OMAHA, Neb. (FOX 42 KPTM) — It is a new school year for students, teachers, and parents.
Those who are sending their kids off to college can see this as a time for them to learn the ins and outs of living on their own.
Parents of kids with Autism want the same experience and now there is a place for those students to start the transition.
It’s a next step for students with Autism.
"What we’re doing here is the perfect transition between home life to adulthood, so they come into this community they build friendships, they build community, they definitely take care of themselves, their own cooking, their own cleaning and it’s the perfect transition for them as they head off to adulthood, said Susan Gnann, Director of Advancement for St. John Paul II Newman Center."
It’s also the first of its kind in the metro.
"Prosper academy is a two year program for young adults with Autism and it’s a program in which the students will be participating in classroom activities to learn skills and learn strategies for navigating life, said Justin Dougherty President/ CEO of Autism Action Partnership.
Autism Action Partnership has partnered with St. John Paul II Newman Center and Metro Community College to help those on the Autism spectrum to bridge the gap from finishing high school to going to college.
The transition is pretty much like any new college student, they leave their parents house, go to class and do their day to day on their own,
but what’s different for these students is they will have around the clock assistance from a trained staff.
"We know that for families that have children on the Autism spectrum the fear of letting your children go into the real world away from the comfort and safety of home can be very challenging and nerve racking for them and what we’re able to do here at the Newman Center is provide that kind of interim space for them to grow in confidence and skills, said Gnann."
The Newman Center is a social hub and dorm building for all college students in the metro regardless of the school or the student’s background.
Dougherty said after the program ends the students are expected to be able to live independently.
The Prosper Academy program is currently in the pilot stage with 6 autistic students and are still accepting students.
If you are interested in enrolling your student into the program or for more information go here.
For more information on the Newman Center go here.