Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Your young people with ASD have left school, and you’re faced with devising NDIS goals that will propel them forward. You’ve specified objectives in your planning meeting, and now you’re ready to find service providers to help you achieve outcomes. But where do you start?
Goal setting can prompt feelings of dread and apprehension. This isn’t surprising when the goals need to be as specific as the NDIA requires them to be.
Discuss desires and objectives with the teens themselves. Other significant individuals in their lives, such as family members, Support Coordinators, and Local Area Coordinators, will all have knowledge of organisations equipped to help your young person pursue and accomplish goals.
Have confidence in your ability to advocate for your child. There is an excellent article written by Canadian educator Michael Kendrick who encourages parents to understand they are the best advocates for their children. Kendrick’s words are as relevant and profound today as they were when he wrote them in 1996. Google the article The Natural Authority of Families by Michael Kendrick. I turned many points within this article into affirmations for me.
Goals don’t have to be achieved overnight, so don’t stress. Gaining skills will take as long as it takes. I always found that if I set the bar too high, whatever my lad achieved was higher than if I’d never set the bar at all.
You are probably hoping your young person will gain meaningful employment, genuine friendships, and live independently with, or possibly even, eventually, without support. But how can you take the steps to attain workplace readiness, supported independent living or possibly unsupported independence? What is your young person actually capable of right now, and where can he or she practice learned skills?
Well, there is a great organisation servicing South East Queensland and Sydney that will help you answer these questions.
Look at Autism Adventures.
So, what’s it all about?
This organisation supports and guides people with autism in positive and meaningful ways. The staff strongly believe in empowering and mentoring autistic teens and young adults to enable them to confront life’s challenges, work through them, and triumph over difficulties to reach their potential.
Young people who begin at Autism Adventures lacking in confidence and uncertain of their future, are, after a few years, gaining a driver’s license and taking their rightful place in the world in a positive and worthwhile way.
Okay, so this service isn’t for all teenagers and young adults.
- Your teens will need to be able to comprehend instructions and engage in reciprocal communication.
If they have worked on these skills at home and school, then to begin with, you might find a social group within this organisation just what your young person needs right now. Developing genuine friendships does wonders for a child’s confidence.
Autism Adventures supports and guides Autism Positive People into living fulfilling and meaningful lives.
Don’t be concerned if your teen’s confidence is low. Autism Adventures acknowledges introversion and anxiety, and staff will help participants recognise the triggers for their stress and practice strategies to overcome the debilitating and isolating aspects of being on the spectrum.
- Staff teach teens they are not ‘less than’ others.
- Instructors work consistently, persistently, and kindly with teens.
- They teach strategies to help individuals monitor their stress.
- Autism Adventures’ staff do not discourage participants from stimming. Staff understand why stimming and tics occur. There is no reprimanding of young people for the physical manifestations of their stress.
- Staff understand that trying to act the way neurotypical people do can frustrate and dishearten autistic teens. Kids often fail when attempting to ‘fit in’ and can be ridiculed for failing. At Autism Adventures, participants learn how to navigate the society in which they live, whilst being true to themselves.
- The kids can also be who they are authentically without the fear of being belittled or chastised for misunderstanding situations.
When support people address anxiety in positive ways: -
- achievements occur, and confidence grows.
- friendships develop and staff can assist participants to maintain those friendships.
Autism Adventures began as a single social group in Brisbane in 2015 and now offers services in various South East Queensland locations and on the North Shore of Sydney.
The organisation has grown in terms of what it can offer too. There is: -
- Specifically designed one-on-one mentoring support for teenagers and young adults on the Autism Spectrum.
- Tailored one-on-one programmes for independent living.
- Advocacy for Autism Positive Employment, by supporting AS teens to find positions.
Staff consult with businesses to improve their profits by engaging AS employees.
The social groups are a vital part of the Autism Adventures programme.
- The opportunity to choose what they would like to do in a safe and supported space is given to all participants.
- There are brief excursions and longer holidays when your teen is ready.
- At Autism Adventures, all the pressure to be, or act like anyone else is off. Young people are accepted for exactly who they are.
Autism Adventures is NDIS compliant and staff will help participants to negotiate the NDIS process.
If it sounds like this organisation would benefit your young person, contact via the application form on the website https://www.autismadventures.com.au
or call Simon La Rosa on 0403 839 887 or Caroline Smith on 0410 376 882 to book an appointment.
Written by: Rhonda Valentine Dixon.