AVATIL’s adolescent and young adult services are part of the outreach services offered by AVATIL.
AVATIL’s outreach services to adolescents and young adults have become an essential component of the services AVATIL offers. The goal is to provide early intervention to adolescents and young adults at risk by providing them with an environment where they can address the considerable difficulties they may face as they approach/enter adulthood, reduce their social isolation, and increase their social networks. They may be unable to keep up with their peers both academically and socially, but their deficits may not be significant enough to be identified as an intellectual impairment. They often fall between the cracks of services once they leave the school system.
Adolescent Outreach Program
Goals of the Program: AVATIL weekly groups and monthly activities provide important contexts in which adolescents can discuss issues relevant to them, as well as provide an environment that promotes the development of friendships and supports.
Adolescent Activities: A weekly adolescent discussion group is held on Tuesdays after school 4-6 p.m. between September and June each year. The group targets adolescents 15-17 years of age. Group topics are varied and are adapted each year to participants’ level of functioning as well as their interests. AVATIL also organizes a monthly Saturday social/recreational activity. Adolescents can also participate in some activities open to all AVATIL clients.
Outreach to Schools: The adolescent outreach program coordinator maintains contact with various schools. Yearly presentations at a number of these schools ensure that adolescents and family members are aware that our services exist.
Contact with Family Members: Ongoing contact is maintained with family members. The assistance of family members is often required to transport adolescents to and from activities.
Young Adult Outreach Program
The majority of participants in the young adult program are 18-25 years of age and live with their families. In many cases they hope to participate in meaningful work and to live independently in the community. A number of the young adults will eventually participate in the AVATIL transitional living program.
Goals of the Program: The program aims to provide young adults with a sense of belonging to a group as well as to provide a supportive environment where young adults can discuss topics relevant to their concerns, such as independent living, relationships, health, sexuality, internet safety, and anger management.
Young adult Activities: The core activity of the AVATIL young adult program is a weekly discussion/social group that meets on Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. between September and June. There is also a social/recreational activity held one Saturday per month.
Young adults are also invited to participate in AVATIL social and recreational activities open to all AVATIL clients. Additionally, they are encouraged to participate, with their peer group or on their own, in activities offered in the community.
Outreach to Schools: School presentations to young adults and family members provide opportunities for AVATIL to promote its services and to reach out to young adults and their families.
Contact with Family Members: Individual meetings with parents of young adults are held approximately once per year to review their son or daughter’s objectives towards independent living.