Asperger's Alliance was formed and derived from the vision to create an environment where students and adults on the Autism Spectrum can experience success and belonging with the support of their peers and families. Our philosophy incorporates unconventional and interactive teaching methods, social activities, volunteer and employment opportunities to assist members in learning new skills and overcoming challenges within everyday situations.
Social Skill Development Groups
Asperger's Alliance Middle School Social Thinking Program focuses on fostering communication, expressing emotions through creativity and developing the skills to build friendships. This program incorporates social activities, involvement in our community outreach and mentoring by our emerging adults.
Asperger’s Alliance High School Group is designed for 9th-12th grade students with the goal of assisting them to develop the skills necessary to communicate more effectively, recognize social cues, build friendships and improve their self-confidence. Participants in this program are involved in all of our social activities and volunteer events and are paired with an emerging adult peer mentor.
Emerging and Working Adult
Emerging and Working Adult Life Skills Group focuses on interpersonal relationships, executive functioning and employment readiness skill development through a combination of skill-building meetings, social activities, volunteer, and employment readiness activities.
Parent Group focuses uses learning and developing strategies to support their children through advocacy, community education and outreach and providing mutual support within the group. Our parents play an active role in helping to facilitate activities and plan community events.
Asperger’s and Anxiety Group is designed to help support high school and emerging adults with developing coping strategies to assist them with social and emotional challenges. This program uses cognitive-behavioral strategies and encourages mutual support from group participants.
Art in me
"Art in Me" is Asperger's Alliance Art program, it was developed by Art Director, Heather Mahaffey. The program focuses on getting creative ideas into the minds of our members and creative materials in their hands. It was formulated to inspire that there is a little artist in everyone and to promote personal expression without perceived ability or self proclaimed talent.
Art has been utilized in therapy for decades and even casual exposure is therapeutic. Our Asperger's family often think along alternative lines and can even have anxiety towards a particular activity. The projects are presented and completed in a safe and relaxed environment and often member driven without critique or criticism from peers or leader. Individuality and personal growth are encouraged.
The Art in Me program was implemented in early 2016 and meets monthly. We have visited still life painting, beginning pottery, mask making and utilizing recycled materials in art. A trip to the Delaware Art Museum is scheduled as an upcoming event. Whereas some crafts are involved and often the line is blurred between the two, the focus is on art.
We hope you will join us to nurture your inner artist!
Asperger's Alliance was developed with the goal of providing participants with the opportunity to grow and reach their full potential by exposing them to new experiences. Group members can participate in a new activity that allows them to develop relationships with fellow members in addition to expanding their skill sets. Previous activities include go-kart racing, rock climbing, snow tubing, horseback riding, kayaking, hayrides and bonfires, and trips to Hershey Park and the Smithsonian. Every year we organize a family and friend's picnic, Asperger's Alliance Prom and a skills challenge called the "Amazing Race" in which participants uncover clues and races to perform various life skill tasks in the community.
An important aspect of the Asperger's Alliance mission is to educate the community about Autism, through volunteering and fundraising. We believe that "learning by doing" is the best way to acquire transferrable life experiences in the community. Group members have participated in cooking classes, prepared and served meals to the homeless and recovering communities. They have volunteered at the Food Bank of Delaware and facilitated a food donation drive in which 300 food items were collected and donated to the Feed My Sheep project at Glasgow Church. Asperger’s Alliance families have adopted residents of Emily Bissell Hospital during the holidays and have designed gift bags and created decorations for each resident’s door. Our members also help plan, cook, and serve for our annual formal friends and family holiday party.
Fundraising is another avenue that is used to support group members in developing communication skills, teaching the value and process of obtaining the necessary financial resources and participating in group activities of choice through interactions with community members. Members were involved in a fundraising enterprise (“Aspie Bakes”) where they created, baked and fulfilled the orders of 1000 cupcakes and 300 whoopie pies. Asperger’s Alliance has also sponsored “Strike Out Autism”, a bowling fundraiser to raise awareness in the community, at Pleasant Hill Lanes. Fundraising events have been held at community businesses Chick Fil’A and California Pizza Kitchen.