21 and Older (For the Caregiver)

Summary Checklist

The following is a brief checklist of things to help you get started. This checklist is meant to serve as a guide only and is not exhaustive of all services and supports you should explore for your child or family member.

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Health and Medical Care, and Related Therapeutic Interventions

  • Understand the definitions for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and why a person should be diagnosed.
  • Learn about treatment options and therapies
  • Apply to the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)
  • Investigate Behavioral Support Services if you need them
  • Schedule regular re-evaluations and medical follow-up to measure progress and identify challenges
  • Develop a system to organize your paperwork
  • Develop a good group of providers and supports that will continue to work with your family on a long term basis

Assistive Technology

  • Learn all you can about Assistive Technology services available
  • Explore financial assistance for Assistive Technology


  • Develop employment experiences, either paid or volunteer
  • Develop a resume that may include a list of skills and competencies as well as a video portfolio showing him/her at work
  • Explore employment services and opportunities available in Maryland
  • Evaluate interests and strengths - vocational assessments
  • Make a decision about disclosure (of diagnosis)
  • Learn about 504 Plans


  • Explore housing options (residential, community supports, rental options, home ownership)
  • Apply to the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)
  • Apply to the local public housing authority Section 8 waiting list
  • Establish credit and continue to monitor credit reports

Social and Relationships

  • Help your family member learn about appropriate social skills
  • Teach your family member about sexuality and relationships
  • Develop the recreational and leisure activities that your family member enjoys

Funding for Services and Legal Issues

  • Review the “Financial Things Every Parent of a Child with Autism Needs to Know”
  • Apply for Social Security Benefits
  • Apply to the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)
  • Investigate Low Intensity Support Services (LISS)
  • Learn about life planning tools and options
  • Develop a system to organize financial and legal records

Support: Support Groups and Respite

  • Network with others at a support group
  • Investigate support groups for your family member
  • Identify needs of support and establish a support system
  • Take care of yourself, your spouse, your other children
  • Investigate respite care options


  • Explore options including public transportation, Mobility, and driver’s license
  • Apply for all appropriate transportation programs
  • Help your family member obtain a Maryland State ID card issued by the Motor Vehicle Administration

Advocacy and Self-Advocacy

  • Make a decision about disclosure (of diagnosis)
  • Learn about becoming an advocate at the local and national level. Consider joining local and national autism groups and listservs.
  • Help your family member learn self-advocacy skills

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