1. Complete ‘What to do at 18‘ if you have not.
2. Complete the NJ CAT Assessment Tool
3. Choose a Support Coordination Agency
All services for your adult child with DD/ID will be driven by a document referred to as an Individual Service Plan. Here are several articles that will help you understand the Support Coordination Agency Role. Choose wisely! You need someone on your side.
If you do not feel that your agency is advocating for your adult child to the fullest extent they are supposed to be, you may switch agencies.
4. Research Options for Day Program Opportunities
Day Programs can be productive and vibrant experiences where adults can gain work skills, have educational and recreational experiences, develop friendships and gain independance. Choosing wisely, getting references and visiting the program first hand are very important.
All programs have a different feel to them and might cater to the interests of the group already there. Have discussions with other parents and try them on for a good fit!
Don’t overlook Day Programs. Some will let you attend 1 day or all 5 days a week. See if someting fits what your young adult is interested in.
Check out this resource as a broad guideline.
5. Contact DVR
The Division of Vocation Rehabilitation is a state agency that can help and support people who have barriers to obtaining meaningful work train for and gain emoployment.
Very often, your school district will include a representative from the agency in your last IEP meetings.
6. Investigate/Educate Yourself on Residential/Housing Options
There are specific criterion for being added to waiting lists for government housing options in NJ (probably the rest of the country, too) and very long waiting lists are maintained.
It is a good idea to read about the options and request placement on either the General Waiting List or the Priority Waiting List, which may be available if you situation warrants it.