Approaching the time to leave school may result in a high level of anxiety as the individual with an ASD and their family determine their next steps. This is another major transition and change is particularly difficult for individuals with an ASD.
An individual with an ASD may be eligible for a Disability Support Pension form Centrelink. Carers may need to be aware that their own payments will 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
Turning 18 is a huge event in anyone’s life and that is no exception for the individual with an ASD.
Like any other young adult, the individual with an ASD is legally entitled to make decisions for themselves, regardless of whether they have an intellectual disability or not. This may be a shock 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, or medical needs, or their day to day life, 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.
The first step is fill out a form and be included on then Disability Support Register (DSR). DHS will then assess the individual’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 individual to access employment, further study or a day service setting, such as an Adult Training Support Service (ATSS).
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 blocking 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 that inform individuals and their support networks on the many 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 individuals with disabilities. These can vary in their level of support. Individuals of similar support needs share a house that usually accommodates 4-6 residents.
Individuals should contact DHS Intake and Response for information about how to access this service. More information
Giving Carers a Break
“Respite” support is designed to give carers a break as well as providing the individual being cared for with a positive break too. 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 Human Service (DHS) provides a range of respite options: in-home, community participation and out-of-home support such as community respite house or holiday. Contact Disability Intake and Response for more information on 1800 783 783.
Sometimes it can be difficult for an individual with an ASD 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 have a speciality in driving. Visit their website and choose Driving in the Speciality field.
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
We provide a full range of Information Sheets about all aspects of ASD – these are updated regularly.