Are you a young adult with special needs or their parent? Are you concerned about:

  • Finding meaningful employment?
  • Living independently?
  • Managing finances?
  • Self-advocating?
  • What the future may bring?

Consider: Transition to Independence: Unlocking Special Abilities. This program enables individuals to:

  • Support themselves through a successful and rewarding job
  • Be on their own
  • Buy the things they need and pay their bills on time
  • Stand up for themselves
  • Look optimistically to the future

Empowering Young Adults With Special Needs to Achieve Independence

Transitions is a program for late teens and young adults with autism, intellectual, learning, or similar “disabilities,” or other conditions that inhibit their ability or motivation to become effective and productive individuals who want independence and self-reliance. Individuals who enroll in the program will improve their confidence as they learn to:

  • form and navigate social relationships
  • cook a basic healthy meal
  • take care of a living environment
  • live on their own
  • take care of themselves
  • handle an emergency
  • advocate for themselves
  • work independently
  • travel and get around town

Our caring and educated therapists focus on each individual’s needs and recognize when special attention is needed. Class sizes are kept very small so that each person gets the one-on-one time they need.

The program is exciting. Guest speakers frequent the classes so students have direct experience with police officers, first responders, employers and other members of the community. These interactions build context and confidence in our students.


A comprehensive transitional program dedicated to providing real-life, teachable moments to help young adults as they navigate the road towards independent living and healthy relationships.
Learn More

Course Syllabus

Students skills, abilities and interests are incorporated into the curriculum making it a real-life experience with learning that will have an impact on their lives for the long-term.
Learn More

Ability Blog

Our Ability Blog covers program details, important updates and the latest events. It’s a fun way to get to know the personality of our program and stay up-to-date on recent events.
Learn More

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.