The past decade has seen reports citing the dramatic increase in the prevalence of autism and related disorders (ASD) to the current 1 case per 88 births. While the reasons behind this increase remain unclear what is clear is that there are greater numbers of individuals being diagnosed with ASD than ever before and subsequently there exists steadily growing numbers of adolescent and young adults on the autism spectrum. Consequently, this increase in prevalence has created an increased demand for appropriate and effective services for adolescents and young adults with ASD. Unfortunately, the need for such services continues to far exceed the available resources leaving a generation of individuals with autism and their families in a programmatic, financial, and personal limbo. This presentation will provide an overview of effective, intensive community based transition programming – at any age – with the ultimate goal being a life of dignity, competence, and quality. To this end, an overview and practical suggestions for transition planning (with an emphasis on the use of existing technology) will be presented along with issues related to community based instruction, social competence, sexuality and sexual safety, and quality of life concerns.
Gloria Satriale is the Executive Director of the PAAL Program. The PAAL program is a nationally recognized program serving adolescents through educational transition programming and adults through day habilitation and residential programming. The PAAL Program is known for its research and use of unique applications of readily available technology to foster independence and support community integration. Ms. Satriale presents and trains nationally and internationally on the use of technology, transition and adult issues. Gloria has served as a consultant to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Education and Office of Dispute Resolution, to the Chester County Intermediate Unit, and to many advocacy and educational programs. She has chaired the Chester County Advisory Board to the Chester County Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation and is a former member of the Board of Directors of Autism Living and Working (ALAW); The Autism Society of America Philadelphia Chapter; and Organization for Autism Research (OAR). She holds a Gubernatorial Appointment to the Advisory Committee to the Governor’s Cabinet on Disabilities for Pennsylvania and was an appointed participant the White House Summit on Autism under President Obama. She is also the At&T Advisory Board Representative of Technology for the Disabled and aging. Ms. Satriale is a practicing attorney who has served as a Special Education Due Process Hearing Officer. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis from Endicott College and is a Licensed Behavior Specialist. Ms. Satriale’s second of her five children, Nick, is profoundly affected with autism.
Executive Director, Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL), expert on intensive and effective community-based transition programming for individuals with ASD.