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Tag: Independence

Transition to Employment Programs at Lexington

Lexington Services is proud to announce that our Transition to Employment program is accepting members! 

What is Transition to Employment?

Transition to Employment or TTE is a service that teaches individuals with disabilities that qualify for employment the “meaning, value and demands of work and in the development of positive attitudes toward work.” This program is related to several employment initiatives designed to provide training and support to promote integrated and competitive employment skills.

This TTE is integrated directly into a Person-Centered Service Plan with the planning team, similar to the IEP plan that many individuals use while in school. This service is designed to help individuals realize their employment and vocational goals while supporting their skill development and pursuing their passions. 

The overall goal of the program is to help members transition to a more independent employme

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nt setting. This program can also guide individuals through unpaid shadowing experiences to engage with their interests and current skill set. 

TTE services ensure that individuals have mentor guidance and supervision from Lexington experts to have the most favorable employment experience possible. Through a Transition to Employment program, an individual with autism can expand their employment horizons and work toward a career that incorporates their interests and unique skill sets.

Why Are Programs Like TTE important?

With an alarming number of adults with autism living unemployed, some studies suggest at least 27%, the need for services that help people with ASD find meaningful employment is striking. 

There are several things that parents and guardians can do to help their loved ones prepare to join the workforce. Even with a perfect interview and a qualified skill set, some employment venues aren’t fit to deal with the unique needs of individuals with autism and other disabilities. This is where programs like Transition to Employment can significantly improve the outcomes for these individuals. 

TTE provides a route for individuals to find honest work for actual pay, rather than sheltered workshops, which significantly bolsters an individual’s perception of themselves and their independence. 

With some reports indicating that only 26% of youth with disabilities are employed, it’s essential to support our youth through these programs “So They Can” thrive as they transition to adulthood. With proper guidance, there are many employment paths that young people can excel at, and programs like Transition to Employment at Lexington will help them on that path to success

TTE at Lexington

“We primarily prepare our members to join the workforce,” explained Frances Oder, the TTE Director at Lexington. “We start by finding out their learning styles, likes, dislikes, and interests and build on what each individual needs to acquire their first job and enjoy it.”

TTE also teaches the basics that every employer wants their employees to know, such as soft skills, following the rules, dressing for success, and getting along with supervisors and peers. Members are taught essential independent skills such as knowing how to read a pay stub, how to get to work, and budgeting, among other things. 

Our members all have individual skills they need to build on, and right now, our focus is on learning the value of money. We have some members that know of it but don’t understand the worth of a dollar or understand change (coins). Other members do, and they are encouraged to help with teaching those who don’t, so in essence, just about everyone here has the opportunity to teach one another. 

“It is a program and job that I love,” said Oder. “Every member brings a unique talent to our team. We all learn and grow together as we prepare our unique individuals to enter the workforce and share their talents with the world.” 

The TTE program at Lexington is aimed at young adults who are preparing for employment and are exploring their career paths. Members practice interviewing, learn how to find and apply for jobs and sometimes get the opportunity to practice the jobs they want in a Lexington environment. 

For those seeking to join the Transition to Employment program at Lexington, or if you would like more information, contact us at


8 MORE Great Career Paths for People with Autism

Finding a great career path is one of the many things that come with becoming an adult. It is no different for a teenager with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). By paying attention to what they enjoy and what piques their interest, a rewarding career path could be around the corner.

Transition to Employment programs are valuable services available to those with disabilities. Adults with autism require a different type of attention to their unique needs. Some may have sensory challenges, while others have anxiety in an office space. By working with them to address their condition and find their interest early, they will find a job that easily suits them.

Lexington offers an Adult Day Program and Transition to Employment program. The Adult Day Program allows members to participate in center-based programs to receive specialized coaching and work on areas such as vocational skills, volunteering, paid employment, and more.

Transition To Employment is an employment service for individuals with disabilities designed to provide training and support to promote the development of integrated and competitive employment skills. Through a Transition to Employment program, an individual with autism can expand their employment horizons and work toward a career that incorporates their interests and unique skill sets.

Once these unique skill sets are known, they can then maximize their strength and find the position that works best for them. Here are a few more great career paths for people with autism to consider:

  • Software Development/Tester
    • Many successful and talented software developers and testers have been diagnosed with autism. This career path is perfect for those who excel with computers, in mathematics, and understand complex systems. The best example would be Greg on Lexington’s IT Team. He helps keep all the computers and networks running smoothly.
  • Data Entry
    • Great for nonverbal or individuals with poor verbal skills, data entry allows a person to focus on one task and excel at this task.

  • Print Shop Assistant/Specialist
    • Copy shops are great environments for non-verbal people with autism. A common proficiency for those with autism is that they are visually oriented. They excel at intricate work. Printing jobs can become detailed as customers need specific measurements and number of copies.
  • Library Science
    • Library science is a great career path for non-visual thinkers. Here a person would do research to help them find information within the library for themselves or for guests. This is commonly known as a reference librarian.
  • Photographer
    • Photography comes with many options. A person can still do photography or video. They can work with a company or can become a freelancer. Great for visual thinkers, photography can be an avenue to many possibilities.

  • Journalist
    • Journalism is known to be factual and to be void of personal opinions and one’s emotions. People with autism are known to approach situations logically, making print journalism a great career path. This career path would include research, facts, and writing about particular interest topics to the individual.
  • Bank Teller
    • Playing to non-visual thinkers and better math skills, a bank teller is a less high-stress position than a cashier. As a bank teller, an individual must use less short-term memory and give more attention to the person they are assisting.
  • Commercial Artist
    • Someone keen to design and art would fit right into this career path. This path would focus on advertising and magazine layout and can be done with a company or freelancer.

Identifying and developing a teen’s skills is the key to a rewarding, fulfilling career. Lexington Services specializes in helping children with autism and other learning challenges reach their full potential inside and outside the classroom. Find out how Lexington Services can help your child or teen discover their skills and potential.

Curious about other possible jobs for people with autism? Click here to view our first blog on different career paths.


Disclaimer: This post attempts to publicize ideas and comments that we find would be useful for our community to know. Our post is by no means intended to prompt you to handle your challenges in any specific way. We desire to bring helpful information to all our audiences and shine a light on popular topics.

Establishing And Encouraging Independence

A lot of parents of children with developmental disabilities ask themselves and their peers, “will my child ever lead a normal, independent life?” The perception that young people with autism and other developmental disabilities will always be dependents centers the entire discussion of independence in the wrong framework. Indeed most of what society has deemed “normal” is a facade and changes all the time. Think about what was considered normal progression 100 years ago. We change as a society and global population all the time. Instead, people in the service and care field focus on the development of executive functions, skill sets and goal setting as measures of independence. In that regard, many young people are capable of living a very independent life.

Defining Independence

Some people think of independence as the ability to “grow up” by moving out and pursuing one’s own goals when a child has reached a symbolic age marker that grants them the status of adulthood. 13 in the Jewish tradition marks adulthood, while in the US, we become adults at 18, even though 17-year-olds can join the military as an adult. The world over has different markers for what defines the age we decide should mark independence and yet many kids still live at home past the age of 22, which is the age limit that IDEA allows young adults with autism to attend school. Many of the millennial generation are still living at home with their parents providing for their needs. What all this means is that our arbitrary definitions for what is considered independent might be skewed.

Many of those that are considered “independent” are reliant on assistance to accomplish their goals and manage their needs. A marriage is a partnership and a loving bond, but it’s also two people tending to one another’s needs and that’s without children. Simply relying on someone to help you with certain needs is not a good enough marker to indicate that a person is independent. People with developmental disabilities might need assistance or take longer to reach traditional “independence” and some people might never be able to fully reach that level, but we need to be slower to dismiss the independence of young people with disabilities.

Why Parents And Guardians Need To Lead On Independence

Does your child have interests and passions as well as skills that they seem to be adept at? These are signs of independence blooming and should be what you focus on as a parent. If your child has the chance to succeed, instead of being told that they will never accomplish markers of a “normal” life, parents and guardians are the first resource that can help a young person develop independence.

Encouragement and a focus on development, rather than hindrance is the key to success. Don’t focus on the cases of young people that are dependent on care for their entire lives. Even their journey toward independence is filled with landmarks that might not be obvious to the casual observer. Instead, think about it this way: the rate at which people are diagnosed with autism has risen since the 70s, but the understanding, awareness and the ability to diagnose autism has also risen dramatically. Imagine all the people that have lived their lives independently without ever being told that autism would always limit them. This is how we need to frame our understanding of the discussion.

Replacing “If” With “How”

Encouraging independence for your child will start with a conversation and evolve into action. Lydia Wayman, writer, speaker and advocate for people with autism and who has autism herself, had this to say to parents:

“Don’t ask if your child can do something—ask how he or she can do it. Find the bridge (support, skill) that will span the gap between now and the goal. Some goals seem impossible, but the surest way to keep it out of reach is if the adults give up. The child who grows up asking ‘how can I?’ learns to see challenges as a chance for creativity and growth. He or she will say: ‘I can and I will—watch me!’”

Start with changing your thinking and you will affect their understanding of themselves. If the conversation is goal driven, young people will learn to solve problems, instead of run into walls.

It’s not easy to be a parent and we all want to bring up our children to accomplish their goals, live independently and to live a safe, happy life. You can be a resource to your child and help them to gain their independence. If you need help, the professionals at Lexington Services are always there to offer guidance and support.

Lexington Supporting Independence

At Lexington, our aim is to help people from, children through adulthood, to expand their skills and foster a sense of independence. We have developed programs to help people accomplish their goals and expand their skills that are markers of independence. From Indepent Living Arrangements to our Adult Day programs and Therapies, Lexington Services has the resources to manage your loved ones needs and to help them transition to a greater sense of independence. Would you like to know more about Lexington? Contact our staff to schedule a tour or register for our services today.

Click here to read more from Lexington Services.

What Are Individually Designed Living Arrangements?

At Lexington Services, we are always working with our members and their families to help individuals achieve a greater sense of independence. That’s why Lexington is proud of our Individually Designed Living Arrangements (IDLA) program. The IDLA program is designed to help adults members to become more independent through a residence of their own. Living on your own as an adult is one of the most liberating feelings and every adult capable of living on their own and providing for themselves deserves that feeling. The IDLA program helps members learn necessary skills and empowers them to live their life independently.

What Does IDLA Entail?

When a member enrolls in the IDLA program through Lexington Services, the team prepares them for living on their own. While generally it is assumed that members and their families will find their own living arrangements, it’s sometimes possible for the Lexington team to help people find the perfect place for them to live. There are a lot of great places for members to live through the valley, including communities like Luna Azul, a neighborhood designed just for people with disabilities.

When a member moves in to their own living space, IDLA providers will work with members in their homes to help them manage the responsibilities of living alone. These include anything from cleaning, social skills, and shopping to maintaining a budget. Providers also may help with habilitation for individuals that need help with cleaning, cooking, and things like hygiene maintenance. When an individual starts the program, they will be assigned a caring and capable provider who will spend a majority of time with them in home and gradually reduce the time that they spend in home so the member can live independently in their own arrangements. Members are encouraged to get involved in a day/ work program and providers even help members to develop necessary job skills.

The goal of the program is for the least amount of intervention possible to allow members to enjoy their independence and freedom.

Why Is IDLA The Right Choice?

Obviously what works best for one individual won’t work for another. That’s the beauty of individuality. IDLA is a great choice in comparison to a developmental home or a group home like an ADH residence because so much of the process is based upon the member’s desires and needs. The power to decide where they live, how much intervention they receive, their roommates and living arrangements lie in the hands of the individual. For members seeking true independence, this program is one of the greatest opportunities. Through the IDLA, they can gain a strong understanding of their place in their community and home.

What Are The Requirements?

Generally, a member needs to be able to function more independently before they can start enrolling in the IDLA program. The level of independence that’s encouraged might not be right for every member. When a member or their family thinks that independent living might be the best option, a meeting with the IDLA team from Lexington will help determine the needs of the member as they transition into an independent setting. As the name implies, each plan is individually designed for the needs of that specific member.

How Do I Start?

If you think that Individually Designed Living Arrangements might be the best for someone you know and love, your next step could be to talk to the leaders at Lexington Services. You can contact the IDLA Director, Frances Oder, at (480)-401-2558 or by email with You may also contact a member of our staff today for any other information about what we do here at Lexington.

For more insights and other programs from Lexington, click here.