ASD Young Adult Groups

Current research on young adults with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), including high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, indicates that 96% are unable to live independently.

Why are ASD young adults with above-average intelligence, who have completed secondary education, still living with their parents? The answer is simple: being unemployed and unmarried.

Research confirms that teens and young adults with ASD are unemployed at a higher rate than any other disability group — including mental retardation,the speech and language impaired, traumatic brain injury, and the deaf-blind.

Research has also confirmed that teens and young adults — although motivated to have romantic and sexual relationships — rarely develop longterm relationships that result in marriage.

As a result of this research, GroupWorks West offers programs to improve employment skills and relationships/dating skills with the goal of developing the cogntive, emotional, and social capacities needed to live on an independent basis.

By the act of partnering the young adult expands his support system through relationships with the partner’s friends, extended family, and through the process of raising children within a community.  The capacity to partner/marry provides the opportunity to separate from one’s parents and create an extended family and community that will provide lifelong social support

Groupworks West’s employment and relationship skills groups focus on supporting teens and young adults, ages 18 – 33.  These two programs focus on creating the the psychological, cogntive, and social attributes needed to create material well-being (jobs) and create and sustain long-term romantic relationships. Groups will meet two hours per week for two 26-week periods.

Core teaching points include:

- Self-Awareness Training

- Partner Selection Training

- Empathy Training

- Dynamic Thinking and Problem-Solving

- Dynamic Communication

- Theory of Mind (teaching ASD adults that others have their own unique perceptions)

- Appearance and Grooming

- Sexual Development and Sexual Behavior

- Using the Internet as a Tool for Meeting Appropriate Partners