- When is the program open?
The program is open from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm daily, Monday through Friday, 48 weeks per year. It is closed for 2 weeks at the end of December and for 2 weeks at the end of August.
- Is transit to and from the program provided?
No, transit is not provided by PALS. However, depending on where you live, HandiDart does pick-up and drop-off at the program and we are conveniently located close to bus routes, the Canada Line and SkyTrain. You will be responsible for arranging suitable transportation to and from the program.
- Who can apply to the program?
Families of young adults, aged 19-29, who have autism or other neuro-developmental disabilities, and who live in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, are encouraged to apply.
- Is there a waitlist and how is it managed?
Yes, there is a waitlist. However, when openings occur or the program is expanded, applicants are drawn from the waitlist based on the skill set and staff/student ratios of the available space, not where they are numerically on the waitlist.
- Is there a fee for the program?
Yes, there is a fee for both the part time and full time programs. Fees are set based on the support needs of the applicant which determines the ratio of instructor to student that is required to appropriately support him/her. Community Living British Columbia (CLBC) may fully or partially support the applicant and parents are encouraged to partner with them in this area.
- What is the intake process and what are the first steps in applying?
Families are encouraged to complete the adult program Intake Application that is found on our website under the Adult Program Tab and mail it to the attention of Head of Adult Program, 203 W. 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1K7. Alternatively, you can call the Administrative Assistant at 604-872-7257 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Once the application is received and a file has been opened, the Head of Adult Program will review it and set up an initial intake meeting with the family.
- How are programs structured?
Both the part time and full time programs are structured to include a variety of activities and lessons that balance program-based learning and skills acquisition with community-based instruction and practice.
- What does a typical day look like?
Each day of the week is structured differently in order to accommodate individual programs. The weekly schedule, as a whole, contains a diverse mix of social skills training, adaptive life skills, leisure opportunities, job training, music and art classes, and functional skills (including numeracy and literacy).
- Who provides instruction?
Instructors are hired for their skills in instructing/teaching and/or experience working with young adults with autism. General program goals are developed by the Head of Adult Program in consultation with families and program participants. Individual program curricula is set and supervised by a BC certified teacher. The adult program behaviour analyst develops the behaviour support plans which are implemented by our highly skilled and trained staff. Communication and social skills goals are set by our speech/language pathologist in collaboration with the Head of Adult Program. Please note that we are not an accredited post-secondary school institution.
- What are student/staff ratios?
Student/staff ratios depend on the level of support required by each young adult and range from 1:1, 2:1 to 3:1.
- What professional supports/therapies are offered?
A BC Certified Teacher oversees the implementation of programs and works closely with a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, Speech/Language Pathologist, Expressive Art Therapist and Music Therapist to provide highly effective programming and therapies to each of the program participants.
- How are parents and families kept informed of their son or daughter’s daily activities and progress?
A daily communication log travels between home and the program. This log acts as a comprehensive, shared commentary on activities, events, and questions/answers etc. Parents are encouraged to meet with the Head of Adult Program during scheduled appointments during the 3rd week of each month. Parents are likewise encouraged to email or call the Head of Adult Program to discuss any issues or concerns that arise, at any time.