WHO IS THIS FOR?
Our groups are comprised of young adults, ages 18 to 35, who have Asperger’s or are cognitively and socially high-functioning autistics. These young men and women want to meet other young adults who resemble them and who face similar challenges.
What does “cognitively and socially high functioning“ mean?
- Slight degree of difficulties;
- Capable of interacting socially on their own;
- Capable of clearly communicating orally;
- Capable of understanding instructions and guidelines, and able to follow the trainings provided;
- Personal hygiene and behavior that meet social standards;
- No violent or aggressive behaviors;
- No criminal record.
*Professional references from the educational, medical, work, or community fields are required.
Why are our services aimed only at high functioning young autistic adults?
- Cases of autism are on a constant rise, resources are limited, and the needs of cognitively and socially high-functioning autistic adults have long been neglected. Although different, these needs are just as important as those of less functional young autistics.
- In order to properly meet the needs of a specific group, the participants must have similar profiles and needs.
- Because of the slight nature of their difficulties, our participants include several young autistics who were diagnosed when already adults and who are searching for their “autistic identity“ and for people who resemble them. We need to be sensitive to what they and their families go through at this time. They are often still shocked by the diagnosis and seeking to find out what it means to be autistic. The autistic people they will meet following their diagnosis may have a positive impact on how they come to terms with their condition.
- Convincing young autistic adults to come out of their isolation after often having been scarred or traumatized by bad social experiences is a major challenge. Offering them groups where they can relate, create friendships, and develop a sense of belonging will help us reach this goal.
- The framework of our service offer cannot fulfill the needs of less functional young autistics. However, the model we have developed could be adapted for young autistics who required greater assistance.