care, community-based supports and services, as well as support for tasks that all youth entering adulthood must navigate, such as obtaining employment, pursuing postsecondary education and training, managing independent living, and developing relationships and social networks that are meaningful to the individual.
The definition regarding what constitutes “transition age” varies. However, as a period of life that marks the transition from adolescence to adulthood, it is typically viewed as beginning in mid to late adolescence (e.g., ages 14 to 16) and ending in young adulthood (e.g., ages 24 to 26), 1 roughly representing a period of time that typically encompasses not only most of high school, but also postsecondary education and training, and the establishment of employment and independent living. Source references are included as endnotes following the Report and indicated in the text with Roman numerals; additional information that may be of interest to readers is included as footnotes at the bottom of the page and indicated in the text with symbols.