#1 is finishing High School. Some good things have happened in High School, but if we could rerun the tape we’d have tried something different — perhaps a local charter school that specializes in autism disorders.
The Junior and Senior years have been remarkably weak. I think this is partly due to local conditions; we’ve seen problems with leadership, policies, and funding — particularly funding and support for class aides.
I don’t think that’s the whole story though — I suspect very few schools or school districts have figured out how to manage special education for ages 16-19, particularly in integrated settings.
I’m concerned the post-secondary “transition” period will be no better — particularly since care of special needs adults in the US seems to be replaying the history of psychiatric deinstitutionalization (note - did not go well the first time).
No particular words of advice here — except don’t be afraid to do something different after middle school. You might not do better, but you probably won’t do worse.