Adulting with Autism: FAQs and the Master List of Information and Resources

By Selina Lim
  • Over the past month, we have curated a gallery of information and resources on the theme of “Adulting with Autism” to share on AutismBC’s social media accounts*. This blog is the master list of everything that has been shared and we’ll keep adding to the list. Don’t forget to bookmark it for your future reference! Enjoy!

    *Follow AutismBC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin and stay up-to-date with the information and resources we share on our monthly theme.

    FAQs regarding CLBC, Funding, Legal and Assessment Issues

    When does the Ministry of Children & Family Development (MCFD) stop being involved with my child?

    • Age 19. At that point, depending on the diversability, your child may qualify for CLBC services (Community Living BC).

    What is Community Living BC, or CLBC?

    • CLBC, “is the provincial crown corporation that funds supports and services to adults with developmental disabilities, as well as individuals who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and who also have significant difficulty doing things on their own. The law that describes our role is the Community Living Authority Act. To see if you or your family member might be eligible, visit the Am I Eligible for CLBC Support? Page.” Source

    What is PWD and what age does an individual receive this funding?

    • PWD stands for Persons with Disabilities. If an individual has qualified for the Disability Tax Credit there is a good chance they will qualify for PWD funding.  
      • To be eligible, you must:
        • Show that you meet financial eligibility to receive assistance 
        • Be 18 years old (you can start the application process when you are 17 ½) 
        • Have a severe physical or mental impairment that is expected to continue for more than two years 
        • Be significantly restricted in your ability to perform daily living activities 
        • Require assistance with daily living activities from 
          • Another person 
          • An assistive device, or 
          • An assistance animal Source
    • Please be aware that someone receiving PWD can only make so much per year and have so much in assets. When doing estate planning for your family be sure to consider this and consult with a legal professional regarding estate planning and trusts. For more details, download the PDF here.
    • To apply for PWD, visit: https://myselfserve.gov.bc.ca/

    What is the Guide to Support Allocation (GSA)?

    • The GSA is a form and tool that summarizes information about disability-related need in 10 areas of life and evaluates need on a five-point scale. Some of the areas allow for the review of exceptional needs, which are called “flags”. The fivepoint scale represents a scale that goes from needing no support to needing full support. Most people have different support needs in different areas of life. For example, you could be independent in meeting personal care needs, but need guidance in making important life decisions.
      • The ten areas of life the GSA reviews support needs for are: 
        • Communication 
        • Meeting personal care needs 
        • Creating or maintaining relationships 
        • Making day-to-day decisions 
        • Making important life decisions 
        • Safety within community 
        • Work and learning 
        • Community participation 
        • Complex health needs 
        • Complex needs and risks
    • NOTE: It’s important to understand that the level of need identified in the GSA does not guarantee a level of service. This is a guide and other factors include urgency of the request, the appropriate match of the support for each individual and available funding each year.  Source

    What is a Representation Agreement?

    • A Representation Agreement is the key legal document in British Columbia for personal planning/advance care planning. It is a legally enforceable document and used in case of incapacity, for end-of-life, and other support needs.
    • You must be an adult (19 years or older) to make a Representation Agreement.
    • A representative has the legal authority to help you manage your affairs and carry out your wishes if you need temporary or ongoing assistance — due to illness, injury or disability.
    • A Representation Agreement is the only way to authorize someone — called your representative — to assist you or to act on your behalf for health care and personal care matters. Some might use a Representation Agreement to cover routine financial affairs and legal matters. Source

    Do you need to have an updated psych ed or adaptive functioning assessment before qualifying for CLBC services?

    • For the most part yes. However, if the last assessment was done within the last few years then you may be able to use that one. This is a complicated question and it will depend on the individual’s diagnosis and IQ. The best thing to do is to contact CLBC and find out what is required before transitioning.

    Service Providers in BC

    Is there an organization that can help me with some of this transition planning?

    • Yes! Disability Alliance BC can help you with applying for benefits, RDSP (registered disability savings plans) and Disability Tax Credit (DTC) questions! They also have some great online resources regarding these subjects that may answer your questions without even having to contact them directly.  Contact them via this form.

    Other Organizations in BC:

    STADD: Services to adults with developmental disabilities (under MCFD)

    • From their website, “Services to Adults with Developmental Disabilities (STADD) offers Navigator services for transitioning youth and their families in 145 communities across B.C. Navigators act as the primary point of contact for individuals in coordinating transition planning and access to supports and services through the transition period of 16-24 years old.
    • Navigators help organize a youth’s transition planning team and develop a person-centred transition plan. STADD encourages and supports information-sharing between government and community resources, and leads the coordination of all involved.
    • Once you are deemed eligible for CLBC-services, you can request the services of a STADD Navigator or contact 1-855-356-5609 to self-refer. 

    BACI

    • BACI is one of the largest service providers in the province. They serve over 1000 individuals and their families. Most individuals they serve are funded by the Ministry of Children and Families or CLBC. They offer a wide variety of programs. For teens who live in Burnaby or New Westminster and who quality for Ministry of Children and Family Special Needs Services, they have day camps that run throughout spring break and the summer holidays.

    posAbilities

    • posAbilities offers a full spectrum of community living services, including deep roots in behaviour support. One of their five founding organizations was Laurel House Society. Today, they serve youth and their families as behaviour consultants and coaches for skill development workshops like Connect with PEERS®. 

    Read our blog regarding these organizations.

    Books

    The Autism BC Lending Library also has a wide selection of books.  They are free to borrow and we will ship them throughout the province at no cost to you!  For more information, you can check out our catalogue here.

    We’ve also put together a top 10 list for this subject, visit our library blog to find out.

    A book that isn’t on the list but is also great is:  

    “My Picture Perfect Family is the story of a family’s dedication to helping their daughter succeed against all odds.  The explosive 10-year-old who made no eye contact, talked to imaginary friends and turned out the lights in my office, blossomed into a beautiful 18-year-old who was able to go to college. Every time I saw Samantha, I felt I was taking a nail out of her coffin.” 

    Check this book out by Marguerite Elisofon.

    AutismBC’s In-House Resources 

    Launch into Life

    • In partnership with The Sinneave Family FoundationAutismBC has developed the Launch into Life program to help families prepare for key life transitions. It is focused on discovering personal strengths and areas for growth based on an individual’s interests, abilities, and needs. Click below for more information regarding the program and to access the PDF guide and online transition planning tool.  

    AutismBC Talks on Transitioning to Adulthood

    AutismBC Talks on Employment

    Life on the Spectrum Podcasts

    • In this episode, our teen and parent roundtables share their thoughts on the teenage years, and some of what they have to say may surprise you. Plus — Katie speaks with Claire-Winson Jones, a psychologist at ABLE Developmental Clinic in Vancouver who works with teens on the spectrum. She offers some great advice about supporting your teen with Autism through their high school and post-secondary journey. Listen here.

    Third-Party Resources 

    Webinars

    • Spark for Autism 
      • “Mary McDonald, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA has 25 years of experience directing programs for people with autism from early intervention through adulthood. She is an associate professor in the Department of Specialized Education at Hofstra University, in New York, and directs the advanced certificate programs, including the advanced certificate in applied behaviour analysis (ABA).”  Watch this webinar where McDonald discusses how to prepare children and teens with ASD for adulthood. 
    • Family Support Institute BC 
      • Free webinar from Family Support Institute BC about Representation Agreements and Adult Guardianship

    ACT (Autism Community Training) Resources

    • Preparing young people with autism for their adult lives is challenging for families and communities.” Check out the links to videos and written materials that focus on the transition to adulthood.
    • Some helpful information put together by ACT-Autism Community Training for young autistic adults in B.C. who want to pursue “post-secondary or adult education to train for a career or to make the transition to the working world”. Click here to find out more. 

    Family Support Institute

    • FindSupport BC—Transitions Timeline is a great tool for families with children on the spectrum and young autistic adults in BC to identify resources and support available to them at different stages of life. It is user-friendly and provides valuable information to families with children and young adults with diversability from age 0–25. FindSupport BC is BC’s first user-friendly and searchable database of disability-related supports, services, and community activities. The page was developed and is maintained by Family Support Institute BC.
    • Access the Transition Timeline database here. It’s easy to use, you can enter ages and it will tell you what you should be working on. 

    PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope)

    PAFN (Pacific Autism Family Network)

    • Pacific Autism Family NetworkEmploymentWorks Canada (EWC) is a 12-week pre-vocational program that offers employment preparedness training for individuals ages 15–29 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), who are no longer attending school and are seeking opportunities to practice and develop the essential skills necessary to obtain sustainable employment. Check out their website for more information. 

    Inclusion BC

    Service Providers on Vancouver Island 

    • Positive Connection
      • Landa and her clinic based in Victoria, BC, provide sexual health education for individuals with autism, developmental or intellectual disabilities, and other unique learning needs. They also provide support for family members, community organizations, and support systems as they assist their loved ones in learning more about sexual health.
    • Being a Citizen
      • It is an inclusive, adult education program for participants with diverse abilities. There are two main areas of emphasis – academic skills and social communication skills. Participants continue to develop and build upon the academic skills acquired in high school. At the same time, participants learn to communicate more effectively while navigating the expectations of the adult world. 

     

    Extended Reading: Lisa’s Live Chat: Transitioning to Adulthood Transcript