Life Competencies

Autumn’s Dawn offers personalized programming in the following life competencies:

  • Skills of Social Interaction
  • Self Determination/Self Advocacy Skills
  • Career/Employment Skills
  • Adult/Independent Living Skills
  • Recreation/Leisure Skills
  • Lifelong Learning/Continuing Education

Skills of Social Interaction

We champion the idea that young adults with disabilities can attain the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and maintain appropriate personal relationships, as well as, identify and access community resources and programs that match his/her personal interests.

Social thinking skills are critical in every area of life, from learning to interpret social cues, to building and maintaining friendships, to finding and keeping a job.  These skills of social interaction can be especially challenging for individuals with autism spectrum disorder, for whom social thinking may be confusing and difficult, due to unique social cognitive deficits.  Therefore, direct teaching of social skills is infused into everything we do at Autumn’s Dawn.  We offer direct instruction in social skills through small group seminars, Life Management Time, and social events. Clients are encouraged to have lunch together during the week so they can practice the skills on which they are working.  Essential competencies in this area include: conversation skills, politely interrupting and changing topics, perspective taking, nonverbal/body language, friendship skills, dating, and relationships. 

Self Determination/Self Advocacy Skills

We champion the idea that young adults with disabilities can develop in their own self-knowledge and therefore feel empowered to make appropriate decisions for their own lives.

We believe that all individuals are capable of living a full and purposeful life.  In order to do this, our clients will need to become self determined adults who have the ability to problem solve, make competent decisions and know how to seek assistance when needed.  Essential competencies in this area include: identifying personal interests, strengths, and weaknesses, communication skills, discerning between wants and needs, advocating for needs and desires, identifying a system of support, and goal setting and accomplishment.  These skills are consistently and continuously taught and reinforced during Life Management Time and through seminars.

Career/Employment Skills

We champion the idea that young adults with disabilities can obtain and maintain gainful employment.

Individuals on the autism spectrum are often highly skilled in specific areas, but have much difficulty securing long term, gainful employment.  At Autumn’s Dawn, we help these individuals reach their employment goals through our Career Management program.  This program includes seminars to improve job readiness skills and on-one-on job coaching with a Career Trainer.  Essential competencies in this area include: resume writing, job searching and interview skills, conflict resolution and interpersonal skills, on the job coaching, and establishing natural supports within the job site.

Adult/Independent Living Skills

We champion the idea that young adults with disabilities can secure an apartment or housing situation in which they can live independently with minimal support.

Many individuals with autism require additional training to successfully live independently.  At Autumn’s Dawn, we offer direct instruction in the area of adult living through seminars and Life Management Time.  Essential competencies in this area include: personal grooming skills, personal and household safety, meal planning and preparation, household chores, budgeting, and locating and obtaining housing.

Recreation/Leisure Skills

We champion the idea that young adults with disabilities can independently choose and participate in leisure activities that produce a sense of fulfillment, enjoyment, and well-being and contribute to an enhanced quality of life.

Many young adults on the spectrum experience boredom, anxiety, and loneliness due to limited opportunities for recreation and leisure, especially when the structured social setting of school is behind them.  At Autumn’s Dawn, we offer direct support during Life Management Time and socials to help young adults on the spectrum develop the skills needed in order to plan, carry-out, and evaluate enjoyable recreation and leisure activities and foster a general sense of well-being and personal fulfillment.  Essential competencies in this area include: surveying interests and hobbies, planning, carrying-out, and evaluating recreation/leisure activities, and engaging in community activities.

Lifelong Learning/Continuing Education 

We champion the idea that young adults with disabilities can acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue areas of interest in order to continue personal and professional growth.

Whether a young adult seeks additional knowledge, career/job training, career certification, or a degree, continuing education can be daunting and overwhelming to individuals on the autism spectrum.  At Autumn’s Dawn we offer direct support through Life Management Time to assist individuals who desire to seek continuing education programs.  Essential competencies in this area include: compensatory/functional academic skills, executive functioning skills (including time management, study skills, and organizational skills), technology, and disability disclosure.