ASSIST Training Program

ASSIST Training Program.  Open to residents of Illinois only

Transitioning from school-based to adult service systems is challenging for many families of youth on the autism spectrum.  Additionally, the adult service system can be complicated and difficult to navigate for many. The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP)’s ASSIST Training program aims to improve parents’ ability to advocate for adult services on behalf of their child or young adult on the autism spectrum.

 ASSIST stands for Advocating for Supports to Improve Service Transitions and is a modulized advocacy training program for parents of youth with autism covering multiple 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 statewide training curriculum for TAP.

 Eligibility: The TAP ASSIST Training is free and open to all Illinois parents/guardians who have a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ages fourteen to twenty-two.

Training Dates and Topics

All sessions will be held virtually via Zoom from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
There are twelve modules in the training program. Each module features an expert-led presentation on a relevant transition topic and includes time for parent discussion and questions. 

Click on the presenter’s name to read their biography.


Aug 14, 2023 Reagan Carey Person-Centered Planning registration closed
Sept 11, 2023 Timothy Rigby Surrogate Decision-Making: Guardianship and Alternatives registration closed
Oct 9, 2023 Alexandra Baig Supplementary Security Income (SSI) registration closed
Nov 6, 2023
Alexandra Baig Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) & Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) registration closed
Nov 13, 2023 Marla Root Health Insurance Options registration closed
Dec 11, 2023 Megan Mutti PUNS, Home-based Services and Adult Waiver Supports registration closed
Jan 8, 2024 Sherry Healey Competitive Integrated Employment registration closed
Jan 22, 2024 Erik Hanson IDHS-DRS: A Program Overview registration closed
Feb 12, 2024 Jill Fahy Post-Secondary Education registration closed
March 11, 2024 Laurie Williams Housing, Independent Living, and Enabling Technology registration is closed
April 8, 2024 Mike C Walther II Special Needs Trust (SNT) & ABLE Account registration is closed
May 13, 2024 Reagan Carey Advocacy registration is closed
If you have questions, please contact Shannon Dyson 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