Early intervention is crucial for People of Determination. Early intervention such as Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Language Therapy may help improve one’s child’s development and decrease the developmental gap between them and their peers. The Early intervention programs are individualized and can be modified as a child gets older based on their needs.
As a child grows up and becomes a young adult, intervention goals needs to be modified in order to teach functional life skills. Parents of People of Determination tend to wonder what age appropriate programs and goals should be given to their son or daughter. These are common types of questions and concerns that professionals tend to hear from parents of young adults. It is essential to select goals that are socially significant and will promote independence to the individuals we serve.
The Doris Duan-Young Autism Center (DDY) strongly believes in delivering a holistic intervention plan that changes as the individual moves through the different phases in life. In order to work with young adults who are approaching adulthood, DDY uses standardized assessments (e.g., Adapted Functional Living Skills) to develop specific goals in the areas of Independent Living Skills, Home Skills, Social Skills and Vocational Skills.
Many of the young adults in DDY are currently engaging in various Functional Living Skills programmes such as Job Readiness Program which is part of the center’s Vocational Skills Program. This program enhances the young adult’s job skills to participate and pursue meaningful employment in various settings based on their choice of interests and hobbies. Young adults in DDY are taught basic office or clerical tasks (i.e., typing a document, printing, photocopying, laminating, shredding, delivering documents to staff members etc.). The DDY staff welcome its young adults as they are part of the team by providing them with their own work schedule and DDY uniform.
One of the center’s main goals is to make their young adults feel comfortable, important and appreciated. In addition, DDY focuses on teaching young adults essential skills in order to be successful in future job opportunities. Those skills include how to search for a job, how to write a resume, how to interview for a position, filling up application forms, appropriate social skills training for the workplace, work place safety rules and appropriate work attire. Once the young adult progresses through the Job Readiness Program we then help our young adult and their families find an internship and work opportunities outside of DDY.
Young adults who are not ready for Vocational Skills Training will continue to focus on practicing Independent Living skills (i.e., self-care, preparing meals, laundry, cleaning and organizing their room, making a grocery list, purchasing items etc.). DDY’s main goal for their young adults is to get them to reach their potential and be as independent as they can be.
In addition to Vocational Skills Training and Independent Living Skills Training, DDY also recognizes the importance of increasing Social Skills with its young adult learners. When possible the center organize social outings that includes fun activities and enhances their communication skills and adaptability in the environment. DDY encourage recreational activities such as bowling, going to the cinema, eating at a restaurant, visiting museums and other outdoor activities including the recent DDY Fitness Camp to promote a healthier and active lifestyle.
One of DDY main goals is for the center to become the trusted leader in innovative care for People of Determination and build an inclusive society in the UAE and beyond.