As teenagers with autism approach adulthood, they face new challenges in their day-to-day lives. Many will be able to live independently but may need a little help learning the skills necessary to keep their own home, successfully hold down a job and have a happy and fulfilling social life. That is where a life skills program for autism becomes useful. The program runs full time or part time. Sessions last from 9am to 5pm, from September through to June, with experienced coaches providing guidance and ongoing assessments to track progress.
Life skills program for autism
The life skills program for autism and other intellectual challenges, focuses on three main areas of development: independent living skills, social skills and self-regulation, and foundational skills which focuses on language, literacy and numeracy.
Independent living skills
This section of the program is dedicated to helping students develop the skills that an adult will need in day-to-day life, whether living alone or as part of a larger household. The Real Economy program deals with financial management by allowing participants to earn real cash through work placements, while other aspects of the course include basic organizational skills, guidance on food and nutrition, shopping, cooking and cleaning. The fee for the Real Economy program is used for transportation, lunches and gym membership. It will prepare students to leave the structured environment of their adolescence and take control of their own lives as adults.
Social skills and self-regulation
Many people with intellectual disabilities can struggle socially, finding it hard to build and maintain relationships. These difficulties can become more significant in adulthood, when individuals have to manage their own lives.
The social skills and self-regulation element of the life skills program helps young adults with autism learn about etiquette and appropriate behaviour in social settings. The program also encourages students to develop their self-advocacy skills so that when they need help, they can ask for it themselves. Self-regulation and self-management can help young adults control impulses that may not be socially acceptable. A combination of all the above will all contribute to being able to establish better relationships with others.
Language is another area where young adults with autism could experience difficulties. The foundational skills part of the program includes functional language and conversational skills, as well as reading, writing, functional numeracy and digital literacy. These are all skills that will contribute to increased confidence and more independent living, and mastering them will make things like day-to-day planning, budget management and social interaction much easier. The life skills program for autism will help young adults with challenges master these different areas so they have the widest possible range of options when they reach adulthood. The skills they are armed with should enable them the freedom to live independently, maintain jobs and friendships, and generally be more happy and productive in their lives.