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Leaving school – what’s next?

Approaching the time to leave school may result in a high level of anxiety as the person on the autism spectrum and their family determine their next steps.

This is another major transition and change is particularly difficult for people on the autism spectrum.


Turning 16

A person on the autism spectrum may be eligible for a Disability Support Pension form Centrelink. Carers need to be aware that their own payments may be affected and they will need to contact Centrelink before their child’s 16th birthday.

Contact Centrelink on 13 27 17 or visit their website

Read this information sheet on “Centrelink – Turning 16 and Disability Support” for more information.


Turning 18

Turning 18 is a huge event in anyone’s life and that is no exception for the person on the autism spectrum.

Like any other young adult, the person on the autism spectrum is legally entitled to make decisions for themselves, regardless of whether they have an intellectual disability or not. This may be a surprise for carers who have always had the role of decision maker.

If you feel that a family member is struggling with understanding and making informed decisions about their financial matters, medical needs, their day to day life or any other issue, contact the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

For further information about Guardianship, contact the Office of the Public Advocate.

The State Trustees also have information on a wide range of topics, such as financial planning, wills and trusts. They hold regular information for carers.

Visit the State Trustees Website.


Further Support

To receive support in Victoria, whether it is housing, respite, day services or case management, the person must be registered through Department of Health and Human Services.

The first step is fill out a form and be included on then Disability Support Register (DSR). DHHS will then assess the person’s need for support and whether their disability severely impacts their everyday life. Not everyone with a disability in Victoria will be eligible for this support, as many individuals are able to live independently and have an informal support network.

For more information contact Disability Intake and Response on 1800 783 783 or visit their website


Futures for Young Adults Funding Program

Futures for Young Adults is a funding program for school leavers until they turn 21. This funding package is aimed at supporting the person to access employment, further study or a day service setting, such as an Adult Training Support Service (ATSS).

More information


Individual Support Package

An Individual Support Package (ISP) is a flexible funding package for an individual with a disability. It is designed to empower the individual by allowing the options of block funding (to a service provider), a financial intermediary to manage the funds or to self-manage.

More information.

For further information about ISPs and self-directed funding, contact VALID who run a number of informative information sessions for people and their support networks on the ways an ISP can be managed.

If your support needs change, or you don’t like the services you receive, you can request an ISP review. These generally occur every 3 years, but you are entitled to request one earlier.


Shared and Supported Accommodation

Shared and supported accommodation (formerly known as Community Residential Unit  or CRU) is a group home for people with disabilities. These can vary in their level of support. Individuals of similar support needs share a house that usually accommodates 4-6 residents.

For more information contact Disability Intake and Response on 1800 783 783 or visit their website

More information


Giving Carers a Break

‘Respite’ support is designed to give carers a break as well as providing an enjoyable break to the person being cared for. Respite comes in many forms and the services are provided at local council, state and federal level.

Contact the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres on 1800 052 222 or visit their website

The Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) provides a range of respite options: in-home, community participation and out-of-home support such as community respite house or holiday.

For more information contact Disability Intake and Response on 1800 783 783 or visit their website



Sometimes it can be difficult for a person on the autism spectrum to have their voice when navigating the system. There are many types of advocates that specialise in different fields, such as children, funding, legal and regional.

Please contact the InfoLine on 1300 308 699 to find an advocate who can best support your needs.


Learning to Drive

Learning to drive is an important step to independence. The RACV have driving instructors that are experienced in teaching individuals with disabilities to drive.

Find out more

Occupational Therapy Australia has a listing of therapists who specialisie in driving.

Visit their website and choose ‘Driving’ in the ‘Specialty’ field.


Further Education

Please contact the Disability Support Office at the Tertiary institution, to look at how they can support you through your studies. An individual with a disability can apply for special consideration when applying for University.

Contact the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Board for further information.


Where to get More Help

If you need assistance with any of the information above, contact our InfoLine for individuals, families and professionals or practitioners.

Launchpad is a website that provides a range of information for people on the autism spectrum who are leaving school, and their parents/carers.


Online Resources

We provide a full range of Information Sheets about all aspects of ASD – these are updated regularly.

See Online Resources


Page Updated 11-05-15