Social Support Services for Adults
Much of the focus in autism treatment has been on early intervention and educational supports for children. As a result, many ASD adults feel that their needs for community supports have not been a priority. Families with adults on the spectrum often describe their fear and a sense of abandonment when their adult child "ages out" of the educational system and there are few resources. This life stage can also be difficult because ASD adults face an entirely different set of challenges.
Successful transition to adulthood requires the social communication skills necessary to obtain employment and work collaboratively with others. ASD individuals also need social supports that increase their independent living skills and prepare them for postsecondary education. ASD adults want to improve social relationships, develop friendships and find romantic partners, but have not had the same social experiences as their peers. They need direct instruction on understanding nonverbal communication, explicit social rules and the ability to practice social skills in real life settings. They may need help creating self-advocacy scripts to use in a variety of situations. Some may need to explain their sensory sensitivities to others and learn how to ask for environmental accommodations. ASD adults also need to know the basics of the Americans with Disabilities Act and how it applies in postsecondary education and the workplace.
- Dr Cohen will provide social skills classes for adults using the Social Literacy curriculum beginning in Spring 2016. This curriculum was created for ASD adults and has been taught in the Philadelphia and New York metropolitan areas for over 10 years.
- Dr Cohen provides consultations on selecting a college that is "ASD friendly" and provides the appropriate educational, social and campus life supports.