The ACCESS Program is designed for adults with autism to provide a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere to practice and develop skills while meeting others and having fun. Additionally, the program helps strengthen social skills, life coping skills, and planning skills to empower adults with autism to access social, work/educational, and community opportunities. The program consists of 10-15 members led by a licensed clinical psychologist and co-leaders that are MIND Institute faculty and staff. The program will work with certain insurances to assist financially.

An important component of ACCESS is the social partner role. Every participant will select a parent, close family member, peer, or support worker who is very familiar with the adult's daily life, long-term goals, and who has known them for a significant period of time to serve as their "social partner" throughout the program. A concurrent support group will provide social partner strategies to help adult with autism  apply skills learned in group to real world settings. This group also serves as a support system for the social partner as they share experiences with one another.

Program Schedule:

Program begins in late June until Nov. for 20 weeks.
Groups meet once a week for 1.5 hours on Wednesday afternoons from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Who can participate in the ACCESS Program?

Individuals are eligible to participate if they meet the following requirements: 

  • Must be between 18 and 45 years of age
  • Must be verbal (can speak in full sentences with others)
  • Must have graduated from high school or obtained a GED  
  • Must not have violent behaviors or aggressive tendencies
  • Must have a diagnosis of Autism or Asperger Syndrome
  • Must have average or above IQ

How Do I Get Started?

If you are interested in participating in this clinical program, and you meet the criteria, please contact the program coordinator for more information on applying to the program. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. Please contact Nicki Rodriguez, Social Skills Coordinator at 916-703-0441 or