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New Frontier

Birch Family Services New Frontier Program

Upon graduation, most young men and women look forward to the first rites of adulthood-a job, living on their own, and achieving true independence. But, for individuals with autism, these important milestones can often seem unattainable. Young adults on the spectrum confront an unknown landscape beyond school-age, where their existing support structure is no longer available, the obstacles to independence are particularly challenging, and limited programs exist to help them navigate their new work, social, and community environments. To address this growing crisis Birch Family Services launched our New Frontier Program:

Birch Family Services presents Across The Lifespan- A Series of Seminars and Workshops for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum and the Families and Professionals Supporting Them (Click here to download the flyer)

  • Social Skills Trainings (Essentials of Social Communication)
  • Social Leisure Club
  • Young Adult Parent Support Series
  • Health and Wellness Series
  • Building Financial Stability
  • A 360-degree network of services for individuals on the autism spectrum who have aged out of school-based programs

    New Frontier Services

    Roadmap for Success

    The New Frontier Program begins with:
    • Assessment of the individual's strengths and challenges
    • Life Plan - a personalized plan with actionable and attainable goals
    • Service Coordination for individuals and families to find the resources they need and ensure that participants are on a successful track


    Birch provides young adults on the spectrum with vocational preparation, job acquisition, and ongoing employer and employee support so that they can thrive in their positions. Our expert staff helps participants develop the skills needed to communicate appropriately, understand group social dynamics, and manage stress and anxiety in the workplace. Utilizing our network of corporate and community partners, we place individuals into volunteer work experience to gain the skills needed for permanent employment, paid internships to enhance their talents and improve their resumes, and permanent competitive employment in commiserate with their abilities and interests. Our participants have been placed at the following organizations: Goldman Sachs, PricewaterhouseCoopers, ITG, The Museum of Natural History, The Modern, REI, The New York Transit Museum, the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, the New York Public Library, and Sean Casey Animal Rescue.

    • New Frontier Employment Program Brochure (Click to download PDF)
    • Socialization

      We provide participants with the opportunity to build and maintain friendships while exploring the world around them and learning new interests. We host bi-monthly activities which take at various locations throughout the city and include trips to Central Park, baseball games, the theater, museums, and restaurants. Through these activities, participants are able to develop their social skills, create a robust social network, and explore new hobbies and passions.

      Community Living

      Birch helps young men and women with autism and other developmental disabilities gain the residential life skills they need to live as independently as possible and become active members of their communities. The services we provide are tailored to an individuals' specific needs and challenges but include travel training, personal home care, cooking, daily living activities, and community inclusion.

      Health and Wellness

      Every aspect of a participant's Life Plan is designed to contribute to the overall health and well-bring of the individual. Our service coordinators work with the young adult and their family to connect them to the resources needed to ensure a healthy mind and body.

      Kar-Ann Wanat, Assistant Director of new Frontiers, Phone: (212)616-1845