We will be presenting “22 at 20: A Nontraditional Transition Story” at Auburn High School (99 Auburn Street, Auburn) on Tuesday March 18, beginning at 7:00pm.

Cheryl Chan, mom of 21 year old Nicky, whose story will be presented, will be joined by Auburn’s former Director of Special Education and former Director of DMR (now DDS), Philip Campbell.

The story is, in part, how this family and a team of visionaries developed a completely unique program to place a severely impacted young man with autism into his adult situation early, setting him up for success at 22 and well beyond; but it is only ONE PART of the presentation.  By telling the story, participants will learn about the process of “back chaining” an IEP and transition plan by deciding first where a student should be at the end, and planning backward from there; how the family presented a housing model that the student would never have been considered for if they had not believed it best for their son; how collaboration had to take place without territorialism or ego by all team members – including 2 human service providers, the school system, UMASS and DDS; the challenges that were made to the Department of Education and how they stepped up to make certain all pieces of the program were in place and fully compliant with the law.

The team hopes that by sharing this story, families, educators, and provider agencies will be inspired to think creatively for all students; remove their preconceived notions of how things “must” be done, and get excited about the transition process.

THERE IS NO NEED TO RSVP, but if you have any questions please contact us by using the form below.

About Cheryl Ryan Chan

Autism Community Thought Leader & Change Agent. Find me at, learn about what I do at or contact me at
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