Planning for the future can mean a number of things to a number of people, and for people with Autism, considering how to shape one’s future can pose problems because of the need for concrete ways of learning or processing information. Because individuals with Autism have different ways of learning and processing information, it may be more difficult for them to consider looking at how circumstances could change next week, next month, next year, or ten years from now. Similarly, many individuals on the spectrum do not easily foresee or imagine how their own circumstances will change when life changes occur, such as the loss of a family member or parent, transitioning to a new home, or getting a job. Using a vision board exercise, support the person in writing, illustrating, making collages, or exploring other methods of expressing him or herself. Adjust the categories below as needed, or make up your own so that the activity is tailored to the person.
Complete all Categories for Each Time Frame:
What You Can Do Now
- Choose a good time and day to complete a vision board project with the person you support. You can also plan to work on the vision board over a period of meetings.
- Consider whether you will also make your own vision board as a means of teaching someone how she can make one. If you take this approach, model examples from your own life as a way of supporting her process in making her future more concrete.
- When her vision board is complete, review the board together and support her in identifying goals, resources and actions she can take to realize the future.
This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.