Autistic Global Initiative: Residential/Daily Living Support Course Beginning Soon!

 January 23, 2014
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Here at M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC we understand the unique challenges of being a parent of a child with special needs. Feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, and utterly stressed out is no secret to us, and we are fairly confident in saying that most parents of children with special needs experience similar emotions from time to time.

The difficulties of parenting a child with special needs have been the topic of a few of our weekly blogs. In fact, every so often, we make a point of devoting a blog to this topic. We do this to let you know that you are not alone in feeling the pressure, and to encourage you to keep your head up. We also write about it to provide support, and to encourage you to seek support in your community and your circle of family and friends. Most importantly, we write about it to emphasize that there is no shame in asking for help.

However, we do realize that sometimes help can be hard to find. And, when you do find it, help can be hard to ask for. That’s why when came across this course, offered by the Autistic Global Initiative and Houlton Institute, we knew we had to write about it. In addition to being an excellent recommendation for your child’s caregiver, it can also help you, your spouse, and your other children learn important techniques to support your family member with special needs as he or she goes about daily life.

The AGI Residential/Daily Living Support Course: What is it, and How Does it Work?

First and foremost, this course is aimed at helping parents, family members, and those who work with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder “learn approaches and methods to support daily living…[and] to develop an individualized portfolio of supports and strategies for individuals with autism or related disabilities.[i]” In short, it teaches those who work with individuals with ASD the best ways to help these individuals as they go about living their daily lives.

The course takes place over a 12-week period; those who enroll in the course can complete one module per week (there are 12 modules) or they can progress at their own pace. The course comes with a number of built in supports – everything is online, with complete customer (or student) support – there is a team of professors on hand to answer any questions or concerns that students may have. One of the best features of the entire course (in our opinion) is that they have teaching assistants that are on the spectrum, or have other disabilities to help participants out.

In terms of curriculum, each module covers a topic related to “foundational knowledge and competencies needed to support adults with ASD in daily living settings.” According to the course description, each participant will build their own portfolio, or “toolkit” of supports and strategies for individuals with autism or related disabilities. For example, Module 1 is an introduction to the course, and a brief overview of supporting adults with ASD in a variety of daily living settings. The second and third modules get a little more involved, with Module 2 focusing on the Person-Centered Approach to Support Adults with Autism, and Module 3 focusing on Understanding and Supporting Regulation (i.e. important training and strategies for supporting regulation in adults with ASD.) Each module builds on the previous module, while introducing new material. At the end of the course, in Module 12, individuals review the core principles of the course and take a final multiple-choice quiz (open book). For a full overview of the course curriculum, click here.

How Can This Help Me?

As we mentioned in the intro, this course can be useful in a number of different ways.  You may wish to arrange for your child’s caregiver to take this course, or to recommend it to members of your child’s transitioning or daily living support team. You may wish to take it yourself, and learn new coping techniques or strategies to help your family member live an independent, successful life.

You can also recommend this course to your spouse, your other children, or other family members who provide support to your child with ASD on a daily basis; even if your children’s support team is well versed in helping individuals with ASD, a quick refresher can provide additional insight, or suggestions as to how to provide the best possible support to the individual.

In fact, you may wish to take this course with your child with ASD; as the two of you work your way through this program, you may each gain insights as to why you both behave and react the way you do. Your child may be able to put his or her reactions and behaviors in perspective for you, and you may be able to explain to your child why you act the way it is that you do. It may prove to be a valuable bonding experience for you both.

Would You Like More Information?

For more information on this course, please visit the Course Webpage, or the AGI website. The next course offering begins in February 15th, and costs $300. Scholarships for this course are available – requests can be submitted via email to

If you would like information regarding other aspects of special needs financial and life planning, please take a look at our free Workshop Series, and check out our Services page. As always, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns, or requests for more information. We love hearing from you!

For those of you interested in supporting individuals in independent lives, either through independent living programs, or independent house options, please check out our Independent Living Program and Housing Project database – an online housing resource with more than 800 entries of living programs and housing options. You may also wish to read about our Housing Development Initiatives.

Thank you all for taking the time to check out our blog today  – we love having you visit, and we love it even more when you leave comments or send emails. Please let us know what you are thinking, or if there is a topic you would like us to write more about, and we will certainly do our best to address it in a future blog.

Have a great Thursday, everyone!


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