A safe and welcoming environment
Aspen Network offers four integrated, year-round programs for teens and young adults with social concerns, anxiety disorders and social differences, including spectrum behaviors. These one-of-a-kind programs, both residential and nonresidential, allow young people to learn and grow in a welcoming environment with peers of their own and a sensitively trained staff that includes neurotypical young adults. Here, a person can feel accepted and understood and, with professional support, launch into a fuller, more satisfying life.
Does your young person suffer from these or similar problems?
• Anxieties or fears around interpersonal relationships
• Fear of new experiences
• Lack of ability to begin or sustain relationships
• Failures and disappointments
• Social isolation
• Technology addictions and their consequences
• Hostility, anger issues
• Academic or vocational failures
• Feeling “stuck” or afraid to move forward in life
• Inability to launch from parents’ home
Perhaps we can help
Aspen Network creates warm and inviting living and social environments where young people are surrounded by peers who respect and understand their difficulties, who have their own struggles, but not necessarily the same struggles. Our unique programs bring together young people with social anxiety, OCD, mood differences, learning differences, medical and/or trauma histories, and spectrum disorders. Why this unique approach?
Developing a housing community with people of blended diagnoses means that residents can use their strengths to assist others in their areas of growth. For example, some residents want to have a party, but can’t plan it. Others want to go on an outing, but cannot organize or execute it. Another wants to invite someone new out, but doesn’t have a clue. Where there is an interest, together they can all contribute and make it happen. For some “making it happen” provides an opportunity for leadership and mentorship that moves them away from “being the one who needs help,” to being someone who is capable of helping others. In our community, residents are encouraged to use their strengths to help the other residents expand beyond their own “comfort zones.” Throw into the mix our well-trained neurotypical youth, and witness the outcome: Young people with new levels of trust and understanding characterized by deeper levels of social learning, positive changes in behavior, and the formation of friendships.
Our programs can be especially helpful for high-functioning young adults who need help developing the basic life skills necessary to launch from their parents’ home and embark on a fulfilling personal journey.
Four complementary programs
We offer four unique and complementary programs specifically designed to create a welcoming environment to support young people with social anxieties and challenges.
Team-Living PODs provide residential living for young people 18 years and older within an environment that promotes mutual respect and nurturing among its residents and staff. This environment draws out the best in each person, allowing him or her to grow more naturally and comfortably—to form the friendships and learn the life skills necessary to live independently. (For more information, see our link to Team-Living PODS.)
Living Skills Group, or “Group,” meets once a week, presently in Orinda, California. These gatherings provide a safe, confidential place for young people with social challenges to share and learn from peers as well as from staff. Sessions focus on building essential living and communications skills and provide an opportunity for everyone, residents and neurotypical young people alike, to share how they are progressing: What is working? What isn’t? What are possible solutions? (For more information, see Living Skills Group.)
Team Camp is an adventure-filled two weeks in the scenic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Campers stay in a lodge and participate in every kind of outdoor activity imaginable—hiking, swimming, boating, game playing, and more. Each activity is geared to the needs and levels of the campers, with activities led by our experienced staff. Not only do natural friendships form here, but participants come to learn much about themselves. Unlike our other three programs, Camp is open to young people ages 13 to late twenties. (To learn more, see Team Camp.)
One-on-One Coaching is an opportunity to schedule focused, individual time with Meg Fields, clinical psychologist and Aspen Network co-director. Coaching is designed primarily to help individuals (and/or their parents) make next-step plans—to create goals and determine which Aspen Network programs might be right for them. (See One-on-One Coaching.)
Take time to explore this site and our one-of-a-kind programs. If you see that our approach might benefit your young adult, please call or email us to set up a convenient time for a phone call. If our program is not the right fit for you, we will do our best to direct you to other options that are. No single program can be right for everyone, of course, and we want you and your loved ones to have the best possible outcomes.