Ages 13 – 17

13 – 17 Checklist

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.

Print This Checklist

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
  • Sign up for the Autism Waiver
  • Apply to the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)
  • Investigate Behavior Supports 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

Medical Assistance

Assistive Technology

  • Learn all you can about Assistive Technology services available
  • Explore financial assistance for Assistive Technology
  • Students should exit school with a communication system that they can use comfortably and that they can take with them into the adult world


  • Understand the requirements/criteria for exiting with a Diploma vs. a Certificate of Completion
  • Learn about the special education process and IEPs
  • Make sure that the IEP contains achievable, measurable objectives that reflect the student’s transition goals
  • Learn about 504 Plans
  • Determine with your IEP team which state assessment tests are most appropriate for your child
  • Contact your Parents’ Place of Maryland, Partners for Success Family Center, or the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for assistance with school issues, IEP development, school resources
  • Prepare for the transition from middle to high school
  • Prepare to transition out of high school
  • Understand your student’s placement options
  • Address any instances of bullying immediately
  • Understand matters of discipline including suspension and expulsion
  • Get involved with your local Special Education Citizen’s Advisory Committee (SECAC) or the Maryland Special Education State Advisory Committee (SESAC)
  • Explore summer time options
  • Explore college options
  • Develop a system to organize education records


  • Notice and develop skills that could lead to future employment
  • Make sure your teenager has 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


  • Begin to explore housing options
  • Apply to the local public housing authority Section 8 waiting list
  • Help your child establish credit

Social and Relationships

  • Help your child learn about appropriate social skills
  • Teach your child about sexuality, relationships, and other teen issues
  • Develop the recreational and leisure activities that your child enjoys

Funding for Services and Legal Issues

  • Review the “Financial Things Every Parent of a Child with Autism Needs to Know”
  • Sign up for the Autism Waiver
  • Understand what it means to move from Entitlement to Eligibility
  • Determine if your child is eligible for Social Security Benefits
  • Apply to the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)
  • Investigate Low Intensity Support Services (LISS)
  • Learn about life planning tools and options
  • Explore the legal implications of reaching age 18
  • Develop a system to organize financial and legal records

Support: Support Groups and Respite

  • Network with others at a support group
  • Identify your 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
  • Help your child obtain a Maryland State ID card issued by the Motor Vehicle Administration

Advocacy and Self-Advocacy

  • Learn about becoming an advocate at the local and national level. Consider joining local and national autism groups and listservs.
  • Get involved with your local Special Education Citizen’s Advisory Committee (SECAC) or the Maryland Special Education State Advisory Committee (SESAC)
  • Help your child learn self-advocacy skills

contact us today to get involved