Transition to Independence Syllabus

Each class is built around the individual participants. We’re able to customize the experience each week to match the needs and skill level of the students. Our goal is that by the end of the program, individuals will be able to:

  • Apply for a job
  • Perform simple ADLs and IADLs
  • Interact with others in the workplace and community
  • Fill out basic forms (application, resume, medical form)
  • Navigate around a store and checkout
  • Navigate in the community with public transportation
  • Manage money and make change
  • Take care of a living environment
  • Know what to do in case of an emergency

Below is a brief overview of the major areas we’ll cover each week to achieve our stated goals.

Job Readiness

In this class we introduce concepts of work and practice professional skills. We cover the vocabulary, common situations and expectations of the workplace.

General Organization

This is where we get into specific skills and tasks so students are able to organize materials and learn key employment skills.

Safety in the Community

We teach safety skills our students can use in the community. Understanding all of the information that will be needed in case of an emergency as well as what to do is our goal.

Money skills

We’ll cover basic skills like making change and more complex concepts so our students can interact in the community using money as a resource.

Home care

We teach the skills needed to keep a clean home and work environment.

Emergency and Advocacy

Students will learn how to respond appropriately to unexpected situations and recite basic personal information.

Food Service

In this classes we learn transferable skills for food preparation to be used at home or in the workplace.


We build on the general skills from week 7 and cook a simple meal using common kitchen instruments safely.

Community Exploration

Students, staff and family come together for a group field trip to use our new skills in the community.

Specific Areas of Work and Life

This is where we cover the specific skills our students want to learn to get the employment they desire. We will cover what is needed for work in any industry.

Rachel Hawkins, Director of Transition to Independence

Rachel graduated from Goucher College with a BA in Political Science, and got her Masters of Occupational Therapy from Temple University. A personal experience brought her into the world of OT, and she is a self-advocate for autism. She has worked primarily with pediatrics, both in public and private schools as well as clinics.

The driving force for the creation of Transition to Independence was her experience at a specialized day school for young adults with autism. Every student had goals related to work or daily living, which captured her interest. It was this population that ultimately captured her heart and soul. She is very excited to be Director of Transition to Independence, which aims to provide access to the skills young adults need to be able to live and work independently.