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This section consists of resources that may be helpful related to social skills, communications, employment, and other adolescent or young adult issues. Only resources considered credible and best practice will be provided.

UCLA PEERS Adolescent and Young Adult Social Skill Training Program by co-creator, author, researcher, and clinician Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson.

Peter Gerhardt, Ed.S: world renown researcher and clinician on adults with autism presents Autism, Adulthood, and Adaptive Behavior. Excellent video for parents and individuals with autism.

Sponsored by: The Interactive Autism Network is a partnership of Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Simons Foundation.

Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI): Employing Individuals with Autism

Other Resources

The following information is related to evidence based resources for Autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is important for families and individuals to consider treatments that are supported by scientific research that are proven to be effective. It is also important to be informed on topics related to transitioning to adulthood, employment, self-advocacy, and reaching the maximum independence.

Autism and Best Practice Intervention Resources

  • National Autism Center:  provides free resources to professionals, educators, and families on evidence based practice treatments for autism. This organization goes through an in-depth process to collect the most recent research available and provide to the public. There are downloadable resources for professionals, educators, and families on best practice treatments in therapy settings and educational settings.

  • National Professional Development Center (NPDC) on Autism Spectrum Disorder: is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is a collaborative of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of California-Davis who work together in researching and promoting the use of evidence based practices (EBPs) in the treatment of autism. The site offers training courses, EBP briefs that are easy to read, provides resource information, and more.

Employment Resources for those with Disabilities

  • Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS):  Michigan's vocational rehabilitation services organization that prepares individuals with documented disabilities for employment (individuals either medically diagnosed and/or with Individualized Education Programs-IEPs or 504 Plans). MRS provides training and support for adolescents in Pre-Employment Training Services (Pre-ETS) that are still in school and 14 years or older, and in Vocational Rehabilitation for adults out of high school.  Parents and individuals can contact MRS directly to get an intake and talk to a counselor. For the MRS office map and location closest to you go to:  MRS Locator.


Sexual Health

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities typically progress physiologically like any other teen or young adult. They attain puberty, have hormonal changes, and experience physical changes in their bodies. Education is extremely important for these individuals. Often the teaching must be broken down and explained in a literal and direct way. Since many individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities have difficulty with innuendo and inferencing from others, assuming they will learn by listening to peers or even through a school's sexual health program may not be sufficient. There are some good resources available to help parents and individuals learn more about sexuality.

  • BodyTeen:  covers many teenage sexual health and well-being issues including male and female anatomy, anxiety and depression, suicide and mental health, dieting, sexually transmitted diseases, violence, and more.

  • Sexuality Across the Lifespan:  an excellent resource for parents and caregivers of individuals with disabilities broken down to very basic concepts. Includes information about anatomy, puberty, dating, abuse, and more. Worksheets included.

  • Taking Care of Myself: for school, middle, and high school age addresses hygiene, modesty, touching, personal safety, self-care, and more.

  • Taking Care of Myself 2: for teens and young adults in teaching or home settings. Topics include dressing for different events, public and private behavior, safety, and more.

Transition to Adulthood Resources (for all disabilities)

  • National Technical Assistance Center for Transition (NTACT): a leading resource site focused on educational best practices in planning for transition and life after high school. This site is rich with information for transition planning, toolkits, transition assessment information, and much more.

  • Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI): OCALI's Lifespan Transition Center is an excellent resource for transition age youth with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. It offers videos, webinars, fact sheets, toolkits, and classes for both professionals, families, and individuals with disabilities. There are many topics including best practice considerations and predictors for adult success, and guidebooks for transition assessment, planning, and employment.

  • Transition Tennessee-Blueprint for Student Success:  an excellent resource for educators and families with a focus in transitioning for a life after high school. This includes using best practices and strategies in working with families, school teams, and other key stakeholders involved in this process. This site offers webcasts related to transition, professional training for educators and others, information on transition assessments, and more.