“Prep to Step-Up” is a unique, non-profit, Post-secondary Education/Communication Program for neurodiverse adults; adults of both genders living with special needs and abilities. Entering its sixth year in Milton, it attracts ‘Clients’ from the Halton Region in Ontario.
Prep to Step-Up encourages a diverse cognitive learning opportunity for self-empowerment. We want Clients to live their lives more comfortably and with a more self-realized confidence unique to their own community of specially-abled citizens. We want them to want to learn more!
After finishing high school, neurodiverse adults mostly fall into a routine of less activity, loss of familiar friendships and social contacts as well as the absence of continuing education. Often families will tell us that their adult children then regress to boredom, complacency, have a loss of will as well as appetite, resulting ultimately with depression, isolation and increased ‘behaviours’.
Community Living North Halton recognized this and in 2014, approached our founder, Doreen McCall, to design and implement a program that would fill this niche and provide an education program that could encourage stimulus for improved communication. A self-confidence would evolve with social and life skills necessary for that important, possible next ‘Step’ in adulthood of perhaps employment, volunteering or assisted independent living.
As Educators at Prep to Step-Up, we have found that ‘behaviours and abilities’ in adults with neurodiversities balance out in adulthood, allowing them the space to become more comfortable, realizing a new found will to want to learn more about themselves to trying new and perhaps, unfamiliar paths toward self-confidence.
Even over just a year, we witness friendships growing more secure as they help and support each other into a community of belonging. Is this not similar to any young adult leaving high school to enter their next steps in Life?