Community Outreach/Alternate Programs at Tamalpais District

Posted By on September 30, 2013

Owen2As we try to spread awareness and acceptance I find that it is much harder to garner support for adults.  I do not really understand but seems that perhaps people believe when supporting younger kids there is hope for further growth and success but when reach adulthood then support just means some form of hand out or charity. So our mission becomes to educate the community that our young adolescents have much to contribute and that support for them also means further growth and success.

We must also empower our young adolescents to be able to self advocate and be comfortable sharing who they are and perhaps some of their own struggles.   Struggles lead to strength of character and are part of any person so we need to reinforce that it is really okay to experience this.  

the girlsI am not sure this message is really getting out there. Folks are listening but no one is engaging.   We need to reach outside our safe community and engage others who truly would benefit from hiring our adolescents.  I need everyone reading this to think of people that own a company or have the ability to hire on some of these adults. There are agencies out there that will partner with these employers. I am challenging you to think of one person or one company where you have a contact. You and others will feel so empowered to have helped.  I have helped two agencies make contact with 2 law firms who have successfully placed two adults and I cannot express how much value these very special adults are bringing to these employers.

I have been very frustrated by the news and media acknowledging that there are very few services and resources available for adults.  I read an article describing this as an impending community care crisis commenting on the fact that all the kids (1 in 88) diagnosed with autism will someday be adults with autism and  if there are limited resources today this will only worsen.  We must change this.

We must engage our community. We are at the fore front of this huge bubble of kids being diagnosed and we absolutely need to be reaching out to others and make change.

If you are willing to accept my challenge then please contact me as I am trying to put together shared resources on employment options. 

I just got selected to be on an Alternative Programming Advisory Committee at Tamalpais Union High School District.  The purpose of this committee is to develop measurable criteria by which alternative programs could be evaluated.  I have always known that there were a number of alternative programs available but did not understand all the options available to our students.  There is a program through adult education that assist students who may want to get a GED rather than a diploma. This may be for a student who struggles to attend class and may be overwhelmed in a high school setting. I am asking a lot of questions and will share with you all the programs that are available in this district. I will also learn about other programs in other districts as we investigate ways to measure. I will include this in future posts.


I think too much about what I am going to write which is why takes me so long to post.  Please let me know any topics that may interest you and I will do my best to access resources and obtain information.

About The Author

I am a a parent of a 20 year old with autism. I have been very active in our community. I started a baseball and basketball league for children and adolescents with special needs. I was one of the founders of It Takes a Village. I also served as a trustee on the Mill Valley School board and now participate in an advisory committee on special education.