Transition to Life
About Transition to Life
Transition from secondary school to life is one of the most stressful times in the lives of young adults, but for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Asperger Syndrome), the event is overwhelming and anxiety provoking. Since many lack the skills and confidence to enter into post-secondary education or the workplace they often graduate from the school system to their parents’ basements. The intent of this program is to respond to the increasing needs of young adults with ASD who require specific preparation programs and direct support to ensure a successful transition experience to the world of enhanced education, employment and independence. This 12 week program offers direct teaching and individual coaching, group interactive learning/social experiences and provides a significant focus on job search preparation, getting hired and keeping a job.
Transition to Life: Not just a course but the foundation for a positive lifestyle!
What Does it Offer?
What Does it Offer?
This three month program is offered in two parts and integrates key teachings such as social understanding, executive functioning skills, self-regulation and self- motivation throughout the program. Specific practical skill education and application as well as direct individualized coaching are the primary focus.
Part One of the program provides practical strategies for the transition process, emotional regulation, social understanding and healthy relatonships.
Part Two focuses on job search preparation, getting hired, keeping a job and participating in a volunteer work experience. An introduction to post seondary education opportunities, independent living skills and planning for your future is also included. The focus of this section of the program is seeking and completing a supported work experience with the goal being a permanent transition into the workforce. Assistance and support in obtaining a work placement will be provided.
Past programs have operated in Barrie, Simcoe County, Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, Durham and Kitchener/Waterloo.
How to Apply for the Group Transition to Life Course
- Complete and return the application package with a $200.00 deposit.
- Potential participants will be contacted for an interview.
PLEASE NOTE: Deposit and Diagnosis must accompany your application.
How to Apply for the Individual Transition to Life Course
- Complete and return the application package.
- An information package will be forward to potential participants and a meeting will be organized.
My son Andrew was reclusive for over 5 years going from high school to the couch and the computer and had basically no outside social contact. The Transition to Life program and several meetings with the Integrated Autism Consulting (Patricia O’Connor) beforehand, changed Andrew’s life immensely. Andrew began a volunteer placement for a few hours a week, began walking and busing to class and his personal coaching sessions and began attending and enjoying a few of the social activities. This course boosted his self worth, his confidence and his outlook on life. Being able to work through and share your feelings/struggles with a group of young adults experiencing similar challenges was rewarding. He became more positive as each week passed and started setting goals and planning for his future. Andrew went from zero activity to having an outing scheduled at least 4 days a week and coping well with it! The participants were encouraged to attend a job fair, after spending time on job readiness activities, and he landed an interview and is now working full time! Andrew is now active, engaged, much more Independent, responsible and enthusiastic about life! We are so appreciative of the Transition to Life program and the team at the Integrated Autism Consulting centre. Andrew would not be we're he is today without them. Whatever happens next, Andrew will be okay as he is now armed with resources and a new social connection that will guide him through to the next stage.
Karen Roy, Barrie
This program was wonderful! Our son has gone back to university with a sense of control and optimism. He is determined to follow the schedule and advice that he learned from the program and has successfully hit the ground running. This has also shown itself in his renewed efforts at maintaining his personal hygiene. He loved the program. He met new friends. He hopes to keep in touch with his coach and instructor Pat. Overall we couldn’t have asked for a better experience for him! I would recommend this program to any young adult on the spectrum (or to their parents).Thank you!
Cathy - Parent, Aliston
Before Transition to Life, I was insecure, unhappy, and doing the same routine every day. I felt alone, like no one understood me. So I would live in my own little world. After Transition to Life my life has made a turn for the better. My confidence and independence has literally sky rocketed. I`ve learnt more in 3 months doing this course then most people with ASD would take an entire year to accomplish. I guess that scared insecure girl I once was is gone. I think that every adult with ASD should take this course.
Ashley - Participant, Barrie
The amount of independence and confidence that taking the Transition to Life course has instilled in our daughter/sister is absolutely phenomenal. Being around people that genuinely cared about her progress and well-being has not only benefitted her by opening doors in the community for jobs and support, but also has motivated her to take steps in life that she didn’t even know she was prepared to take. This course is an answered prayer for any youth on the spectrum that want a little love and support in an ominous society where support is scarcely given where it needs to be".
Kim (Mom) and Andrew (Brother), Barrie
Autism Ontario is keenly interested in sharing evidence about promising practices in ASD interventions. As the number of adults with ASD in Ontario grows, we need more support programs and evaluation of community-based interventions for adults on the autism spectrum. Pat O’Connor has been a skilled and motivated partner with Autism Ontario in demonstrating how better transition outcomes for adults with ASD might be achieved with the most effective approaches.
Marg Spoelstra – Provincial Executive Director, Autism Ontario, Toronto
This program contains important aspects of skills development for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder: It is structured, focuses on job readiness skills and prerequisite adaptive skills building, is modular, and can be tailored to individual student needs.
Jonathan Weiss – The Canadian Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Treatment and Care Research, York University
I wanted to follow-up on what is happening with Ryan since he participated in your "Transition for Life" course 2015. This information was so important for Ryan and it definitely changed his situation. He is growing up to become a nice young man. Since March, he is working at Tim Horton’s and has been accepted as a full/part-time employee. He also has been accepted at St. Lawrence College for next September in Community Integration through Cooperative Education Program (CICE). His life is really taking an interesting direction. He also now takes the bus by himself to go to activities. I am very proud of him. I want to thank all of you for your impact and the changes you provide in people's lives. Your program is super important for every young person with autism! Please keep on working… the results are amazing!
Denise Moffatt, Kingston
Thought I'd bring you up to date a bit with Maryssa. She is now working a 2nd part time job at the Unitarian Congregation here in Ottawa. She is there 3-4 times/week - afternoons or evenings - doing some janitorial work. Like her few hours/month at l'Arche Ottawa it is real work for real pay. She is also staffing the recently reopened office of Autism Ontario here in Ottawa a few hours 2-3 times/week as a volunteer. And, she continues to take sewing courses from Richard Robinson Fashion Design. She is currently making a beautiful black skirt for dressy occasions. She recently celebrated her 25th birthday and said to me at one point, "So, I'm going to school (taking a course), working 2 PT jobs and volunteering. That seems pretty good." I agree! If there is any way that John and I can support any next steps for IAC in the Ottawa area please let us know.
Donna Rietschlin, Ottawa ON
Our son Patrick is a recent graduate of Transitions to Life in Kitchener and we found it to be an excellent experience. Prior to the course, Patrick had been looking for a part-time job; he had several interviews but no ultimate success. With plenty of advice and coaching from the Transitions to Life team, Patrick successfully navigated a challenging group interview and got a job as a movie theatre usher. He’s very pleased. Other aspects of the program that proved particularly useful include the session on yoga and stress management, advice on setting and achieving long-term goals and the focus on daily/weekly planning diaries. We highly recommend the program and its staff members..
Peter Taylor and Tracy Snoddon, Waterloo, ON
NEW! Individualized Transition to Life Course
NEW! Individualized Transition to Life Course
I feel Michael has benefited a great deal from this program. He shows much more initiative on his own. We do not argue about chores as he does on his own. He is aware of things needing to be done automatically. If I check in with him he has already done his routine. He is happier and much more confident. His medication has been reduced. He is not stressed as much and does not seem to worry about things even when they come up. He is happier with himself and shows confidence in himself. He was not aware of these changes until I pointed them out to him. He prefers to get things done ahead without delaying. It is such a nice change and less stressful for all of us. I truly feel he has benefited. We are all very pleased with his progress!
Mary Stanford - Parent, London