What is #ASDNext?
Getting ready to face the “real” world after high school is a scary and sometimes overwhelming process. That is where #ASDNext comes in! #ASDNext is an initiative of the Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training (ASERT) Collaborative, a key component of the Office of Developmental Programs strategy for supporting individuals with autism and their families throughout the Commonwealth.
#ASDNext was conceived to help fill the growing need for resources and support to help teens and young adults with autism transition to “adult” life after school. Research has shown that this transition period is extremely difficult for individuals with autism, often resulting in social isolation and high rates of under- or unemployment. Services and supports that were available through school-age years are no longer available and adult service systems often are not well-educated or equipped to support individuals with autism. This is where #ASDNext hopes to help fill some of that gap!
#ASDNext is a place to connect with other teens, young adults, families and community members. Through blogs written by young adults on the spectrum to social media accounts, the idea is to allow individuals to interact with each other while gaining access to valuable information and resources. Additionally, parents, professionals and community members are able to access resources to help them support individuals through this time of transition.
To enhance the lives of Pennsylvania teens and young adults with autism by:
- Providing a place to interact and connect with others sharing similar experiences
- Improving regional access to quality services and interventions
- Providing information and support to individuals and families
- Training professionals in best practices
- Facilitating connections between individuals, families, professionals, and providers throughout the Commonwealth
The goal of #ASDNext is to make the transition to adulthood a little easier by connecting individuals to others with shared experiences and to a community of resources, information and support.