Adult Vocational Program
As those with autism graduate from school or are nearing 21, they and their parents will face the dreaded uncertainty of the "cliff."
The moment when they will age out of the special education services and benefits provided by the IDEA act. The moment when the availability of therapeutic programs for young adults on the spectrum dramatically diminishes.
Our adult vocational program addresses that urgent need.
From 8 AM to 5 PM, our adult program provides a place for those transitioning out of school and into adulthood to continue to receive the support and services they need. We will help your young adult work towards gaining increased independence by building self-care, employment, social, communication, and behavioral skills.
Our specialized center provides an environment that allows engagement in practices and behaviors that might be difficult to obtain without the expert supervision and guidance of a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, and Registered Bevior Technician.
Our full-day program offers engagement with the community and beyond through volunteer programs and by developing and creating products to sell online.
Our Adult Vocational Center
The program is located at 1902 Fairfax Ave., in Cherry Hill, NJ. The center features a variety of work stations, fitness equipment, as well as, kitchen and laundry appliances.
The center is designed teach life skills in a natural environment where the skills being taught relate directly to the environment the person is going to use them.
Since most people with autism gain the most from clear, hands-on instruction in life skills, our center is staffed by a BCBA and RBT that will perform an individual behavior and task analysis.
Growing Green - Storefront
At the heart of our program is the Growing Green boutique. The boutique has an online store and a physical storefront located at the center. The storefront will consist of all the items sold online and a few additional items that can only be purchased in person. The Growing Green Storefront offers opportunities for adults to work on money handling, customer service skills, organizational skills, and social skills.
Packaging & Shipping
Our adult clients will help prepare packages for delivery by prepping contents, attaching shipping labels, and confirming that all invoices reflect the correct information. They will also collaborate with peers to solve issues with delays, damaged products, or back-ordered items. They also maintain an inventory of packaging products, including labels, boxes, envelopes, bubble wrap and packing tape, tissue paper, and more.
Coasters, Seed Bombs, & Candles
One of the Growing Green products for sale in-store and online are handmade coasters. Creating coasters involves gathering all needed supplies, following a task analysis, paying close attention to detail, using fine motor skills to cut and trim the coasters’ fabric, and applying a paintbrush to apply the modge-podge onto the coasters.
One of the Growing Green products for sale in-store and online are seed bombs. These colorful balls are packed with perennial seeds ready to grow! Our clients will create these items with the guidance of a step-by-step task analysis sheet and their behavior technician’s support.
One of the Growing Green products for sale in-store and online are our very own hand-poured candles. Our clients and staff create this item by following a task analysis. A task analysis is a step-by-step directive that can teach a person how to perform tasks more independently.
Our adult clients will regularly participate in community outings where they will have the opportunity to work on essential life skills in a real-world setting. These outings will aid in their ability to be independent, work, and enjoy recreational activities on their own. Past community outings have included bowling alleys, bookstores, craft stores, grocery shopping, apple picking, and so much more.
Technology, Occupational Skills, & Marketing
Technology & Occupational Skills
Technical skills are the abilities and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks. They are practical and often relate to mechanical, information technology, mathematical, or scientific tasks. One example may include computer knowledge. Learned skills include understanding and learning how to input data into files, retrieving and writing emails, updating inventory, sending out material requests, filing, paper shredding, and creating new documents.
Oversee the strategies and marketing goals deployed to increase revenue and attract new business for the Growing Green Online Boutique and the Growing Green storefront. They will create advertisement dialogues, edit content, including social media posts, and update the online store. These activities will help them work on essential life skills including, communication, writing, problem-solving, and research skills.
The donation center is an integral part of our program and introduces the importance of helping those in need, compassion, and having empathy towards others.
We will conduct research to identify groups that need our support and determine how we can benefit those groups.
We will have an entire year’s donation schedule planned out, and will donate supplies to organizations like Mat’s Cats, Philadelphia Friendship Circle, American Heart Association, Cathedral Kitchen, and more.
Some of our donation projects will include making sandwiches for the homeless, gathering blankets and food for an animal shelter, and cleaning up a local park.
Additionally, this program teaches adults how to track and coordinate donations and will improve their written and verbal communication skills.
Lastly, they will gain strong problem-solving skills, the ability to multi-task, learn to be detail-oriented, how to email, and work independently.
Adult Daily Living Skills, Individualized Goals & Programming
ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) are tasks that you do every day, such as getting dressed, eating food, brushing your hair, and cleaning your living space. Adults will have the opportunity to practice and learn these skills during the program.
Our adult clients will work on and practice goals created by their BCBA to increase their social and communicative skills.
While each client will have their own custom goals, they will all share the same weekly skills goals derived from the 3rd edition “Skillstreaming” book written by Robert McGinnis et al., 2012. These social skills focus on problem-solving, anger control, asking for help, rewarding yourself, and more.
LaundryAdults will learn how to sort soiled linen and clothing in preparation for the wash. Adults will be able to wash and dry linen and clothing according to a procedure for each machine.
- Unload dry linen
- Fold clean linen
- Separate personal clothing
- Fold undergarments
- Hang dresses, blouses, shirts, pants, and other clothing appropriately on hangers
Adults will learn the importance of making healthy food choices and will prepare healthy snacks and meals.
Every day a lunch menu will be posted. Each client will choose a meal to prepare from start to finish, with the assistance of their behavior technician. This will include gathering ingredients necessary and noting whether or not we have all of the ingredients required to prepare the desired meal. If we do not, it will be the client’s responsibility to add the missing food item to our grocery list.
We will then use the grocery list at our next community outing to purchase any missing ingredients.
Personal hygiene is an integral part of good health maintenance, and understanding how to take care of yourself properly is essential for a healthy life. Each client will have a personalized bin with toiletries such as
deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a comb to practice
a healthy hygiene routine.
Health & Fitness
Health and Fitness are a vital part of everyday life. The 45-minute program offers daily health and fitness opportunities by providing a gym area and equipment for cardio, yoga, aerobics, and various types of exercise. There are three rotating stations, each with 15-minute workouts that are customized to the abilities of each client.
Social & Leisure Skills
Social skills are essential to everyone. They allow us to communicate daily in various ways such as; verbal, nonverbal, visual, and written. Adults will learn and have opportunities to practice social skills with their peers before practicing and using them in the community.
Leisure activities help reduce overall stress, provide a sense of purpose, and a sense of accomplishment, and self-management. Adults will be taught the self-management skills necessary to engage in leisure skills.