Social Skill Programs- Elementary, Middle & High School

We have several great programs for individuals with Autism/Aspergers who can “independently participate” without disruptive or aggressive behaviors in a group setting with minimal support. While the main focus at Autism Works is to provide support for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families, our social skills classes are open to any individual with social skills deficits that are able to participate independently regardless of diagnoses.

At Autism Works, “independently participate” refers to a student that can attend a class without a parent and without major disruptive/aggressive behaviors. It does not refer to individual student skill level. Most classes have support staff to give students a little extra support who may need it. The classes are structured to meet a wide variety of needs within the social skills area. The social skills program is great for kids that need this type of support and it’s a place for them to feel like they “fit in” and make new friends. Please keep in mind, we are not a medical facility nor do we provide diagnosis or behavior therapy services.

About the program

Our classes are instructed by highly qualified staff who have a passion for working with students with Autism. They all bring years of experience and knowledge to the program to engage students and make learning new social skills fun.

Social skills instruction focuses specifically on helping children understand their own and others emotions, developing improved skills to communicate their feelings and recognize others feelings, knowing how to start and maintain interactions appropriately and understanding other people’s perspectives.

Children who attend the social skills classes find new ways to communicate and express themselves, learn to better understand basic communication rules, better interpret social cues, and learn improved ways to interact with their peers, family and community.

Parents also receive a monthly newsletter from their instructor in addition to a weekly take home sheet with information about the classes social topic. We encourage parents to use these tools to continue working with their student at home.

Depending on what grade your student is in, classes meet weekly or twice a month. Attendance is important and classes meet from August – May.
If you are interested in enrolling your student in our programs, please contact Dessarey Klarlund-

*All Social Skills classes meet from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Middle School & High School Students- ($50 Annual Registration + $120 Monthly Fee)

  • Middle School meets every Thursday (4-classes monthly) / Instructor  Pat Jones
  • High School meets every Tuesday (4-classes monthly) / Instructor Dr. Sabrina Mitchell

Elementary Students- ($50 Annual Registration + $60 Monthly Fee)

  • Elementary Grades K-2 meet on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday / Instructor Emily Bassi
  • Elementary Grades 3-5  meet on the 1st & 3rd Thursday / Instructor Kim Stewart

S.T.R.I.V.E for Young Adults

Social, Transitional, Responsibility, Independence and Vocational Education

The transition from school to adult life is an immense feat for anyone; this shift seems to be especially challenging for individuals with Autism, as well as their support systems.

STRIVE is designed to serve as an additional piece of support for individuals with Autism or Aspergers between the ages of 18-29 who have graduated from high school. Training sessions are designed for students who can participate in a group setting independently with minimal support.

The focus of STRIVE is to encourage and foster independence in work skills, personal life, money management and social interaction among peers. Individuals who attend STRIVE classes will have additional exposure to job readiness skills, meal preparation, household responsibilities, appropriate hygiene and grooming skills as well as community involvement and leisure skills. STRIVE aims to ensure that individuals are prepared for the next step in their lives by teaching and practicing critical skills for independence in adulthood.

Classes meet August- June/ Instructor- Jessica King

Dates: 2nd & 4th Monday nights.
Time: 7:00 -8:30 p.m.
Cost: $50 Annual Registration Fee + $60 Monthly Fee (due first class of each month)

Y.A.A.S.- Young Adults Adventure Squad

Are you a young adult between the ages of 18-29 looking for fun activities and friends to hang out with during the week? This group is for you!  Meet on  Wednesday afternoons at various locations for fun community experiences.

* Must be able to independently participate with minimal support & supervision. Participants who require “extra” support will need to have a parent or PCA attend with them.

Transportation- Students are responsible for their own transportation. See calendar for event locations and costs.

Advance registration and payment is required to participate. Contact Dessarey Klarlund for more information-

Young Adults Cooking Club

What is it? A chance for young adults ages 18-29 to work together as a team preparing themselves a meal while increasing their skills and confidence in the kitchen.  Participants must be able to participate independently in a group setting.

Cost: $30 (Includes staff instruction, meal and that night’s recipe with step by step directions to take home.)

RSVP Required.  Space is limited.  Check calendar for dates.

*Students must be currently enrolled in our programs to participate.

Teen & Young Adult Game Nights

Are you ready for some fun? Join us for a game night! Participants can bring non-violent games to share, however we have dozens to choose from! Participants must be able to participate independently in a group setting with minimal supervision. Parent and community volunteers are needed for this event.

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Dates: Check calendar or subscribe to newsletter for event announcements.

RSVP Required.  Space is limited.  Check calendar for dates.

*Students must be currently enrolled in our programs to participate.

Support Groups

Parents Night Out

Join our fun support group for moms, dads and caregivers with children of all ages on the spectrum. We meet once a month and enjoy great food, lots of laughter, conversation, support and friendship! This is an evening just for adults, so please leave the kiddos at home!

*Check the calendar for date, time and location.

Parent/Caregiver Workshops

Autism Works hosts informational workshops on a variety of topics for parents, caregivers and educators caring for children with special needs. Most of our workshops are free or provided at affordable cost.

Check our calendar or subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on future events.

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