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Positive Steps Toward Employment and Independence Workshop Series

June 22 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

This 7-day, “Positivity” Summer Workshop Series by  Independent Futures with Autism (IFAutism.com) is an intensive week-long set of workshops intended for “high functioning” young adults on the autism spectrum who are entering the workforce or are already in the workforce (on the two Saturdays we also include their parents or other family support person).  It is designed for individuals with ASD who are competitively employable but struggle with social communication skills. In our groups we will work to develop positive social communication behaviors across 5 areas that we know are frequently challenging for many individuals with autism in the workplace: making mistakes, “when things go wrong”; choosing words to say to others; communicating with body, face and voice tone; and “intensity” issues.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services in Macomb County/Clinton Township Office may pay for appropriate individuals with an open MRS case to attend this workshop; please check with your MRS vocational counselor if you are interested!


Dates/times and descriptions for the “Positive Steps Toward Employment and Independence” workshops are as follows:

  • Workshop #1: Saturday June 22, 2019, 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon

This initial workshop is for both parent and the young adult with ASD.  We will discuss positivity, the five “positivity challenge areas”, the foundational social communication skills that will be covered in each of the workshops, and the concept of being “uncomfortable” in order to grow. We will also give ideas for how parents and other supporting adults can help to develop, practice, and create carryover of the skills.

  • Workshop #2: Monday, June 24, 2019, 6:30-8:30 PM

“Mistakes and Positivity”, for the young adult with ASD only, covers concepts and practice for individuals who have heightened sensitivity about “failure” and/or making mistakes, leading them to avoid or refuse new activities, responsibilities, and/or to respond negatively to constructive criticism or correction in the workplace.

  • Workshop #3:Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 6:30-8:30 PM

“Things That Go Wrong and Positivity”, for the young adult with ASD only, provides perspective and practice for when accidents occur, when unexpected events or changes happen, and when “people aren’t perfect” in the workplace.

  • Workshop #4:Wednesday June 26, 2019, 6:30-8:30 PM

“Word Choices and Positivity”, for the young adult with ASD only, covers concepts and practice for a variety of positive word choices including tact, appropriate workplace topics, speaking at appropriate times, with appropriate frequency and length (including speaking on topics of high interest), acknowledging and responding to others, etc.

  • Workshop #5:Thursday, June 27, 2019, 6:30-8:30 PM

“Body Language/Voice and Positivity”, for the young adult with ASD only, shares insights and gives practice for showing interest (even when not interested), looking and sounding friendly and confident, “blending in” with others, appropriate body language despite strong feelings, acknowledging and greeting, not invading the space of others or being distracting to others, etc.

  • Workshop #6: Friday, June 28, 2019, 6:30-8:30 PM

“Intensity and Positivity”, for the young adult with ASD only, addresses issues in the workplace around strong feelings, preferences, and opinions.  This workshop covers appropriately expressing and coping with strong feelings, limiting or “dialing back” expressions of negative or positive intensity at work, issues with intense opinions, doing what is not preferred at work (positively), broadening alternative choices beyond a single preference,  perspective on the feelings of others and developing “middle ground”, etc.

  • Workshop #7: Saturday, June 29, 2019, 9-11 AM

This final workshop session is for the parent and the young adult with ASD.  We will offer breakfast foods with a social atmosphere and information exchange, review the workshops, and share final thoughts.


We also plan to hold this workshop series again in July–please contact us at IFAutism.info@gmail.com to share your interest, date preferences, and your MRS contact if applicable.


June 22
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Romeo-Washington-Bruce Parks and Rec
361 Morton Street
Romeo, MI 48065 United States


Independent Futures with Autism