Earlier this month, NFAR welcomed educators, parents and autism professionals to their Fall Education Workshop, which focused on preparing young adults with autism for life beyond high school.
It is important for every child to learn the tools to succeed in the “real world” as they transition to adulthood. Statistics show that nearly 70% of young adults with autism are unable to live independently and the unemployment rate among adults with autism can be as high as 90%. This may in part be due to a lack of programs and services available for teens once they leave the public school system.
NFAR is committed to helping expand and develop programs that will support our children with autism on their path to adulthood. For our first Adult Transition Workshop, NFAR brought together professionals and educators to discuss strategies for developing communication and social skills in preparation of adult transition.
The workshop began with an introduction by SDSU Associate Professor Dr, Bonnie Kraemer who provided insight into how well San Diego is preparing youth with autism for adult transition. Next, high school educators, Shayla Green, M.A. and Pamela Johnson M.A discussed proven methodologies, “The PEERS Program” and “Use of Written Scripts” for teaching teens with autism social and friendship skills
Marilea Brock M.S. and Deanna Hughes Ph.D. of Crimson Speech Language Treatment and Research Center introduced the audience to their “Developing Oral and Written Workplace Communication Skills” program. The development of this program was funded in part by a 2009 NFAR grant and designed specifically to teach teens with autism communication skills that are important for employment.
The night ended on a high note with a panel discussion by two young men with autism, Sam Roberts and Erik Weber, who shared their personal experiences of how they have been able to transition successfully to work and college environments.
We would like to thank everyone who helped make this important and incredibly memorable workshop a success.