A Program for Young Adults with Autism in the Adirondacks 

31 May by Transition USA

A Program for Young Adults with Autism in the Adirondacks 

Helping young adults with autism learn to live independently involves a personalized approach that focuses on a combination of skill-building and support to evaluate and address their unique strengths and challenges. Although the process of preparing a teen or young adult with autism to live independently can take months or even years, providing plenty of learning opportunities as teens move toward adulthood can make a big difference in the process and results.  

The Transitions Adirondacks program for young adults with autism is designed to help students receive instruction in skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives while allowing them to experience all the fun the Adirondacks has to offer.  

Experience Independent Living 

Understandably, most parents do not want to send their children off to live independently for the long term before they have experienced and mastered some independence in their lives. The reluctance to push children out of the nest is true of parents with neurotypical children as well as those with children with autism or learning differences.  

The one-week and three-week Adirondacks programs for young adults with autism offer an opportunity for them to experience some degree of independent living while still having supervision and peer support. During their time at Transitions, students will learn life and executive functioning skills by actively cooking, cleaning, organizing, and living independently. Each night, students will have the opportunity to practice and expand upon these skills by participating in both individual and team projects.  

Some of the independent living skills that Transitions students practice include:  

  • Life Skills Training: Essential life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, and personal hygiene.  
  • Social Skills Development: Practical experience and instruction in communication, making eye contact, and understanding social cues  
  • Independence in Daily Activities: Learning and practicing self-help skills, such as getting dressed independently, managing personal belongings, and money management skills, including budgeting, shopping, and handling transactions  
  • Executive Functioning Skills: Work on planning, organization, and time management  
A group of hikers on a rocky outcrop enjoys a panoramic view of the green Adirondack Mountains under a clear blue sky, surrounded by trees.

Adirondacks Excursions 

The Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York offer a diverse range of outdoor activities and recreational opportunities. Spending time outdoors can be hugely beneficial to all types of students. In the case of young adults with autism, time spent outside gives them a chance to practice gross motor skills, gain confidence, and improve their mood and help with self-regulation.  

Students who participate in the Transitions programs have access to the natural beauty of the Adirondacks with daily excursions, such as:  

  • Hiking: The Adirondack Park is known for its extensive trail network, including the High Peaks region. Hiking enthusiasts can explore trails of varying difficulty levels that lead to mountain summits, scenic viewpoints, and pristine lakes. 
  • Kayaking: With thousands of lakes and ponds, the Adirondacks are a paddler’s paradise. Canoeists and kayakers can explore waterways, including the historic Adirondack Canoe Route. 
  • Wildlife Watching: The Adirondacks are home to a diverse array of wildlife. Visitors can observe birds, deer, moose, and other animals in their natural habitats. 
  • Rock Climbing: The Adirondacks feature rugged terrain that attracts rock climbers, and many designated climbing areas and routes are suitable for different skill levels. 
Side view of a man looking thoughtful and creating artwork, with a palette in his hand.

Arts Enrichment Classes 

Participation in art classes and artistic experiences is another significant aspect of Transitions’ programs. In the Transitions Adirondacks Expressions Art Experience, students participate in activities, projects, and social events that are designed to promote each student’s unique talents, creativity, and self-esteem. Art is shown to be effective in improving skills for young people with autism, including social skills and self-awareness.  

During this session, students work with experienced artists on fun and educational art projects during classes that focus on painting, woodworking, cooking, photography, and paper crafts. At the end of the session, an exhibition of the art created will show off each student’s creativity to parents, friends, and family.  

Learning Self Reliance 

Independent living isn’t possible without some degree of self-reliance. Transitions life skills programs for teens with autism are valuable for teens in their current phase of life and will help them develop skills that will carry them into adulthood.  

At Transitions weekly camp programs, students with autism learn important life skills that will help them develop a sense of self-reliance. As mentioned, students can live independently in a safe and controlled environment while learning how to care for and speak up for themselves.  

Learn More About Our Weekly Immersive Programs 

Families interested in learning more about the Transitions’ experiences or the more comprehensive summer immersion experience for young adults with autism to learn life skills should reach out to Transitions. The caring and experienced staff at every Transitions campus can help you decide which program is right for your family and assist you with the application process.  

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