Teens with Autism: Building Independence and Social Skills

14 Nov by Transition USA

Teens with Autism: Building Independence and Social Skills

As teens with autism get older, they naturally have a desire for more independence. It’s understandable that parents may have some trepidation about granting more independence to these teens, no matter what their abilities may be, considering that teens with autism may need a little more help learning the necessary life skills for independent living. Transitions offer a range of programs, including our popular weekend experience designed to develop life skills and help teens and their families during this crucial time in their development.

Camps for Young Adults with Autism

A Transitions Weekend Experience is designed specifically to help high school students and young adults with learning differences learn valuable life skills and become more independent. During these weekend camps, young adults build confidence and create lasting friendships through the experiences they share.

Camp Activities

Teens and young adults at a Transitions Weekend Experience camp participate in the same kinds of activities that many types of weekend camps offer, including:

  • Kayaking
  • Bowling
  • Campfires
  • Karaoke
  • Cooking

Because the Transitions Weekend Experience is designed for a specific population, each camp activity focuses on helping develop life skills for teens with autism. A Weekend Experience could even serve as a vacation for the entire family. While students participate in program activities, family members can take advantage of arts and other learning opportunities.

Learning Programs

A weekend camp experience is not focused on traditional academic learning, but that does not mean that learning takes a sideline. Instead of focusing on a classroom setting, Transitions camp participants learn valuable skills through fun and engaging camp experiences. Just spending time outside is beneficial for young people, and it can be particularly helpful for youth with autism. Being outdoors often reduces stress and anxiety levels, improves motor skills and coordination, and has a positive impact on situational awareness and logical reasoning.

Building Social Confidence

Not only do teens learn from the educators and counselors at the camp, but they also learn invaluable socialization skills from their peers. Participants at a weekend camp get to live with roommates in what may be their first experience living outside of their family home. Living with roommates can be a critical stepping stone for young adults who aim to live independently when they get older. Navigating the complex roommate dynamic gives them an opportunity to practice communication and self-advocacy skills and can also be a lot of fun.

Living with roommates can help young adults with autism develop important social skills.

A Transitions Weekend Experience offers an excellent introduction to roommate living situations, even though it is only for a few days. Teens and young adults can learn a lot about themselves, their communication style, and what they might want to look for in a roommate when they are ready to live on their own.

Skills Development

Whether living independently is right around the corner or a teen is just exploring the idea, a weekend experience can help teens with autism develop skills that will serve them throughout their lives. In addition to developing social skills, teens and adults get a taste of living on their own at a weekend camp, allowing them to practice necessary skills such as:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Food preparation
  • Home care
  • Cleaning

Camp participants and their families can also get a fresh perspective on what kinds of skills they may need to work on to make independent living a reality in the future. Young adults who are eager for more time to improve their life skills may decide to participate in Transitions weekly camps or summer camps for young adults with autism.

Transitions weekend experiences allow teens and young adults with autism to develop important life skills while participating in camp activities.

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