Cultivating Independence Through Service Learning Projects
The transition into adulthood for students with autism is an important process in the lives of both the students and their families. These students have a desire and a need to be engaged in occupations that are meaningful to them. Whether they are pursuing an academic degree or seeking full-time employment, multiple life skills must be obtained for them to be successful.
Occupational therapists who are skilled in designing enrichment experiences can help clients develop the skills they need to achieve their personal goals. Recently, I (lead author Janell Yonkman), along with the staff at College Internship Program (CIP) a private program that provides comprehensive services that assist young adults with learning differences to succeed in college, employment, and independent living, partnered with a local wildlife shelter in Bloomington, Indiana, to create a project that challenged students mentally and physically.