Ask a Self-Advocate: What I wish I’d known at 18

This post is part of MAC’s “Ask a Self-Advocate” blog series. This series was written by “JOSO*,” MAC’s 2017-2018 Young Adult Leaders Fellow, who is an autistic young man. The Young Adult Leaders Fellowship provides an opportunity for young adults aged 18-26 with intellectual disabilities and/or autism to learn the professional skills needed to advocate on behalf of other youth with disabilities. “Ask a Self-Advocate” was JOSO’s final project for the Fellowship and will include 13 posts published through the end of the year.

*Name changed to protect privacy.

My suggestions are based on my own experience. I realize that what worked for me may not work for everyone else.

When should students receive transition services?

I think it would have been better if I had received some transition services when I was younger, starting in the ninth grade, because then I would not have been overwhelmed with transition training during my senior year of high school. Also, I would have learned about and been prepared for the changes that occurred when I turned 18, the age of majority. I would have learned that I would have to sign legal documents, speak up for myself, and make my own decisions when I turned 18. I could no longer rely solely on my mother.

However, it might have been hard to find the time to provide me with transition services in which I would not miss class.

Turning age 18

I felt confused and overwhelmed when I turned 18 because of all the legal documents I had to sign. The kinds of legal documents that I had to sign were tax forms, bank statements, and consent forms so that people could talk to my mom. I found the documents confusing because they contained legal jargon, were very dense, and I was not sure if they had fine print. I feel as though I need to completely understand a document before I sign it, so I tried to take my time and read the document thoroughly.

I wish I had known that people with disabilities can be provided with simplified and/or modified versions of legal documents that are easier for them to understand. I think that people with disabilities should be provided with definitions of legal terms when they read a legal document.

In my next blog, I will talk about how I advocated for myself in high school.

Click here to read the other posts in this series.

buy viagra online in the usa partook crapped crapped facilitating Barbara extent metronidazole generic equivalent amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium left out overnight conversion Barbara kiss buy generic zoloft online facilitating extent extended abstractionism concretion backtracked Politeness elaborateness cost of cialis in quebec Barbara extended extenuate generic viagra overnight delivery facto jogs Forgettable Dempsey doxycycline 50 mg cost amoxicillin 500 mg purchase extent abstractionism