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Transition to Adulthood

Transitioning out of high school and into adulthood doesn’t have to be scary! Let us help guide you!

* This listing should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation either by the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix or its Board of Directors. It is merely a collection of individuals/entities/resources that have been deemed helpful or recommended by consumers. Please notify us if any information needs to be updated.

Post-Secondary Transition Planning

Planning for transitions and life after high school is imperative. This is the process that prepares students for adult life after they leave high school. Transition is the bridge between school programming and adult life that might include higher education, employment, independent living, and participation in adult life in the community.

Transition services are mandated under IDEA for children with disabilities ages 16 and up. An Individualized Transition Plan (ITP) is developed for each student. The ITP identifies the desired and expected outcomes for each student and their families once they leave school as well as the support needed to achieve these outcomes.

The Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (CSESA) is a research and development project funded by the U.S. Department of Education that focuses on developing, adapting, and studying a comprehensive school and community-based education program for high school students who experience Autism.

The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C) is a Technical Assistance Center co-funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).

Higher Education

Many adults with Autism pursue higher education, earning degrees in their preferred field of study. Many colleges have resources dedicated to supporting students with disabilities such as the student disability service center which may be a component of the college program or additive programs such as the College Internship Program that support students attending colleges and universities. There are also programs available that offer social, academic, career, and life skills support for students who have an intellectual disability that may co-occur with Autism and are not pursuing an academic degree. Information about this type of programming support can be found here.

The experience of attending college or university is a big transition for every student. For students with Autism it may require careful planning to ensure adequate support is in place. Unlike in high school, college and university students must disclose their need for accommodations for instructors and engage in self-advocacy to ensure appropriate accommodations.

Accessing the campus disability support center and inquiring about options for support is an excellent first step. Some of the accommodations that are commonly provided at colleges and universities include: testing accommodations, audio recording of lectures, note-taking services, assistive technologies such as speech to text software, priority class registration, and even housing modifications.

Arizona Resources

  • Ability 360: A Center for Independent Living, otherwise known as a CIL, is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization run by people with disabilities, for people with disabilities to address needs and barriers within the community. Ability360 is located in Phoenix, Arizona and provides services throughout the state of Arizona.
  • Area Agency on Aging: Not just for the elderly. Disabled adults 18 and over can qualify for services.
  • Arizona Rehabilitation Services: Helps individuals with disabilities achieve their goals for employment and independence.
  • Arizona Self Help: Designed to quickly and accurately identify options to meet your needs in Arizona.
  • Offers assistance and information on aging and disability.
  • SEEDs for Autism: We provide a path from “learning to earning” for young adults with autism through education, vocational training and social development in Phoenix.
  • NorthBridge College Success Program: Provides support, resources, and guidance to students with learning differences as they transition to, persist, and succeed in their educational and vocational endeavors.
  • Arizona Disability Benefits 101 : See how you can use Disability Benefits 101 to learn more about benefits and about how work can help you live your best life.
  • Nutrition Assistance
  • Best Buddies: Offers One-to-One Friendship, Integrated Employment, and Leadership Development programs for individuals with and without disabilities.
  • L.O.P.E.S. Academy at the Cardon Center: A two-year, non-degree program for neurodiverse individuals at Grand Canyon University.
  • Autism Life and Living: Empowering young adults with autism by providing programs that promote inclusion, independence, socialization, and well-being.

Social Security & Other Benefits

National Resources


Asperger Experts
You’ve found a place for help, advice, guidance & hope straight from the horse’s mouth. Asperger Experts is created & run by people on the autistic spectrum, so you can learn best practices & mistakes to avoid directly from those who’ve been there and lived it.

Autistic Self Advocacy Network
PO Box 66122
Washington, DC 20035

Autism Women’s Network, Inc
5100 Van Dorn St #6633
Lincoln, NE 68506

GRASP – The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership
419 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10003

US Autism & Asperger Association
P.O. Box 532
12180 S 300 E #532
Draper UT 84020-0532

Housing Resources

Arizona Department of Health Services
Group homes for the developmentally disabled. The database is updated on the first of each month.
Website: Click here for Provider and Facility Databases

Arizona Department of Housing
Housing is the foundation f​or success. We lead and collaborate with our community partners to create, preserve and invest in affordable housing. We protect housing consumers and revitalize communities to make Arizona the best place to live.​

Department of Economic Security – Community Action Agencies
Services: Contact the agency in the county you live in for assistance with: utilities, mortgage, eviction or foreclosure prevention, rental deposits, or emergency shelter
Website: DES – Community Action Agencies

First Place Phoenix 
Services: Supportive Housing for adults with Autism, Down syndrome, and other neurodiversities. Residential tranisition program for adults with autism.
Phone: (602) 464-6600
Location: 3001 N Third Street,  Phoenix, AZ 85012

Luna Azul
Services: A unique residential neighborhood designed for people with life challenges.
Phone: (480) 210-6866
Location: 1500 W Wahalla Ln., Phoenix, AZ 85024

The Opportunity Tree
Services: A non-profit provding employment services, youth transition services, group home and IDLA living siutations that offer members individualized support, and in-home support for those living on their own or with family.
Phone:  (602) 956-0400
Locations: Phoenix, Casa Grande, Avondale, and Maricopa

Rainbow Acres
Services: a Christian community with heart that empowers persons with developmental disabilities to live to their fullest potential with dignity and purpose.
Phone: (928) 567-5231
Address: 2120 W. Reservation Loop Road, Camp Verde, AZ 86322

Safe Haven Services
Services: offers Child Development Home Services & Adult Developmental Home Services and Respite care
Phone: (602) 695-0876
Address: 15508 W Bell Rd. Suite 101 #280  Surprise, AZ 85374

Sedona Lago Gardens
Services: Sedona Lago Gardens offers a bright future for young adults with autism and others with neurodiverse capabilities who desire to launch their independence. Sedona Lago Gardens is a village of residences connected by stunning gardens and nestled in the scenic red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. Coupled with support from the Pathways to Independence Program, Sedona Lago Gardens offers an unprecedented opportunity for self-directed young adults with autism and other neurodiversities to polish their skills, pursue their dreams and become independent.
Phone: (928) 325-8400
Address: 2756 W Highway 89A at Plaza Del Oeste, Suite #1, Sedona, AZ  86336

Treasure House
Services: a unique active living community for young adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities.
Phone: (602) 714-8189
Address: 7815 W. Aspera Blvd., Glendale, AZ 85308

Useful Housing Links

Need more information on transition? Take our Transition 101 class!