Transitioning to adulthood is an important juncture that often presents challenges for autistic youth and adults. Yet it is a different experience for everyone.
As is the case for many government-funded services, once a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) reaches a certain age, the support available to them changes. In most Canadian provinces, children transition into the adult service program on their 18th birthday, some on their 19th birthday.
Transition planning typically begins between the ages of 12 and 16 years old. Entering adulthood can be stressful, and needing to understand a brand new set of government-funded supports and services can be overwhelming.
This page provides information about the government-funded services and supports available to adults living with ASD. It is organized by province and territory. We are hopeful that a robust understanding of what resources are available – in the transition period and beyond – is helpful to individuals and families.
Please note that the age at which a child becomes eligible for adult resources is different across the country. You will find one separate toolkit for each province and territory.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
This page outlines government-funded supports and services available to adults (18 years or older) with autism living in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. These services are deployed by the province’s regional health authorities under the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services. Please contact your regional health authority for further details.
THERAPEUTIC AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Professional staff at the RHAs provides a range of therapeutic and professional services in a variety of settings which support persons with disabilities. Specific referrals and eligibility criteria must be met to access some services. Staff may include social workers, nurses, behavioural and child management specialists, dieticians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and laboratory technicians.
For more information on accessing this service, contact your regional health authority
Cooperative Apartment Program
This program offers a private residential setting operated by an incorporated community board of directors and staffed by a live-in supervisor and relief staff. The private residences are usually rented houses and are shared by up to three adults with intellectual disabilities. The main emphasis is on skill teaching and support to enable more independent living rather than providing a permanent residence.
Alternative Family Care Home Program
This program offers private homes which have been approved by the Regional Health Authority for the purpose of providing room and board, supervision and personal and social support for up to two unrelated adults with intellectual disabilities in a family atmosphere. Supports and services are available as necessary. Monitoring and supervision is provided by the social worker assigned by the Regional Health Authority.
Board and Lodging Supplement
A Board and Lodging Supplement is a funding supplement that is available, based on assessed need, to an adult with psychiatric, physical and/or intellectual disabilities, 18 years of age and older, who reside with relatives or non-relatives. These adults have identified needs and require a higher board and lodging rate to live in these arrangements than is usually allowed. The basic rate of board and lodging is available through HRLE and the supplement is available through the RHAs.
Individualized Living Arrangements
An individualized living arrangement (ILA) is established when no other service option is available or appropriate for an adult with an intellectual disability, meeting home support criteria and unable to reside with their natural family. While this program usually supports one client per home, there may be situations approved where the living arrangements are shared by individuals who wish to reside together. The funding for basic income support is provided by the Department of Human Resources Labor and Employment with additional funding for home support and other related costs provided by the RHAs. Once established, the ILAs are managed by the individual, family, or operations committee.
Shared Living Arrangements
In some instances, individuals with disabilities who require high level of home support may choose to share the cost of a living arrangement and home support staff. Funding may be provided from several sources such as the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment (HRLE) and the Regional Health Authorities (RHA). As in an individual living arrangement all benefits of income support including rent and heat and light supplements, and any other benefits available, are obtained from HRLE and supplemented as per policy by RHAs.
For more information on accessing this service, contact your regional health authority.