Transition for Youth with Autism from School to Adulthood: Critical Considerations
Emily Helmboldt, VCU Autism Center for Excellence (ACE)
An increasing number of individuals with ASD are now entering high school and transitioning to adulthood. For the student with ASD to have a successful transition to adulthood, thorough and systematic planning and preparation is required. Transition planning must begin long before the student enters high school. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the research regarding the outcomes of adults with ASD and will discuss the primary areas of concern for this group, including employment, residential living, social interactions, and community integration. There will be special emphasis on various case studies of Project SEARCH, outcomes as well as the VCU-RRTC supported employment program for young adults with ASD. Ms. Helmboldt will discuss how to determine the student’s curriculum and prioritize skills through assessment and transition planning using an ecological approach. Further, training resources for transition staff, family and individuals will be offered.
Ms. Helmboldt is currently a faculty member with the Autism Center of Excellence at the Research, Rehabilitation and Training Center at VCU. There, she serves as: a coordinator staff for the intensive school division technical assistance initiative, primary technical assistance provider for Richmond City Public Schools, as well as collaborating with other ACE staff to develop evaluation methods and product outcomes for the project. She holds a Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from VCU/MCV and is licensed as a Professional Counselor. Having a diverse background in rehabilitation, cognitive behavioral therapy, Autism Spectrum Disorders, behavior analysis, and positive behavioral supports enables Ms. Helmboldt to apply herself in many aspects of the ACE project. She previously served as a community resource manager with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, behavior consultant, job coach, and residential counselor.