When I type in a quick google search for “local special needs resources”, I get loads of hits for little ones. However, when I search for resources for teens and adults, the results are scarce. It seems like people forget that kids with autism become adults with autism, and as a community we should be supporting them throughout their life.
Thankfully, after some extensive detective work, I found some great resources in San Diego to use as a starting off point.
1. Social Fusion Center
From what I gathered from their website, their main focus is on social skills groups. They also provide siblings groups, academic tutoring, and BCBA consultation. However, what stood out to me the most was their job readiness program. This program, designed for teens and young adults, teaches skills like resume building, job searching, interviewing skills, and on-the-job social etiquette.
9606 Tierra Grande Suite 101
San Diego, CA 92126
2. Club Xcite
This company provides academic tutoring and coaching, social/behavioral coaching, and various school enrichment and summer programs. What caught my eye was their Teen Junior Counselor Program. It’s designed for teens ages 14-18, with a 3-to-1 camper to staff ratio. There, they work on building skills like social interaction, problem solving, self-regulation, and time management, with each individual camper’s needs in mind. A more in depth look at this program can be found here.
10855 Sorrento Valley Road Suite 207
San Diego, CA 92121
3. TERI enrichment programs
Founded in 1980, TERI, Inc. is a company that aims to improve the quality of life for children and adults with developmental and learning disabilities, and continues to grow. Since its inception, TERI has grown and continues to grow, most recently beginning construction on the Campus of Life, providing what they describe as “a bridge between the special needs community and the world around them”. The campus is set to open in 2020. They currently have enrichment programs for all ages including agriculture, culinary, equestrian, and performing arts, among others.
251 Airport Road
Oceanside, CA 92058
4. Options For All
This company is a non-profit. It focuses on providing opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to become contributing members of their communities, both personally and professionally. They have programs such as community engagement, independent living, and supported employment. Their headquarters is in San Diego, but they have satellite offices in Riverside, Santa Clara, San Bernardino, and Santa Cruz counties.
5050 Murphy Canyon Road Suite 220
San Diego, CA 92123
5. SPORTS for Exceptional Athletes
This non-profit program serves athletes with developmental disabilities ages 5 through adult. They’re a volunteer-based program who have partnered with the San Diego Park & Recreation Department, Down Syndrome Association San Diego, and San Diego Police Officer’s Association, to name a few. According to their website, their goal is to “create enhanced opportunities for people with and without disabilities to interact and form lasting bonds of friendship through shared sports and recreational activities in their community”. If you know anyone with a love of sports, and wants to be involved in the community, this is a great company to connect with.
9575 Aero Drive, Suite B
San Diego, CA 92123