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The Center for Autism Support and Training



The primary focus of CAST’s Intensive Individual Support Services (IIS) is to help children, teens and young adults with autism up to 21 years of age to follow a daily activity schedule, continue to reach their potential and become as independent as possible.

“Activity Schedules” are an extremely helpful tool in promoting independence, cognitive development, and functional daily living skills for most people with autism in their day-to-day home environment and out in their community. They establish routine and predictability. People with autism find this very helpful. 

The following life skills domains are incorporated into CAST’s daily/weekly plan of activities:

· Personal Care/Self-Help Skills/Functional Life Skills

· Household Cooperation and Chores

· Cooking and Food Preparation

· Recreation and Leisure

· Community Resources/Street Safety/Mobility

· Gross/Fine Motor and Sensory Integration

· Identifying and Using Money

· Other Skills: Activities related to reading, pre-vocational skills, typing.

Intensive Individual Support


When parents and caregivers need a break, CAST will provide engaging activities, always ensuring safety, warmth, careful attention to your loved-one.

Having free time to focus on your own needs, helps bring life back into balance…

And brings  peace of mind.

Respite Services


Family Consulting

Although there are countless programs and interventions to help children with autism, there are few personal and confidential support and training services for their parents. Research suggests that there may be more stress on families with autism than any other disability group.

Parents of children with autism are at risk for depression and stress disorders that can immobilize, isolate, and overwhelm them every step of the way. The sheer enormity of their loved-one’s disability and the infinitesimal details and broad-based knowledge required to effectively handle this parenting role can create emotional crises that may lead to breakdown or burnout.

The Center for Autism Support and Training (CAST) provides parents with a roadmap to navigate the difficult stages of emotional adjustment, strengthen relationships, and teach parents the skills they will require in order to effectively manage this difficult parenting role. The purpose of Family Consulting is to empower parents of children and teens with autism by providing them with counseling and imparting information, knowledge, skills, and competencies that allow them access and control over resources that can be used to meet family needs.There's much to see here. So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about us. We hope you enjoy our site and take a moment to drop us a line.


CAST will help you go through various steps related to “Transitioning Youth” (TY) for DDA.  This begins one year before leaving school.  

Activities include: Contacting Resource Coordination; documents needed to apply or reapply to Medical Assistance; gather documents required to send for a Matrix Score evaluation; visit 3 to 4 day program/supported employment service provider agencies before October. Send in Choice Letters by October.  Follow up with Resource Coordination whether you got acceptance letters.  If not, or if denied, reopen search for providers. Decide if you want to pursue Community Pathways  (traditional system) or Self-Direction (a person-centered, client-centered and client-run program with the help of parents). Discuss your options with Resource Coordinator.  Starting at age 16 or before, start developing initial goals and objectives from content areas below, maintain training notes, document progress on an annual basis.

Prepare a life plan. Decide what you want regarding residential needs, employment, education, social activities, medical and dental care, religion, and final arrangements.

Write informational and instructional directives. Put your hopes and desires in a written document. Include information regarding care providers and assistants, attending physicians, dentists, medicine, functioning abilities, types of activities enjoyed, daily living skills, and rights and values.

Decide on a type of supervision. Guardianship and conservatorship are legal appointments requiring court‐ordered mandates. Individuals or institutions manage the estate of people judged incapable (not necessarily incompetent) of caring for their own affairs. Guardians and conservators are also responsible for the care and decisions made on behalf of people who are unable to care for themselves. In some states, guardians assist people, and conservators manage the estate of individuals. Many parents who have kids with disabilities do not realize that when their children reach 18, adults may no longer have legal authority. Choose conservators/guardians for today and tomorrow. Select capable individuals in the event you become unable to make decisions in the future.

Determine the cost. Make a list of current and anticipated monthly expenses. When you have established this amount, decide on a reasonable return on your investments, and calculate how much will be needed to provide enough funds to support his or her lifestyle. Do not forget to include disability income, Social Security, etc.

Find resources. Possible resources to fund your plan include government benefits, family assistance, inheritances, savings, life insurance, and investments.

Apply for benefits. Apply for Social Security, Food Stamps and more.

Prepare legal documents. Choose a qualified attorney to assist in preparing wills, trusts, power of attorney, guardianship, living will, etc.

Consider a “Special Needs Trust.” A Special Needs Trust holds assets for the benefit of people with disabilities and uses the income to provide for their supplemental needs. If drafted properly, assets are not considered income, so people do not jeopardize their Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid. And, too, they do not have to repay Medicaid for services received. Appoint a trustee and successor trustees (individuals or corporate entities, such as banks).

Explore the complete range of adult services (day programs; recreational/employment programs, supported employment; job training programs. Plan to visit several.

Use a life‐plan binder. Place all documents in a single binder and notify caregivers/family where they can find it.  

Participate in Person‐Centered Planning and develop Circles of Support

Hold a meeting. Give copies of relevant documents and instructions to family/caregivers. Review everyone’s responsibilities.

Adult Life-Planning




Call Us:    301-641-1837

Find Us:   Silver Spring, MD 20905

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