SCHEDULE A TOUR

Adults with autism have varying needs, aspirations, and goals. Career and transition services offer them the tools, skills, and preparation they need to live a fulfilling life after school.

The goals of autism transition programs vary based on the individual’s needs. Generally, these supports include:

  • Improve communication and adaptive skills
  • Enhance overall functioning and well-being
  • Provide opportunities for community integration and engagement
  • Support an appropriate level of functional independence

Learn more about how we prepare children with autism to achieve their full potential as adults.

Educational Services

Children with autism who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) may receive educational services until they turn 21. Reading, math, and other academic classes prepare children for educational pursuits, careers, and life after school.

In addition to academics, educational services provide the necessary support that enhances a child’s social, behavioral, and emotional skills. Our goal is to give each individual the academic skills they need to function in a variety of settings.

Coping Skills

When children with autism become adults, they continue to experience the same emotional, sensory, social, and behavioral challenges. We assess each individual and create a plan to teach effective coping skills.

Children learn to become more self-aware so that they can identify their needs and adopt the relevant coping strategy. We also teach new strategies as children grow, develop, and mature.

Possible coping skills include:

  • Ask for help
  • Take a break
  • Use headphones
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Utilize fidgets
  • Exercise and move

Community Involvement

Interaction in the community is essential for children and adults with autism. In various community settings, individuals develop and practice social skills, emotional regulation, and proper behavior.

We also partner with local businesses and nonprofits. Children receive job training and may volunteer, two pursuits that teach the skills individuals need for future independence.

Career Training

Children with autism may pursue a career after school and attend college or vocational school. Career services and transition programs are part of the IEP and provide training that prepares children to be independent young adults.

We work with every child to ensure he/she is prepared to pursue post-secondary education or vocational training, secure a job, and/or plan for independent living. Children learn to utilize organizational tools, use assistive technology, and perform a host of other abilities that promotes future career success.

Functional Independence

No one, including adults with autism, can survive completely alone without support. However, each individual is capable of functioning with some degree of independence.

The services and supports we provide prepare individuals to meet as many of their daily living, social, occupational, and emotional needs as possible. We equip children with autism to become confident, capable, and functioning adults. To achieve this goal, we teach:

  • Functional reading and math skills
  • Pre-vocational skills
  • Social skills
  • Daily living skills
  • Shopping strategies
  • Cooking and laundry
  • Leisure and recreational abilities
  • Self-care

Day Support for Adults

Career and transition services continue after a child with autism becomes an adult. Our day support for adults is a program for individuals 21 and older with autism and/or a diagnosed intellectual disability.

This component of our autism transition program enables participants to learn and improve essential skills. We offer a variety of resources that build pre-vocational, daily living, social, and other life skills. 

Adults with autism in the program may access the following resources and job-training centers:

  • Activity room
  • Culinary kitchen
  • Dining room
  • Gymnasium
  • Fitness park
  • Therapeutic green spaces
  • Food Pantry
  • Laundry room

We implement these services in a highly structured and caring environment. A 1:4 staff-to-client ratio provides each individual with personalized service that meets their specific physical, social, emotional and career goals as outlined in the Individual Service Plan. We update the Individual Service Plan as needed to meet the ongoing needs of our program participants.

Autism Transition Programs Build Futures

For over 40 years, we have provided career and transition services to children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. We assist individuals in achieving independence and functioning in every aspect of their daily lives at St. Joseph’s Villa and beyond.

Learn More About Our Services

Recent News

AIA Design Award

Sarah Dooley Center for Autism receives 2021 Design Award from AIA Richmond

When we first began planning our new Sarah Dooley Center for Autism, Odell led a series of charrettes with faculty, parents, and public school partners to make sure we got

Read More

St. Joseph’s Villa Announces Grand Opening of New Autism Center

Historic School Building Repurposed to Serve as National Model for Autism Education and Teacher Training Classrooms are equipped with modern technology and filled with natural light. RICHMOND, Va. – Inspired

Read More

You Are Not Alone: WTVR CBS6 features therapeutic Villa Garden

Isabel's son Xavier was thrilled to return to his friends and teachers at the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism earlier this year. “When he saw them, the smile he had

Read More