Autism Spectrum


leaving school and leading your own life

Building connections


There are many different reasons for ensuring that your son or daughter has as strong a community as possible around them.

One of these is that most young people with autism are social beings and like to connect with people. That’s why it is always worth helping to foster friendships.

Research studies into outcomes for adults with autism suggest that social support and strong social connections are associated with better outcomes.

Building and using your community is a really great idea for finding employment. Although there are funded services that can assist with employment, looking for opportunities within your own community is also a great start.

The service provider can be part of this community, working with a local person or company that might work well as an employer.

More jobs are found through personal contacts than are ever advertised.

Circles of Support

Circles of Support are more formal ways to establish community networks. They are typically set up for young people with higher support needs.

A group of people come together to act as a support network to a person with a disability.

You can read a lot more about Circles of Support on the Resourcing Families website which has a whole section on Building Support Networks.

Resourcing Families has a short fact sheet about Circles of Support here.

This is a great instructional video on how to set up a Circle of Support from Down Syndrome NSW here.

For more detailed information on building networks and circles of support you can refer to the Resourcing Families website:

 For more information on developing community connections, read the Community Connections page on Resourcing Families here.


Ability Links

Across NSW there are 268 Ability Links Coordinators, known as Linkers, who assist people with a disability aged 9 – 64 years to develop networks in their local communities and to live the life of their choice.

Linkers also work within local communities to encourage inclusion of people with disabilities.

Forty seven of the Linkers are Aboriginal Providers, however all Linkers are able to work across the entire range of the communities they work within.

Linkers can meet you in your own home or in their offices or in a place of your choice.

You can find your local contact on this information sheet

Read more about Ability Links here.