School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


LR Heuvelman-Hutchinson


Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Life Skill Curriculum, Teaching, Mentor, Life Coach, Transitions to Young Adulthood




The purpose of this phenomenological study was to discover the effectiveness of curriculum specific to young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within a specific community. This paper supports a program evaluation of a life skill curriculum compiled, taught and refined, and specifically designed for young adults with ASD. Young adults with ASD have few resources for a successful transition from adolescence to young adulthood. There is diminutive amount of literature evaluating and providing evidence that teaching a life skill curriculum is effective in enhancing success in the transition for young adult with ASD. There is a great deal of information and research on the effectiveness of early treatment but a considerable deficit is found in those clients who did not receive the diagnosis of ASD until they were in late adolescence or early adulthood. The population of young adult clients ranges from low, including non-verbal clients, to high functioning. It is the author’s hope to contribute to the gap in the literature with programming and resources to meet the needs, support growth, and the opportunity for reaching the highest level of independence in the ASD population. The growth demonstrated by the clients in the life skill curriculum demonstrated an average of two categories. With the direct supervision and support by the mentors and Life Skill coaches, the clients experienced the feeling of choice and autonomy as each worked toward some form of more independent living.

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