ASSIST Training Program

Transitioning from school-based to adult service systems is challenging for many families of youth on the autism spectrum.  TAP’s ASSIST Training program aims to improve parents’ ability to advocate for adult services on behalf of their son or daughter on the autism spectrum.

ASSIST stands for Advocating for Supports to Improve Service Transitions and is a 12-week advocacy training program for parents of youth with autism covering topics related to transitioning to adulthood.  ASSIST was piloted as a multi-site research project with TAP network partner, the University of Illinois being one of the initial sites participating.  Other sites included: Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Now the ASSIST Training is part of the training curriculum for The Autism Program of Illinois.


The twelve-week ASSIST modules will be offered virtually on Monday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. February 13 through May 1, 2023.  Each module features an expert presenter on the transition topic for that week and includes time for parent discussion and questions.  Some of the transition topics include models of decision-making, benefits – such as social security and health insurance, financial planning, and transitioning to post-secondary education or employment.  The cohort size will be kept small so that parents can get maximum benefit from the group-based training.  The ASSIST training is free and requires registration to attend.  Spots are limited so register today!


Training program is open to residents of Illinois only

Eligiability Requirements:
  • Must be a resident of Illinois.
  • Must be the parent or guardian of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ages 14 to 22.
  • Must be willing to actively participate in weekly virtual group-based advocacy training sessions for twelve weeks.
Location: Virtual
Cost: Free

Training materials will be sent to registered participants via email approximately one week in advance of the first training session.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Mary Kelly at

About us

The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) Service Network is a collaboration of 5 universities and 10 organizations that together operate 20 centers across the state. As a network, TAP is able to offer services that respond to the unique needs of different communities across Illinois.


The Autism Program of Illinois

Hope Pavilion
5220 S. 6th Street,
Suite 2300B

Springfield IL 62703