Transitioning from children's autism services
Transition means a time of changes. It usually refers to the period when young people start to prepare for adulthood. For someone with autism, a period of transition can be a time of great anxiety.
Transition planning should address all areas of the young person's life including further education, employment, independent living, or health and community inclusion. Young people with autism may need further support developing social skills.
Special education needs statement and education, health and care plan
Planning for transition usually starts in Year 9 at school. During this period a young person with autism may have a Special Educational Needs Statement.
Some teenagers may have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan as well as a statement. This will form part of their annual review when their Transition Action Plan will be drawn up.
Advisors from the Information, Advice and Guidance team (IAG) work with young people who have a statement or an EHC plan. Annual review meetings and action plans should focus on the hopes and aspirations of the young person.
Once a plan is agreed it will provide support at school, as well as further arrangements outside of school. It should focus on whatever help the young person needs to achieve their desired outcomes. The young person can give their consent to share their support plan with any service providers.
Essex Transition Services
The Children and Young People with Disabilities Service (CYPD) provide support for children and young adults with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). Their team has social care workers who carry out Care Act Assessment. Their assessments identify the needs of a young adult before they turn 18.
Social Care for Young Adults provides support and guidance for people aged 16-25 years. They will offer help with personal budgets and support plans. Please go to their Local Offer page for more information and contact details.
Advisors from the Information, Advice and Guidance team (IAG) work with young people who have a statement or an EHCP. They offer impartial advice for further education, careers and employment for young persons aged 13 to 25 years old.
The Essex SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SEND IAS service) offer free and impartial advice to families and carers of young people with disabilities, including autism. The service consists of four teams who work with local authorities. The teams can find out what support is available at your local school. They can establish links with local support groups and volunteers. A parent, carer or a young person with a disability can make a referral.
To make a referral, please go to the Local Offer page to contact your local IAG team.
Other Services in Essex
People with severe and long-term disabilities and who struggle with everyday activities could be referred to Occupational Therapy. They offer information, advice, and loan out specialist equipment.
National Transition Services
The National Autistic Society's Autism Helpline offers general advice on educational rights and entitlements, including general queries about the transition process. Advice they give will be impartial as well as confidential. You can call them on 0808 800 4104.
National charity Contact a Family have made a page about transitions on their website called Education Beyond 16. The new SEN system gives young people more input into planning for their future. The page offers free advice and guidance on how young people with autism can be supported.
There is also more information about Education, Health and Care Plan and One Planning on the Essex Local Offer website.
Other information and advice
Read the transition into adulthood on our Challenges for Adults with Autism page for other links giving further information and advice on transition.
If you know someone with autism and learning disabilities, you can read more about the move from children's services to adult services (transition) on the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities' website.
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