In early 2021, the York ASD Partnership was successful in their application and received a grant from Autism Speaks Canada. The primary focus of this grant Is to provide the “Transitioning Together” program to transitional age youth with ASD and their families living in York Region.
Transitioning Together is an eight session program developed Dr. Leann Dewalt Smith at the University of Wisconsin to empower individuals with ASD and their families to successfully manage the transition from children’s to adult services. Four member agencies of York ASD Partnership participated in this project: Kerry’s Place Autism Services, Community Living York South, York Support Services and Centre for Behavioural Sciences-MacKenzie Health. Staff from each agency participated in “train-the-trainer” sessions provided by Dr. Dewalt Smith and her colleague, Kate Szidon. These staff will then provide the training to 40 families over the next six months.
Research on the efficacy of this training is being conducted by Dr. Priscilla Burnham Riosa and her colleague, Shona Mills at Brock University. Results of this research should be available in late 2021. Of course, Covid-19 has impacted this initiative as it has so many supports and services by requiring that all training be delivered virtually. This has presented many challenges to trainers and participants but has also presented many opportunities.
Updates on this project and the results of the research will be posted throughout the project.