Skip navigation

Calls to Action

Training Curriculum, Handbook, and Video to Increase the Capacity of Volunteers and Interns Working with Youth with Autism in Community Settings and to Encourage Young Adults to Pursue Careers in the Autism Field

San Diego
United States

The unique challenges and characteristics of autism in community settings produce a great need for community-based therapy programs. This form of learning prepares youth with autism to thrive as active, independent, contributing, and included members of the community.  The specialization required to provide successful community-based therapy makes it difficult for untrained volunteers and interns to contribute to the success of these resource-intensive programs. To ensure the safety and development of both the volunteers/interns and the participating youth, it is essential that volunteers receive comprehensive training to prepare them for the various situations they will encounter as direct-care service providers.  Our proposed training program will empower volunteers/interns to provide youth with autism support in the areas of social skills, behavior management, safety, and functional community independence. Trained volunteers will then work with qualified staff members to provide youth with autism support in these core areas. This increased support will help participating youth with autism develop essential skills and gain inclusion and independence in their communities.