WELCOME to our story!

“22 at 20: A Non-Traditional Transition Story” is a workshop and guide that was written in 2012 following the transition of Nicky Chan, an adult with autism and intellectual disabilities, from a hospital-based, severely restrictive setting to a shared-living model in his own home in Massachusetts.  The transition was an extraordinary success for Nicky.  That success belongs to Nicky and his team of supporters, representing the Department of Disability Services, the public school system and 2 adult agencies who collaborated closely for one year before Nicky moved in.  The success was so extraordinary that Nicky’s Mom, Cheryl Ryan Chan, knew that the story needed to be told to inspire and guide others to replicate the way it was done.  In truth, the level of collaboration and planning that took place is extraordinary and yes, non-traditional.  This website remains online and continues to be used by families all across Massachusetts.

We are very proud to announce that DESE has listed this transition story as a best practice, and it is being implemented by more and more families as awareness increases.  Parents and families are the leaders in developing creative housing solutions, and it behooves schools and service providers to listen.  Not only is this a story of success for Nicky in terms of his quality of life, it’s a story of financial responsibility and tremendous savings as well.  If that doesn’t inspire, nothing else will.  So, read on!  And don’t forget to read the blog posts; follow the links on the right sidebar!

    Here’s a snapshot of what you will find here:
  • Our About page introduces you to the history of how this journey began for the Chan family.
  • Our Presentations page provides links to download the slides from the workshops that the team has done across the State.
  • Our Families page is a heartfelt and courageous letter from Cheryl Chan, Mom to Nicky, that describes her family’s journey and drives home the extraordinary part of the story.
  • Our Schools page includes a letter to school administrators from the Director of Pupil Services who was the driving force behind making things happen and collaborating with DDS, DESE, and 2 adult human service providers who stepped up to support Nicky.
  • Our Contact page is just that: how to connect with all of us; even now, years after this successful transition, the administrators involved are committed to sharing information and explaining their roles to colleagues and other families.