Over the past 30 years in working with families and students, the number one question I get asked is: What happens after High School? Parents, students, and educators have legitimate concerns about how young people with ASD will navigate the the world of work and community, and want to know how to maximize independence.
With this in mind, I have developed a workbook featuring the most important topics to help students practice independence skills as they approach adulthood. The organization and topics covered in this book can help take the guesswork out of how to best help our young adults with ASD move safely in to the world of independence. Many of these skills have already been taught in school along the way. This workbook is an excellent refresher and support for the student. It can also help teachers who teach young adults by providing a framework and curricular support.
When writing a previous book I had the fortune to meet and interview Temple Grandin, a successful scientist and author with ASD. Her own struggles with ASD uniquely put her into a position that helps educators understand challenges with this population. She stated,
“Kids with ASD don’t get fired from jobs because they can’t do the work. They get fired because they can’t talk to their bosses, or they don’t know how to set an alarm clock. You have to teach them these skills. You have to teach students life skills. You can’t ignore it.”
These words are so important. We need to constantly support the learning of ASD students even after high school. This workbook does just that, and helps educators understand the domains of life skills that need to be addressed.
This work book covers the areas of:
Communication – Specific activities to help young adults with ASD strengthen and hone their pragmatic language skills, including verbal and body language. It highlights the importance of staying on topic and having conversations within context of the listener.
Health, Hygiene, and Safety- These activities help students navigate self-care safely in the home and help to maintain personal grooming. It helps to maximize students to stay safe and healthy in their daily activities.
Leisure Time – spending quality leisure time is essential for a well-rounded life and long term happiness. It is usually the most significant area of need for students with ASD. Finding interests, expanding these interests in the work environment and pursuing interests are topics young adults with ASD need tremendous support with.
Community Use – Independence start with being able to navigate the community and using the many resources available to the individual. How to do so effectively and safely is covered in this section.
The ASD Independence Workbook is designed to help maintain and reinforce these topics with interactive activities and points of discussion. It is designed not to only teach direct skills, but to foster and further conversations regarding these topics. All activities are easily reproduced and expanded upon to provide further practice and skill development in these much needed areas of support in helping our young adults with ASD achieve great success with independent living skills.