Exploring Inclusive Day Programs for Adults with Autism: A Guide to Remediation

Some children with autism do well at school, but others may struggle to achieve what are often considered the basic standards of achievement. In adulthood, this can lead to problems with relationships, further education, employment or more general independent living. Day programs for adults with autism provide an opportunity for remediation to work on and improve the skills needed to lead a happy, successful and autonomous life.

What is remediation?

Remediation is the improvement or remedying of an unsatisfactory situation. It is used in a variety of contexts, but in the world of education, it is about helping students who have not achieved a required standard or qualification to practice and enhance the skills they need. It is most often used academically, with foundational skills such as literacy and numeracy. Remediation is not just available for students with autism or special needs. Any student who has fallen behind, such as one whose education has been disrupted by personal circumstances, may benefit from remediation.

Remediation in day programs for adults with autism

Adults with autism are no longer required to attend school like when they were children, but this does not mean they have mastered all the skills needed to live independently as adults. Day programs provide full-time or part-time opportunities to work on these skills while establishing or maintaining interactions and relationships with their wider community. These programs acknowledge that their attendees are adults and treat them as such, while offering them support.

Every adult who comes to a day program will likely have a completely different set of strengths and weaknesses. Some will have done well academically but still struggle socially. Some will have established strong, healthy relationships with friends and family but will not know how to manage their own time or finances. Others may struggle across multiple areas at once. Good day programs have the flexibility to identify these strengths and weaknesses and help the student develop a plan to specifically focus on the skills that need remediation while encouraging the areas where they do show ability.

Building these skills will not just better prepare students to seek out employment, further education or a more independent living situation; it will also improve their confidence and allow them to better advocate for themselves. Helping students master these skills means being flexible in the teaching approach, the use of different methods to communicate and engage, and providing practical opportunities in addition to studying from books. In the modern world, technology can be an invaluable tool for assisting in communication and organization, and many programs will ensure that each student has their own laptop or tablet.

A combination of experienced instructors, evidence-based approaches, flexibility, open-mindedness, and clear, effective communication between students, their families and staff will give remediation in day programs the best chance of success.

Day programs are a way for adults with autism to practice a wide range of skills, from the communication and social interaction needed to build and sustain relationships to the foundational academics often required in employment or just when managing a home. Remediation is an important part of helping them achieve their goals, improve their confidence and become happier, more successful individuals.

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