Autism Spectrum


leaving school and leading your own life


Did your son or daughter start speaking up for their own rights when at school?

Do you think they understand that they have a growing role in determining their own life now that they are growing older?

For some of our young people, parents will always have to be the main advocate for the child’s rights.

But as much as possible, parents need to encourage their young person to speak up for themselves.

Independence and living the life of your choice is very important in today’s evolving world of self-managed funding models.


We parents need to learn to let go as much as we can, and to teach as much independence and self-determination lessons to our kids as we can. 


This takes time, and we might need to be patient.  Make that very, very patient.

Seana S.


What is self-advocacy? Here’s how we explained it for young people

Self-advocacy means making sure that your desires and needs are made clear. It means ensuring that you have the same chances in life, the same rights and the same choices as everyone else.

Self-advocacy means explaining your feelings and thoughts, and asking for what you want.

It means making sure you are involved in the decisions that affect you, and working (sometimes with others) towards finding solutions for problems.

Self advocacy means being able to ask for help when you need it, and being willing to ask lots of questions and learn new skills.

On the Young people page we have listed all sorts of resources for young people. You might like to have a look at those as well as getting to know the major resource in NSW which is the My Choice Matters website, see below. 

Autism Speaks Self-Advocacy Kit

Autism Speaks has a Transition Toolkit for parents which has an excellent section on encouraging your child to develop the skills of the self-advocacy.

Download Self-advocacy PDF here.


My Choice Matters

My Choice Matters is a program being jointly managed by the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability (NSW CID) and the NSW Department of Families and Community Service, Ageing, Disability and Home Care.

My Choice Matters runs a website and a series of workshops aimed at people with a disability and their families.

My Choice Matters aims to develop and grow skills in making choices, developing a voice and gaining more control over one’s life.

These skills are now more needed in the rapidly developing disability support systems, particularly the self management of funds now possible through the NDIS as it rolls out.

The current NSW  Community Participation funding through FACS can also be self-managed.

My Choice Matters aims to help people with all sorts of disabilities to have Choice, Voice and Control over their own lives. It is helping people gain the skills they need to manage their own funding under the NDIS.

Get More Skills workshops are run regularly across NSW and cover topics like:

  • generally being in charge of your own life
  • speaking up
  • knowing what questions to ask
  • managing and understanding more about a plan
  • managing people
  • managing money
  • new ideas

The My Choice Matters website is here.


Self-advocacy skills for further study

High school sets up autistic kids to fail in college. Here’s how to fix the problem.

This is the headline of a very thought-provoking article about helping young adults gain the self-advocacy skills they need for college from the US magazine Vox, find it here.