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Resource Guide

Autistic Adulting

January 3rd, 2021

AutismBC

For Autist

Entering into adulthood can be a confusing thing, especially for autistic individuals. Whether you are transitioning from children's services or just got a new diagnosis as an adult, navigating the system and exploring available options can be overwhelming.

“At first, it feels like you have so much to learn and so little time to learn it. There is so much information out there about autism. It can be difficult to know what information applies to and is helpful for you.” —Jake Anthony, Former Program Ambassador, AutismBC.

We have listened to our members and understand that it’s not easy to access adult supports and services, so we have compiled a list of helpful resources and divided them into three frequently requested topics: diagnosis, employment and volunteering, post-secondary education, and housing. 

Diagnosis

If you’re looking for an adult assessment, you will, unfortunately, need to find a private assessment. Our ASD Diagnosis for Adults blog is full of great, up-to-date resources.

Another infomation blog is Am I Autistic? A Guide to Diagnosis for Adults from Autism Awareness Center (2020) and Reasons Autism Self- diagnosis is Valid

Once you have your diagnosis, there might be funding options available to you. You can learn more about those here as well as Next Steps after Your Adult Autism Diagnosis.

Employment seekers on the autism spectrum have a variety of programs to help them find a rewarding position. These are some of the options:

  • Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) RWA is designed to increase the labour force participation of people with an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (2015).” Check out our AutismBC Talks with Sarah Armstrong from Canucks Autism Network regarding the RWA program

 

 

 

Created by Square Peg Society, the following video is a great overview of the different Inclusive Employment Programs as mentioned above:

 

Are you an employer looking to increase the diversity of your workplace? We have resources for you too!

 

  • AutismBC Talks with ICBC about inclusive employment

Housing

Housing is a huge topic, so we created an entire blog all about it! You can check it out here.

Post Secondary Information 

Adult Special Education (ASE) programs respond to the needs of a diverse group of learners. 15 BC post-secondary institutions offer ASE courses and programs.  

Student Aid BC – Resource Directory 

Severe and Permanent Disability Benefit (applies to Student Loans) 

Student Aid BC Assistance Program for Students with Permanent Disabilities 

BC Access Grant for students with permanent disabilities 

Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities 

Funding Options for Students with Mental Illness 

Douglas College Autism CanTech (ACT) Program  An innovative program for Autistic youth between the ages of 18-30 who want to work in the computer and technology sectors. The fully federally funded program includes one semester of course work at the Douglas College New Westminster campus to prepare participants for a two-month work experience upon course completion.  (Douglas College, 2021). 

Foundry WorksFoundry Works is a free supported employment and education program if you are interested in working, going to school, or completing a training program. Foundry Works helps you build the skills and experiences you need to achieve your goals,” (Foundry, n.d). 

Open Door Group  – Open Door Group is a CARF-accredited, not-for-profit organization and registered charity providing employment services to thousands of individuals a year, in six locations – including Vancouver, Sechelt, Squamish, Kelowna, Kamloops and Chase. We work with all individuals who are interested in preparing for, finding, and keeping meaningful employment.

Entrepreneur Development Program Provides opportunities for entrepreneurs with disabilities.  

KPU Adult Special Education – This program is designed for students with diverse learning needs that hinder educational success. The EACS courses and learning experiences will prepare students for lifelong learning, employment, and community engagement opportunities. (Kwantlen Polytechnic University 2022).  

Selkirk College  

Selkirk College – College Success  – “a free workshop recommended for all students entering college programs and cover topics such as goal setting, motivation, memorization techniques,” (Selkirk College, n.d.). 

Selkirk College Acccesibility Services 

Selkirk College SOAR Program Steps to Opportunities, Academics and Readiness 

Aide Canada Autism Campus Prep (Free) Covers the topics of:selecting academic programs, understanding how to fully participate in work/social life on campus, and maintaining health and wellness. Autism Campus Prep was written and developed by a group of autistic post-secondary students and graduates together with The Sinneave Family Foundation.   

Aide Canada: Post Secondary Education Programs for Individuals with Autism or Intellectual Disabilities 

AutismBC Blog: 7 Tips for Post Secondary Success  

Autistic Adulting: Transition into Post Secondary with Evan Noble 

 

Scholarships:  

Grants, Scholarships, and Other Financial Supports

Scholarships Canada 

Yconic

Disability Awards 

 

Social 

Aide Canada Peer Mentoring not available in BC at this time

Autism BC Getting Together on the Spectrum Autistic Adult Meet-Up Group  

Autism Okanagan – Youth & Adult Program – Kelowna 

Canucks Autism Network Adult Programs 

PEERS Program “A social skills intervention program for motivated adults who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. During each group session, young adults are taught important skills and are given the opportunity to practice these skills in session during socialization activities” (2022)”. 

Laurel/Posabilities – Various programs for adults that include social groups, sexuality and relationship learning and behaviour supports.   

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