Critical life transitions such as preparing for high school, beginning college, or entering the workforce are difficult for everyone.
For youth with ASD and similar social-communication disorders, these transitions can be even more challenging.
Because of their differences and challenges with social integration, youth with ASD often experience isolation and alienation. Their parents sometimes begin to feel discouraged, because their child with special needs requires so much attention and direction in great contrast to their neurotypical peers. Our Paths program is designed to help youth with ASD gain knowledge and insight; improve social functioning; develop organizational skills; and to support parents as they guide their son or daughter through critical periods of adolescence and early adulthood.
Paths Academy provides a supportive, inclusive environment where young people with ASD and related social-communication disorders gain knowledge and insight to help them with successful transitions; enhance their social and communication skills; obtain educational and career support; further develop their executive functioning skills; and build life-long friendships and connections. The program is delivered by professionally trained staff; utilizing a structured, facilitated curriculum; in age-appropriate groups and settings; and where college interns serve as peer-mentors. In addition to formal teaching and lectures, students are provided opportunities to practice newly learned skills in the real world in the safety of their peer group and under the supervision and coaching of their Paths Facilitator.
The program is delivered in a series of independent short sessions, each focused on specific information and related to a particular area of functioning. Paths is offered ongoing throughout the year and is conducted in a number of sites centrally located throughout the community.