Fayetteville, Ark., May 09, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
AbleTalks has marked its one-year anniversary of providing innovative, affordable programs to young adults with autism in Northwest Arkansas. In its inaugural year, AbleTalks piloted a tuition-free approach to teach tangible skills and build confidence in autistic young adults by allowing them to set and pursue individualized goals in a secure, safe and supportive environment.
The core premise of the AbleTalks program is to work with individuals to create unique lesson plans to address their specific needs and goals. The lessons plans combine independent study, goal setting, group interaction and work and life skills, and are designed to allow autistic adults to chart a course for their lives. Among the goals established by students in the initial class were preparing for and passing a driver’s test, publishing a book, establishing a bakery and becoming a meteorologist. Students currently are at different phases in achieving their goals and will continue their work in future sessions.
“Every year, more than 50,000 Americans with autism turn 21 and age out of traditional education, social and government support services. There are very few affordable options to help these bright, motivated individuals take the next step in their personal and professional development. AbleTalks seeks to fill that void,” said Nancy Wells, founder and executive director of AbleTalks. Wells is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in autism spectrum disorders.
Through AbleTalks, students participate in three-hour sessions, two days a week, working at their own pace in pursuing personal, educational and vocational goals. In addition to receiving support, training and instruction, participants receive career counseling, behavioral health services and social speech support in order to prepare them for the careers that fit their interests and talents. Students also spend significant time on socialization and engagement skills to build confidence and improve their quality of life. The pilot program was limited to six students representative of individuals across the autism spectrum.
Because of the unique nature of the programming, AbleTalks has dramatically reduced the cost of providing services to autistic adults. An average three-hour session costs less than $75 per student. All costs for the pilot program were covered through donations and a successful crowdfunding campaign.
For more information on AbleTalks, visit www.abletalks.org or connect via social media.
AbleTalks is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Media Contact: Michelle Rash RLF Communications 336-553-1733 (office) 336-823-5501 (mobile) firstname.lastname@example.org