Success Beyond the Classroom
Autism & the Transition to Adulthood
Special Education
Highly practical resource for professionals that addresses the larger-than-ever number of adolescents and young adults with autism in need of successful transition planning.
69582 978-1-55766-958-2
2009 304
Available Stock

Autism diagnoses in young children increased dramatically in the 1990s—and now those children are young adults on the verge of a challenging transition to the real world. Every school and program will be ready to help with this groundbreaking practical guide, straight from the author of the acclaimed bestseller Life Beyond the Classroom and two community-based autism experts.

Professionals who work with young adults will get hard-to-find information on how specific social, behavioral, and cognitive characteristics of people with autism affect the transition to adulthood, exploring potential challenges and traits that can be powerful assets. Then they'll get a complete guide that walks them through every aspect of transition planning, including planning for employment and postsecondary education:

  • conducting skillful assessment to determine a young person's individual career goals, job-related strengths, and independent living skills
  • using well-designed instructional supports, routines, and spaces in inclusive classrooms
  • implementing positive behavior support to help young adults with autism succeed in school and at work
  • providing community-based instruction at naturally occurring times, so it's easier for students to learn and generalize new skills
  • showing students and their families how to make the most of SSA disability benefits
  • assisting students with college preparation, from choosing a college to managing academic and social demands
  • using supported and/or customized employment strategies to help young people establish satisfying careers that play to their strengths
  • helping young people develop critical life skills they'll use across settings
  • unlocking the benefits of community services and programs, such as vocational rehabilitation programs and Centers for Independent Living

Compelling stories throughout the book illustrate how successful transition planning improved the lives of three diverse teenagers, and the practical forms, checklists, and suggested resources and links help readers put the proven strategies into action. A must for every member of the transition team—including general and special educators, transition specialists, employment specialists, and counselors—this is the ultimate resource for supporting the goals, dreams, and future success of young adults with autism.

Help young people with autism develop critical life skills in key areas:

  • social skills
  • health and safety
  • work habits
  • money management
  • mobility
  • recreation and leisure
  • personal appearance
  • and more!

About the Authors
About the Contributors

1: Understanding the Transition from School to Adulthood for Students with Autism
Carol Schall & Paul Wehman

2. Positive Behavior Support
Marcia Datlow Smith

3. Educational and Transition Planning
Carol Schall

4. Meeting Transition Goals Through Inclusion
Carol Schall & Jennifer McFarland-Whisman

5. Teaching Youth for Success: From Classroom to Community
Dawn R. Hendricks, Marcia Datlow Smith, & Paul Wehman

6. Navigating the World of Adult Services and Benefits Planning
Grant Revell & Lucy Axton Miller

7. Integrated Employment
Pamela Sherron Targett & Paul Wehman

8. Post Secondary Options for Students with Autism
Lori W. Briel & Elizabeth Evans Getze

9. Critical Life Skills
Marcia Datlow Smith & Pamela Sherron Targett

10. Living in the Community
Pamela Sherron Targett & Marcia Datlow Smith

Paul Wehman, Marcia Datlow Smith, & Carol Schall


Resource Guide
Carol Schall
National Organizations
State Resources



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: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - June 1, 2010
"Answers the vital call to plan for and maintain effective and appropriate supports and services beyond secondary school placements and into adulthood."
: VCU-RRTC e-newsletter - February 1, 2009
"Professionals who work with young adults will get hard-to-find information on how specific special, behavioral, and cognitive characteristics of people with autism affect the transition to adulthood, exploring potential challenges and traits that can be powerful assets."
: Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities - November 1, 2008
"Effectively detail[s] the challenging journey from adolescence into adulthood for individuals with autism…All those who read the text should find the content informative, practical, and helpful when structuring transition planning for adolescents and adults with autism."
Sherrilyn K. Fisher, DCDT President - October 2, 2008
"The most practical book I have read on developing measurable transition goals and real-life community based experiences for students and young adults with autism."
Debra Hart, Director, Education & Transition, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston - October 2, 2008
"Finally! There is such a demand in the field for a text like this. This book is a very thorough overview and addresses a significant need for information on making the transition to all aspects of adult life a success for young people with autism."
Chantal Sicile-Kira, author, Adolescence on the Autism Spectrum - October 2, 2008
"Clear, concise, and comprehensive . . . essential reading for anyone involved with transition planning and preparing young people with autism for the real world."
Cary Griffin, Senior Partner, Griffin-Hammis Associates; co-author, Making Self-Employment Work for People with Disabilities and The Job Developer's Handbook - October 2, 2008
"Finally, a practical book that explores the realities of transition to life after public school for individuals with autism. For all students, adulthood comes quickly; now everyone can be prepared for productive citizenship."
Peter F. Gerhardt, President and Chair, Scientific Council, Organization for Autism Research - October 2, 2008
"[The authors] have merged the relevant research with their clinical insight and extensive hands-on experience to produce a volume that should be considered essential reading for both parents and professionals alike. Highly recommended!"
Shelley Russin, Educational Consultant Professional Development Staff, Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18, Kingston, PA - October 2, 2008
"An excellent resource . . . includes plenty of practical advice, which can be used by the IEP team for successful planning. I plan on using it and recommending it frequently!"
Bradford Hulcher, parent of an 18-year-old with ASD; Information and Referral Specialist, Autism Society of America, Central VA Chapter - October 2, 2008
"An invaluable tool for parents of middle and high school students with ASD in planning for supports to maximize their child's potential and to ensure a positive future."
Judith Howlett, Transition Specialist, Richmond Public Schools, Virginia - October 2, 2008
"A breath of fresh air . . . could conceivably become the 'bible' of information for transitioning students with autism. It will be on my bookshelf for many years to come."