Resources for Higher-Functioning ASD Adults
Support Groups, Social Groups, and Transition Programs
AASCEND Monthly Meetings
The Autism, Aspergers Spectrum Coalition for Education, Networking, and Development (AASCEND), is a San Francisco-based support community for adults of all ages on the autism spectrum and their families. Meetings are held once a month on Saturday mornings in San Francisco. Check the AASCEND calendar to confirm.
AASCEND Job Club
The Job Club is an AASCEND employment initiative created for people who want to prepare for a job search and employment by learning and practicing job search skills, and enhance executive function processing, social practices, and communication. The Club meets on the first Saturday of the month in SF (see website for schedule and location details). While the Job Club meets in SF, they have had people carpool in or take BART from outlying areas to attend.
Comprehensive programs for teens and young adults with Asperger's/HFA, including residential camp and living support. Located in Orinda.
Autistic Women's Alliance
Autistic Women’s Alliance is an autistic run group whose mission is to support, mentor, and facilitate networking for professional autistic women in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Connect with AWA on Facebook or on
F.R.I.E.N.D.S - Fellowships Resulting in Empowering a Neuro Diverse Society
This Meetup group is appropriate for independent, autistic adults 25+ who are employed or enrolled in higher education. There will be monthly activities to make connections, improve self advocacy, and develop more meaningful relationships with peers.
UCSF STAR Center for ASD and & NDDs
STAR offers resources and support for individuals and families of individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relationship Skills) is a 14-week program for teens, or a 16-week program for young adults, which utilizes evidence-based social skills intervention for teens and young adults who are interested in learning ways to build and maintain positive friendships. For more information on any of the STAR Center's many programs or services, call (415) 502-3500 or email [email protected]
Neurodiversity Pathways is a Goodwill of Silicon Valley program for underemployed or unemployed neurodiverse adults who hold or are working towards a two or four year degree (or equivalent), equips them with workplace and personal effectiveness skills needed to succeed in today’s work environment. Apply online or find more information at https://ndpathways.org.
Shupin Social Club
The Shupin Social Club is a group of young adults with and without disabilities that come together three times a month to meet, interact, and have fun in the community. Each Social Club activity takes place in the Bay Area and is inspired by the interests of its members. Club members feel included, build self-esteem, gain self-confidence, and create friendships that last a lifetime.
An independent living community for adults with Asperger's syndrome. Shire House hosts weekly Friday-night socials where young adults (17+) can socialized and meet friends.
Mochaa (Mothers of Children with Autism and Aspergers)
Online listserv support group for mothers of kids on the spectrum, featuring frequent dinners and gatherings on the Peninsula and South Bay and social groups for teens and young adults. Contact Jennifer Timmerman at [email protected] for more information.
EvoLibri Consulting provides a wide variety of services, including support groups, geared primarily to those young adults who are neurodiverse -- with Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD, Learning Differences, and Mood Disorders -- whose challenges are often not severe enough to warrant state or federally-funded services, but which nevertheless cause the client great difficulty in life.
Silicon Valley Young Adult Aspie's Meeetup Group
AbilityPath has been a cornerstone of our community for 100 years, providing a lifespan of support services to individuals with special needs and developmental disabilities in the greater Bay Area. Our mission is to empower people with special needs to achieve their full potential through innovative, inclusive programs and community partnerships. With educational, therapeutic, vocational, and family support services, we are distinctive in providing support to an individual throughout their lifetime.
People First of California
Local Chapter Self-Advocacy Groups
The group meets in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties. Call Area Board 5 at 510-286-0439. In Santa Clara County call Area Board 7 at 408-246-4355.
College and Post-Secondary Experience
Options For All Film & Media Studios
Options For All is a non-profit vocational school right in the heart of the Silicon Valley serving the adult disabled population interested in gaining the training necessary to forge careers in the entertainment industry. The program will dedicate 10 weeks to a first film and 10 weeks to a second film. Each individual will receive instruction on directing, producing, cinematography, and art. When filming is complete, the individual will learn post-production. Finally, the individual will explore the sales, marketing, and film distribution aspects of the business.
College Internship Program (CIP)
Based in Berkeley, CIP helps young adults with learning differences succeed in college, employment, and independent living through year-long or summer comprehensive curriculum-based learning programs.
College of Adaptive Arts
Building an innovative college of the arts for students with disabilities to provide an environment where our students can flourish and thrive and continue to push the boundaries of their potential.
Foothill College (Disability Resource Center)
Offers some special education classes and a variety of supports. Has entry requirements in English and Math.
College Living Experience
A program for students with ADD, Asperger’s Syndrome, autism, or nonverbal learning disorder to acquire independent living skills.
Taft College, Transition to Independent Living Program
The Transition to Independent Living Program (TIL) is a post-secondary educational experience for adults having developmental/intellectual disabilities. The program provides instruction, training, and support on a community college campus. The program is comprehensive, with curriculum and training that promotes acquisition of the functional, social, and career skills necessary for students to live a productive and normalized lifestyle. The program occupies 32 dorms at the TIL Center for Independent Living (one of three residence halls on the Taft Community College campus) and several one to four bedroom homes in the community.
Transitions Program at Stanbridge
Stanbridge Academy in San Mateo has expanded their education program to include a 1-2 year Postsecondary Transitions Program for young adults with high functioning autism and/or learning and intellectual differences who have completed a high school program. The staff works with participants, their families, and external support services and professionals to promote each participant's development of independence skills, facilitate the transition to work, further education, and/or independent living. Additionally, they provide panels, events, and forums for participants, their families, and the community to learn about topics relevant to individuals with special needs. The program follows the academic calendar. For more information, click the link above or email Mary Hurlbut at [email protected].
Independent Living Program (administered through regional centers)
The individual can enroll in a college and receive assistance with his studies. Programs include support at Cal Berkeley, and Cal State Monterey.
Moving Forward towards Independence
A residential community in Napa
In 1998, a group of parents came together, concerned with the lack of post secondary options, and collaborated to form Moving Forward. A unique residential program where young adults with learning disabilities enjoy productive, fulfilling, and healthy lives within a caring and safe community made up of fellow residents, trained staff members, and various representatives of volunteer organizations and businesses in the greater Napa community.
MERISTEM places an emphasis on cultivating social and emotional capabilities through practical skills, work on the land, and the arts. The program is offered to both day and residential students on a beautiful thirteen-acre campus, twenty minutes from Sacramento.
Palo Alto Unified School District, Work Experience
Palo AltoWork experience combines classroom instruction with paid, part-time student employment. Students work a minimum of 3 hours per week and meet with a Work Experience coordinator on scheduled dates, usually once a week.
Students in their junior and senior years of high school may enroll.
The Autism Society of the San Francisco Bay Area provides information but it does not constitute medical or legal information. Referrals provided are suggestions to organizations that might help, but do not constitute a recommendation. The Autism Society cannot be held responsible for consequences that arise from individual dealings with a professional or organization. The Autism Society provides an I&R service but individuals must assume personal responsibility for what they do with the information provided. Inclusion of any organization does not imply endorsement, and omission does not imply disapproval.