Autism doesn’t stop at 21.
Neither do we.

For parents, ensuring your child is prepared for adulthood and a greater level of independence is a primary concern. At Bancroft, our robust Transition Program is focused on job, social and life skills development along with an abundance of community interaction. While your child is preparing for his future, our knowledgeable staff guides families in Transition planning to help them make the best decisions for their child’s future.

The Bancroft High School Transition Program

The Bancroft School Transition Program prepares students through vocational development seamlessly ingrained in their school curriculum. Beginning at age 14, students spend a greater portion of their day on vocational, social and critical thinking. They practice their skills on campus at the campus store and greenhouse and in the community through volunteer work and job skills development.

Transition preparation becomes the primary focus of the school day upon turning 18. 

Students – with the support of direct care and job coach staff – volunteer at community businesses and participate in internships and/or paid employment when applicable.

Academically, teachers concentrate on vocational prerequisites and skills such as resume building, interviewing skills and what it means to be a good employee. In this controlled environment, students are able to easily access different resources and progressively work towards greater independence, gradually phasing out the one-to-one support that will not be available to them as adults.

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Top Three Things to Plan for Transition

When your child turns 18, he or she will become his or her own guardian and empowered to make decisions about education, medical, financial, and personal care. If you feel your child needs your continued support in making these decisions, you should consider filing for guardianship. Bancroft social workers recommend this discussion begins at age 16, as tests such as a current IQ evaluation may be necessary to complete this process.

At Bancroft, we help each person maximize their potential for an active and satisfying life.  Achieved through a “person-centered” model of care, we  emphasize the strengths of the individual and support them in pursuing their goals and dreams.

The person-centered model also engages the student’s family, friends, staff and community – their circle of support. Parents and other family members, especially, play a key role on the team, and we encourage parents to be active participants in their child’s education and care.

There are many options for adolescents moving into the adult system of supports. It’s important to establish appropriate post-graduate goals early with your child and your IEP team so your child has adequate time to develop skills and begin to work towards living independently. Allow sufficient time to prepare for graduation, research and tour programs and complete applications.


Frequently Asked Questions

It is never too soon to start researching post-graduation programs and supports – there are many programs that meet different needs. You should also keep a record of any evaluations or diagnoses your child receives while they are in school.

Work with your child and school personnel to develop a strong transition plan that includes a set of goals for after graduation. Include a timeline so you can monitor your progress. Learn more about transition plans here.

There are a variety of ways an individual can participate in day services after age 21, including employment, structured day programs, in-home and self-directed day services. To learn about Bancroft’s seamless transition services, please e-mail

Programs are typically funded through the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits or through private pay.

  1. Contact the Intake/Intensive Unit of your local DDD Community Services Office or apply online. Locate your Community Services Office.
  2. To ensure your child is eligible for Medicaid, fill out the Medicaid Eligibility Troubleshooting Form.
  3. Complete the NJ Comprehensive Assessment Tool (NJ CAT) through the Intake/Intensive Unit of your local DDD Community Services Office.

It is a good idea to begin planning for the transition to the adult system when your child is still in high school. A child can be referred to DVRS up to two years before leaving high school, and you can begin the paperwork for DDD 4-6 months before your child turns 21.

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