Jobs & Sports Work Experience Summer Camp (ages 15-18+)
Registered Charity #86117 9083 RR0001
The demand for individualized summer services for older youth with Asperger’s/High Functioning Autism (ages 15-21) is high and is a need not currently being met. Youth of this age need an adolescent-based activity program that goes beyond a camp program typically enjoyed by younger children, yet still strives to meet their current and future developmental needs. For these youth, that means early training on employment and job-related skills and continuing life-long fitness that is fun, challenging and part of a life-style.
OHEYS “Jobs & Sports” is an adolescent activity based program, which addresses these two challenging areas: potential employment and lifelong physical activity. It provides learning opportunities which impact in a significant, meaningful way. Lunch is provided by camp to encourage social communication and sharing of experiences with the group.
Two key instructional components are included:
JOBS – get ready for the reality of employment – see the possibility!
Research has shown that the social part of the working world is extremely challenging for older youth with autism/Asperger’s. With awkward social interactions and difficulty in ‘thinking on the spot’, they need more preparation, planning and practice to be successful in jobs.
This program gives youth the opportunity to:
- learn the employment process, explore the potential job market, research actual workplaces, practice job interviews through role-play.
- get organized, be ‘on time’, learn the responsibilities of employment, plan for a paycheque.
- develop a business/greeting card and 1-page resume.
- observe good role-models in a supporting and encouraging environment at worksite sponsor locations (prior worksite sponsor locations include: Canadian Tire, Safeway, Sobeys, Shoppers Drug Mart, CM University Kitchen, Petland, Riverwood Square, Winnipeg Public Libraries (Pembina Trails, Fort Gary, Louis Riel, River Heights), Petland Pembina, Landscape Maintenance, Giant Tiger,
- work for 2 hours per day at 5 different work-site sponsor locations at minimum wage.
- practice interpersonal communication and smooth social interactions with co-workers and customers.
SPORTS – Work, then play. Encourage continuing life-long recreation/sports activity.
Youth with autism/Asperger’s tend to be more awkward in motor skills, lean towards inactivity generally, have often fallen far behind peers in this area due to their central nature of their disability. Typically they are not involved in group or team sports activities (if they are even physically active at all!). Both areas of basic skill development and team sport are combined to offer a program that provides the necessary social, behavioural and physical skills guidance appropriate to their age group. Sports skills development for these youth typically is not met by traditional summer programs. A higher level of direct skill-based and social-interaction instruction, as well as individualized feedback, is usually needed for these youth to feel successful and to enjoy the game.
Our goal is also to encourage the incorporation of physical activity and sports into their lives on a regular on-going basis.
“Go to work – then go work out”. We try to:
- encourage physical activity and sports on an on-going basis for life-long health and wellness.
- work on social/communication and experience-sharing aspects of participation in group activities.
- promote enjoyment of sports for fitness and fun through active field trips
- offer basic sports skill instruction to enjoy success during team sports and group activities.
- offer direct social skill instruction and role-play to promote good sportsmanship.
- emphasize the enjoyment and health-related aspects of fitness for life and peer social involvement.