Visual Supports for Autistic Adults to Promote Community Integration and Ensure Safety
Thousands of individuals with autism and intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) exit high school each year. Many of these young adults go on to postsecondary education, some gain competitive employment, and some enter programs which are commonly referred to as day habilitation. Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities participate in day habilitation programs from the age of 18 through adulthood and are offered support to develop or enhance skills necessary to live independently, such as travel skills, self-care, recreation, and leisure skills, financial management, interpersonal skills, and other independent living skills. Yet despite growing recognition of autistic adults as life-long learners, quality instructional resources remain scarce.
This is why NEXT for AUTISM has created NEXT for GOING OUT, a curriculum designed specifically for adults with autism and intellectual disabilities that includes structured lessons, visual supports, and easily customizable content.
The EPIC Programs, Executive Director
” NEXT for GOING OUT represents a truly significant step forward in the development of just such a tool/resource for adults on the spectrum. The NEXT for Going Out curriculum focuses on the provision of meaningful, contextual instruction to adults on the spectrum and, at the same time, helps service providers navigate and deliver effective instruction in practical, community skills. Just as importantly, it provides a template for the development of additional, individualized instructional programs that closely parallel an individual’s long- and short-term preferences and desires.
The goal of truly effective instruction should be to help change somebody’s life for the better and, in doing so, improve their quality of life. Next for Going Out should move all concerned in that direction!“
The Arc Westchester, Treatment Coordinator of Youth Connection
"NEXT for GOING OUT is a great resource for me, my team, and the individuals we support. It transformed the way that I thought about teaching and coaching the participants at Youth Connection. The implementation of behavior supports in a structured setting (classroom), as well as in a natural setting (in the community), helps us succeed as a program and provides continuity for the individuals. Having schedules and curriculum already created for us saved us a lot of time. If we needed something to be modified for an individual, we simply add the necessary details. Our most useful finding concluded that redirecting individuals to visual schedules decreased prompt dependency and increased independence and personal empowerment."