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.
This page outlines government-funded supports and services available to adults (19 years or older) with autism living in the Northwest Territories.
In the Northwest Territories, there are two main funding programs available:
- Income Assistance
- Learning Supports for Persons with a Disability Funding (by NWT Disabilities Council)
The Income Assistance Program provides Financial Assistance to Northerners to help meet basic and enhanced needs. The program encourages and supports greater self-reliance to improve the quality of lives.
The program provides a set amount for food, shelter, and utilities, and enhanced needs such as incidentals, clothing, child care, furniture, and educational assistance, depending on household income, size of family and community.
This program is designed for:
- Northerners who are 19 years of age or older
- Have a need greater than their income
The exact amount provided to an individual through Income Assistance is dependent on their needs. More information on the calculation can be found in the handbook here.
Applicants may be eligible to receive a Disability Allowance from the Income Assistance Program if they meet certain eligibility criteria including: having a physical or mental impairment that is permanent or recurrent, is expected to last one year (or more), and presents a substantial barrier to employment.
The allowable amount increased in April 2019, from $300 to $405 per month.
Applying for Income Assistance
To apply for Income Assistance, fill out an application and make an appointment to meet with a Client Services Officer. Find the application form:
- Online by visiting www.ece.gov.nt.ca
- At an ECE Service Centre - locations can be found here.
Fill out the application on your own or when you first meet with a Client Services Officer.
Administered by the NWT Disabilities Council, the Learning Support for Persons with Disabilities Fund helps adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder – and other disabilities – achieve their learning goals. In order to secure funding, a proposal must show that the money requested will help to overcome barriers to learning.
Who can apply for funding?
Individuals or organizations may apply for funding.
Eligibility Criteria for Individuals:
- Have a disability
- Be involved in a learning activity
- Demonstrate commitment to achieving stated education, employment or personal goals
- Be 18 years of age or older and out of high school
- Be a NWT resident and unable to receive funding for training elsewhere
Funding may be provided for the following types of learning supports:
- Assessment and counselling
- Assistive devices, aids and technology
- Books, tools and equipment
- Assisted learning
- Tutoring services
- Living expenses
More information can be found here.