When our students have reached adulthood, they graduate to the Next Steps program.
Next Steps works on further developing the life and social skills of our clients. We take part in a range of community access, enterprise, life skills and “just for fun” activities. The program features community connections such as visiting libraries and post offices, participating in community sporting programs, shopping and cooking.
When the program started, it had 6 clients and didn’t even have a building to operate from. Since then, the Next Steps program has flourished to become a valuable source of support for adults living with an ASD. The group now has 10 active members. Some of our clients are fulltime, others share their time between Next Steps and other organisations.
What we do
The Next Steps program includes a number of activities which help our clients develop self-awareness, learn self-calming techniques to reduce anxiety levels in unfamiliar situations, help out within the family or group home, experience a wide variety of leisure time activities to entertain themselves and to learn waiting and turn taking skills. On the whole we have a very relaxed approach to tackling all we do. Lots of laughter and a sense of camaraderie build the trust needed to develop the skills our clients need.
The group participates in a range of life skills classes including cooking, shopping, washing dishes, laundry tasks such as hanging out and folding washing, gardening, games, puzzles, Occupational Therapy, Music Therapy, relaxation techniques, leisure time in the playground, art, craft, We also constantly practise using schedules to plan days, get through non-preferred activities, and communicate needs and wants.
Life skills are combined with community activities such as: Active Launceston, Walk for Heart, and dog walking at the Devonport Dog Shelter. Other regular activities include swimming at the Launceston and Devonport Aquatic Centres, Sliders Tube Park, PCYC, bowling, horse riding, riding the Tiger Bus, Peddlebuggies in Ulverstone, and paddleboats at Grindelwald. Sailability is also a favourite.
We love to get out and about in the community. We eat at China Garden Restaurant in Devonport, Banjos, Morty’s, and Door of Hope, We find these community integration activities help to expand people’s knowledge of ASD, breaking down barriers and fostering acceptance.