Explore Our Programs

Overview

MGH Aspire offers a safe and caring environment where teens and adults with social profiles like a high cognitive autism spectrum disorder learn to make positive social connections and transition successfully into adulthood. Programs for teens are designed to meet the adolescent's need to be part of a group while exploring their strengths and healthy independent living skills. 

Programs for older teens or adults focus on the development of self-awareness, improve social competence by teaching ways of thinking and being social, executive function and life skills in a supportive and structured setting. 

Academic Year

Teen and adult groups focus on social skills and improving social competence by teaching ways of thinking and being social, life skills, relationship and friendship development as well as stress management and self-awareness, according to a developing understanding of interests and identities. Participants practice skills and to see themselves as part of a community of learners. The groups are structured around interest-based activities, supportive discussions, social coaching, direct instruction and community outings. 

Groups will differ from semester to semester, so if you want to see your favorite group return, let us know!

A full list of groups are listed below:

 

Summer

College Explorations

College Explorations is designed for high school students (ages 14 – 17), who are early in the college planning process. In this three-day summer program set on a college campus, participants learn about campus life, gain insight into the social aspects of college, and cover topics related to academics. Participants will eat meals at the dining halls, explore the campus, and spend one night in a dorm-like setting, while learning about the differences in the structure, academics, and social expectations in high school versus college.

Explorations

Now in two locations: Charlestown and Newton!

Explorations is a week day program where teens, ages 14-19, participate in supported recreational and social activities while learning a variety of practical life skills in the community. Topics include:

  • Money management
  • Trip planning
  • Using public transportation
  • Peer negotiation
  • Time management

Participants are encouraged to balance their needs with those of the group. Community trips take place throughout the metro Boston area (e.g. Faneuil Hall, Prudential Center, movie theatre, bowling, museums and restaurants) and typically utilize public transportation. 

Transitions

Transitions is a program that offers youth ages 16-22 opportunities to take part in experiences and practice skills that help with the transition to work and college environments. Participants are placed at a volunteer working site two days per week and receive job-coaching, career skill training, college exploration and engage in team-building experiences.