New Vocational Training Centre for Autistic Children

New Vocational Training Centre for Autistic Children
By James Mullan
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This August, Stepping Stones Centre for Autistic Spectrum Disorders, will be offering children with disabilities a new concept in vocational training. From the 3rd August to 28th the centre will be running it’s ‘On Track’ programme for teens and young adults (14 plus). The unique ‘On Track’ curriculum is presently offered in only 6 countries worldwide. The course offers students with disabilities fully structured life centered learning with support both inside and outside the classroom. “We’re going to assist students in finding their vision and then help them work towards it,” says facilitator Adam Griffin. But, the summer course is only a ‘taster’ of things to come. In September Stepping Stones will launch their first year-long 'On Track' vocational training course. Both curriculums will focus on daily living, self-determination and employment, featuring community integration, work experience and employment options. Class size will be small and trained staff will be on hand to maximize the personal independence of every student. Peer support will be provided by Middlesex University. “We're really excited to have had a tremendous response from Middlesex” says Griffin, “the university students really want to be part of this!” With so few options for young adults with disabilities, both courses are expected to be well subscribed. “I really like what they’re offering, it’s unique, but we need many more initiatives like this in Dubai,” said parent Andrea Frazer. For many teens with disabilities, educational and vocational opportunities in Dubai are limited. Although the numbers are not known, it’s believed many young adults simply remain at home. Utilizing already established links with local businesses the course will have students not only employed but planning their future careers. ‘On Track’ aims to give young people the tools and support to make decisions regarding their life, career and future. For more information contact: Stepping Stones, Al Razi Bldg, Block B, Suite 5001, Dubai, 04 363 5433,  

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