Transition to Life

About Transition to Life

Transition to Life Group Coaching in Barrie

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/ASD Level 1), 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!

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.

North Simcoe Life Article

Transition to Life Article – Autism Matters

Download the Individualized Course Poster 2021

Download the Barrie Group Course 2018 Brochure

How to Apply for the Small Group Transition to Life Course

  1. Complete and return the on-line application.
  2. Potential participants will be contacted for an intake interview.
  3. Start dates will be based on the number of registered participants.

How to Apply for the Individual Transition to Life Course

  1. Complete and return the on-line application.
  2. Participants will be contacted for an intake interview.
  3. Courses will begin once all information and initial fees are received.
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
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!
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.
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)
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
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
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
Thank you for all you have helped me with during my time with you Pat.  I am sad to see it end (albeit likely temporarily).  You have given me confidence and the ability to tackle nearly anything with a system to deal with nearly anything. I am able to discuss things with my parents in new ways that none of us become overly emotional or upset (given we aren’t totally exhausted).  I feel more capable than ever and I owe it to you and the wonderful program you are running. I cannot imagine where I would be if my parents hadn’t found you. Thank you for everything!! 
Alex Asselbergs
Alexandria has just completed the 12 week Individualized Transition to Life Course through Integrated Autism Consulting. Although it was frustrating at first in that expected successes were not immediately evident, time and patience would be rewarded with a beautiful outcome. Putting aside a personal agenda and allowing progress to take place at its own pace and in its own fashion opened the door for Alexandria to excel in areas that have enhanced her ability to develop more fully as wonderful young woman as well as to cope in a world that is foreign to her existence. She has developed communication skills that have enhanced her world of work in a positive way and has given her confidence to express herself without the attachment of emotional anxiety, both professionally and personally. Alexandria has not only been given a “Tool Box” of strategies to employ in her daily living, but has also been given the opportunity to practice the strategies and then discuss the outcome in a positive and constructive manner. The change it has created for her personal development has been phenomenal – her understanding of herself, how others perceive her, and how she perceives others has been an invaluable success. Most noteworthy is that Alexandria no longer feels alienated in a world that is not constructed with the inclusion of Aspies in its structure. For anybody, knowing how to navigate the surroundings and the social cues within which we live is vital for success in all its forms. The Transition to Life Course has given Alexandria equal opportunity to achieve that success. 
Holly Gray 
I stumbled across the Integrated Autism Consulting Centre in search for help, and that is just what I received.  Jack and I had the extreme pleasure of meeting with Pat and Vicky in the Spring for them to get to know Jack and I and to see if they would be able to provide services to Jack at this time in his life. 

Jack is very much a young man of routine, not very social and keeps to himself.  Jack was approaching the delicate age of 16 and I felt it was time to reach out and get some support in place to help Jack with some much needed life skills.  I feel as if we received more than just that with Pat and Vicky.

After Jacks sessions he walked away with understanding his diagnosis and what the differences are between him and A-typical peers, and the effort that he needs to make on his end to foster connections.  Jack learnt a lot about himself and about putting himself out there.  He learnt to ride a city bus, a task that may seem simple to some but wasn’t simple to Jack.  He talked to Vicky about his interests and about his future and Vicky helped map that out with him, and he now has a clearer picture of what that looks like. 

He learned a lot about himself and was able to celebrate with Vicky all that he already had going for him and this made him feel proud about these accomplishments.  He loved the weekly “homework”, and went right to work to complete these assignments for Vicky. 

With the help of Pat and Vicky Jack was able to apply for a job, interview and successfully gain employment in a position that was perfect for him for the summer.  He now has confidence that was not there before and is able to complete this process on his own because he knows what to now do and what to expect.    
As a mom with a child with Autism, you worry and wonder what life might be like for your child as he/she becomes an adult.  It is a scary thought at times about what the future will look like for your child.  This program gave me hope.  Hope, a simple four-letter word so small with such great meaning behind it. 

We will absolutely be returning for more support and I would recommend this to others.  
Jenny Douma
As parents of a now 21 year old young male adult diagnosed with ASD, we had a choice to make as to how best help our young adult to transition from the basement to more meaningful activities and greater independence. We opted for Andrew to participate in the 12 week Transition to Life course offered by Integrated Autism Consulting which he completed with remarkable success. In seeing all that he has accomplished, we have signed him up for additional coaching to keep the momentum going. Andrew’s successful completion of this superb program is not only to his credit but also attributable to the professional coaching personnel of Integrated Autism Consulting.
Alois Huber
My daughter Abby had just finished high school so I was looking for something that would help her transition into the next phase of her life. Abby started the Transition to Life program with Chantelle in the fall of 2019 and what a difference it has made! Chantelle was an amazing coach who helped Abby realize her potential. She has been volunteering at several places and even auditioned and joined the TIFT young company group performing in her first play, Into the Woods! The structured program that Abby went through was perfect for her. She has so much independence now when out shopping or when she has to email someone. She has even applied to attend college in September 2020, she’s taking driving lessons and is working part time building computers at a local company in Barrie. So many people have commented on how much Abby has come out of her shell and is more social. She doesn’t stay in her room all day anymore. Thank you Pat for this wonderful program and thank you Chantelle for helping Abby transition into a more confident, independent woman. I would recommend this program to anyone who is looking for support and life skills training.
Aimee Allen
We are so thankful that our son Ben was able to participate and complete the Transition to Life program. Ben learned so much about Autism and most importantly about himself. He often talks about many “ah ha” moments as he worked through the program doing some key introspective work. One of Ben’s goals was to find employment. Today Ben is employed and we strongly believe that this course, combined with support and guidance from his coach Erin enabled him to be ready for this opportunity. Ben has learned so much about himself and we are so proud of him.
Tom and Rosemary
My daughter Hannah has grown and benefited from the Transition to Life course. She has had a very positive experience and with the knowledge, encouragement and support she received from her coach Nicole, she was able to make SMART goals for herself. Both Nicole and Pat encouraged Hannah to use her creative abilities to turn her passion and hobby into a little job. Hannah now makes greeting cards that she sells to others. Nicole also taught and facilitated Hannah through the interview process. Hannah has had two interviews for volunteer jobs and looks forward to starting them soon. I would highly recommend this course to any adult with ASD.
Shelley Trotman

Read about the Transition to Life program in the Fall 2014 edition of Autism Matters.

NEW! Individualized Transition to Life Course