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The Transition Toolkit for Teens with Autism - featured February 8, 2011

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[Source: CNN]

If the years immediately following an autism diagnosis aren't tough enough for a child, the next phase of their life can be even more stressful. Which is why Autism Speaks, one of the biggest autism advocacy groups is unveiling a new tool kit designed to help these children and their families cope with this stage of life.

This Transition Tool Kit is another online guidebook Autism Speaks has put together. Its first "100 days" tool kit, introduced a few years ago, was specifically created for parents of newly diagnosed children to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child's diagnosis of autism. A tool kit for schools and the community followed.

This handbook emphasizes the importance of involving the teen in the decision-making process that affects his or future. Bells says the child must be part of the decision-making process regardless of their ability level. While some children with autism may not be able to communicate, that doesn't mean they can't be part of the meetings, says Bell. He says this new tool kit provides tips on how each child with autism can participate in the decisions that will affect his or her future.

There are other tips to help families conquer the challenges of moving from childhood, through to teen years and to adulthood. Bell says, for example, that he doesn't believe his son will be going to college, so he may skip that chapter. However he says he will look at the chapter about housing because he knows at some point his son will have to live away from home – even if that point is 15 or 20 years from now. He says parents should start preparing for this as early as possible.

The kit also provides a timeline and other organizational tools that can help parents navigate their child's adolescent years.

Read the Rest of this Article about the Transition Toolkit as it Appeared on CNN in Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Blog.

Download the Transition Toolkit or Order a Hardcopy from Autism Speaks

Tags: Tip or Resources of Week Newsletter 11 February 2011 Autism