Teens with Autism Get Vocational Training in Green Technologies at The Y.A.L.E. School

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Innovative hands-on learning lab prepares teens with autism and related disabilities for work.

Teens with autism learn job skills at Y.A.L.E. School's new Green Tech Activity Lab in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

“Too many graduates with autism leave school without the full range of skills they need to get and keep a job they like." - Vincent Mallon, The Y.A.L.E. School

Students with autism who attend the Y.A.L.E. School are one step closer to paid jobs, thanks to the school's newest transition initiative: The Green Tech Activity Lab.

At the new lab, adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum have the opportunity to improve work-readiness skills through hands-on learning in a safe, structured facility. Students learn a range of jobs from assembly, sorting and packaging; office support and clerical, and shop skills; to pre-engineering projects in the field of green technology.

Students with autism aged 14-21 from Y.A.L.E. School’s Deptford and Audubon campuses spend part of their school day at the Green Tech Activity Lab, where they are introduced to a variety of structured, high-interest activities selected from a library of project-based activities. They learn skills, build accuracy, speed and precision, and grow in independence as they carry out the work. The experience helps students, parents and school districts set realistic work goals and make informed choices about post-secondary options.

“Too many graduates with autism leave school without the full range of skills they need to get and keep a job they like,” said Vincent Mallon, Vocational Consultant. “The Green Tech Activity Lab allows us to assess each student’s skills, not only in the ‘hard’ skills for certain industries, but also the ‘soft skills’ of work behavior and self-direction.”

“We never want to put a ceiling or a floor on the futures of our students. We want them to dream big and be prepared with the skills they need to keep the doors open for a range of options,” added Mallon.

The Y.A.L.E. School is an approved private school, with campus locations in southern New Jersey. Students are placed at the school by their local school districts and attend at no cost to parents.

For more information, go to http://www.yaleschool.com.

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Brenda Considine

Vince Mallon
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