Introducing Zift, a free benefit for Aspiring Youth parents

New this year: Aspiring Youth parents get free access to some very relevant software!

We are excited at the opportunity for your family to try the Zift app, your Digital Parenting Ally.  Zift gives parent’s the insight and power to guide your family’s online screen time and digital habits. Parents must be enrolled in an Aspiring Youth program for access. Details for access are forthcoming.

With Zift parents can:

  • Track screen time and online activity

  • See and control the apps they use

  • Pause your child’s device instantly

  • Protect your child from online dangers with the award-winning Net Nanny filter and website blocking technology

  • Know where they are, and where they’ve been in real time.

  • And, even disable their device until they check in with you

You can learn more about Zift by watching this video

Password: AspiringYouth2

Zift is also an educational resource. 

At the Zift online Parent Portal, parents can visit to access resources on how to be a good digital parent and how to assess your child’s digital needs.    Topics the community will cover include:

  • All screen time is not created equal

  • Tech addiction & electronic stimuli: How to understand, measure and moderate

  • Navigating the mind field of social media

  • What to do if your child is being cyberbullied

  • Managing external influences & avoiding manipulation

  • Transitions, Triggers and Tantrums: How to Avoid a Digital Meltdown

  • Incorporating Tech into Learning Assistance (Smart Toys, VR, AR)

  • How to introduce digital boundaries & creating digital distance

  • Creating a digital contract for your family

We are excited that your family will be part of our Beta group to test the product and we will welcome your input on how we can improve Zift to be an essential tool for your family.

David Savage

Co-Founder

RSVP now for our parents’ program kickoff event!

(UPDATED!)

RSVP now for our kickoff event!

We’re launching Parents of Exceptional Adults and Kids (PEAK), a new parent group created to support and expand our programs. Through PEAK, you can help deepen our impact while connecting with an amazing group of parents who understand what you’ve been through.

PEAK: Celebration. Recognition. Fundraiser

  • Sunday, June 11th from 1pm to 3:30pm

  • UW Center for Urban Horticulture at 3501 NE 41st St, Seattle, WA 98105

  • $50 (RSVP here)

  • Good food with beer and wine

Program features:

  • Just added: Suzi LeVine, United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and Eric LeVine, CEO of CellarTracker! Suzi and Eric are parents of a former Aspiring Youth camper and will share insights from their time in Switzerland about apprenticeship there and a renaissance here.

  • Conversation with Collegeology’s Bob Dannenhold with advice and strategies on the post-high school transition

  • PEAK community awards

  • Auction with seriously awesome items including date night packages, Alaska Airlines miles, wine & cheese party on a Seattle rooftop, kid activity retreat, Seahawks club seats and “escapes” to the desert or islands (check out the supporter list below!)

RSVP

Can’t make it? Click here to contribute and choose “Aspiring Youth” in the designation, or call 206.525.5050.

Free childcare available:

  • At Ryther from 12:30p-4pm feat. games, movie and pizza for kids ages 8 and up

  • Featuring trained Aspiring Youth staff

  • Limited spots. Click here for childcare sign up.

Join us not only for this event, but our movement to create better lives for our children and adults. Get involved in PEAK.

Thank you to our many supporters! 

Additional sponsors include:

Central Market

Safeway

Grocery Outlet

Beach Club Cafe

Suzanne Guttman Glass

Copley’s Restaurant in Palm Dessert

 

Making A Difference For Young Adults With Autism

This story, written by Abbie Richert, was originally published in Plateau Living (April 2017) with a similar article in Madison Park Living (April 2017). You can find local copies in Sammamish or Madison Valley (Seattle). It is reprinted here with permission from the author.


For young adults with autism, visibility and acceptance in the community are cornerstones of their personal and professional growth. Yet, there’s an overall lack of resources to support these young adults as they navigate life after high school. That’s where Delphi Young Adults comes in—a program that offers critical support during this transition period.

A local non-profit called Ryther, which provides psychiatric and behavioral health services for children and their families facing complex challenges started Delphi Young Adults. Ben Wahl, Program Director of Ryther’s Aspiring Youth Program said for autistic young adults, “The 18-24 age range is so important because it’s kind of that point at which they can go either way: they can get stuck and isolated, or become a part of the community.”

“We are really seeking to have community for young adults,” Ben said. “When they are school aged kids and around their peers, it’s about building skills. They didn’t always thrive socially at school, but at least they had that opportunity. But when they hit 18 they don’t.” They lose a built-in community, which is why Delphi Young Adults is desperately needed.

This year, Ryther will officially launch Delphi Young Adults. Parts of the program such as the Delphi Social Club, Workspace (group work projects) and a seminar project called Life 101 are already in the works. Whereas, a project called The Commons (residential living) should fall into place in the near future.

The program’s backbone is built on the Delphi Social Club, which seeks to build community through planned social outlets. Ben said the Delphi Social Club is “A place to come together over shared interests.” The groups do anything from bowling to karaoke to indoor rock climbing. A secondary focus of the social program is identity building. “We like the term neuro-diverse,” Ben said. It’s a little broader and not, ‘hey, I’m going to this bowling thing because I’ve been diagnosed with autism,’ it’s just, ‘I’m quirky.’” Ben added that, “The Delphi Social Club has it’s own website.” Equipped with have interactive online circles, social club goers can contribute stories, video game reviews and more, and communicate about events taking place in the community. “It’s a way for them to connect, and it’s way better than Facebook.”

Ben also said a number of young adults want to get involved on a deeper level. Rather than simply attending an event, they want to be a part of building and running it, which is why Workspace was created. Workspace is “A weekly group; they work on different projects and ideas, and right now they are working on the Delphi Social Club website.”

The coaching aspect of Delphi focuses on helping the young person navigate community college. “It’s a little bit like therapy, but coaching is a little more concrete,” Ben said. “We are not taking a psychological approach, but more of, ‘Are we are keeping track of community college assignments?’ ‘Are we budgeting?’ ‘Are we building independent living skills?’ That’s really important because a lot of my folks are employable and smart and very loyal and trustworthy.” Coaching goes hand and hand with Delphi’s Life 101 project. Ben said Life 101 is all about ‘adulting.’ They hold seminars focused on money management, cooking, dating, jobs, health and wellness.

At Delphi, overall wellness, independent living skills and social skills are competencies seen as important as being employable. “One of our outputs involves independence, Ben said. “If that involves a job, then by all means, but maybe it’s a slower progression. But it’s important that we continue to provide community.”

Delphi also plans to provide support through a program called The Commons, which Ben said is “A supportive dorm type situation, sort of a co-op.” Delphi is looking toward the model of micro-housing and is currently in talks with Neiman Taber Architects to obtain four units in their micro-housing buildings for young adults with autism. Although it’s a huge aspiration, they are hoping it will come together within the year.

Delphi brings the topic of community inclusion to the table. “We are really learning how to reach out to them and make them visible,” Ben said. “Working with young adults is really interesting. With young adults it becomes a broader initiative; between 18-24 if they’re involved in the community, if they’re gaining skills they’re going to integrate and will go on this path of being part of the community.”

Ben has worked with many young adults across the Plateau and encourages the community to continually stay involved. This summer, in partnership with R.E.I., he plans to lead trail building and restoration groups in Fall City, which is a great and nearby opportunity for Sammamish residents.

 For more information on Delphi Young Adults visit aspiringyouth.net or call 206.517.0241.

Parents: Announcing our PEAK program and June 11th event

The staff of Aspiring Youth and Delphi Young Adults feel honored to have worked with you and your family over this past decade.

I’m excited to announce a new opportunity for parents to be involved in our program growth. Parents of Exceptional Adults and Kids (PEAK) is a new parent group created to support and expand our programs. Through PEAK, you can help deepen our impact while connecting with an amazing group of parents who understand what you’ve been through.

RSVP NOW


PEAK: Celebration. Recognition. Fundraiser.

  • Sunday, June 11th from 1pm to 3:30pm

  • UW Center for Urban Horticulture at 3501 NE 41st St, Seattle, WA 98105

  • $50 (RSVP here)

Light refreshments with beer and wine

Program features:

  • Conversation with Collegeology’s Bob Dannenhold with advice and strategies on the post-high school transition

  • PEAK community awards

  • Auction with seriously awesome items

Free childcare available:

  • At Ryther from 12:30p-4pm feat. games, movie and pizza for kids ages 8 and up

  • Featuring trained Aspiring Youth staff

  • Limited spots. Click here for childcare sign up.

Join us not only for this event, but our movement to create better lives for our children and adults. Become a volunteer.

Hope to see you there! Please forward this invitation to your friends and relatives who appreciate how our programs help your family.

Thank you! Ben Wahl


Summer adventures. Life connections.

Enroll now for summer camps!

Our camps provide an exciting choice of activities, from video production to habitat restoration to art. With these as a foundation, our master’s level counselors help campers build confidence and connect to new friends.

AGE-BASED CAMPS: Outdoor games, field trips and habitat restoration projects (with a $15 internship stipend).

THEME-BASED CAMPSShared-interest activities as a forum for students to practice new skills (divided by age).

LEARN MORE

Visit our website when you’re ready to enroll.

Seattle | Redmond | Bellevue | Tacoma

New to Aspiring Youth? Schedule your free enrollment meeting now.

LEADPrep satellite campus at Ryther

Aspiring Youth Parents:

We’re excited to announce that Aspiring Youth’s parent organization, Ryther, will be hosting the Seattle satellite campus for LEADPrep, a really great private school.

Here is a message from LEADPrep Director, Maureen O’Shaughnessy:

LEADPrep is Teaming with Ryther!

Knowing how well-served many of you have been by Aspiring Youth, it is a pleasure to announce our new collaboration. LEADPrep Middle and High School of Kirkland will be launching a Seattle campus here at Ryther this fall. Families on both sides of the “pond” will have easy access to this personalized, innovative teaching model. The Seattle campus will serve  up to 15 students in 6th-10th grade.

The LEADPrep learning model will remain the same: project-based lessons, STEM, community building, with an emphasis on kindness and service. Flipped lessons eliminate homework; personalized coaching supports learning at school.  (See details at lead-prep.org.) Experiential Fridays will unite students from both campuses for service projects, field trips, team building, and non-traditional Northwest PE. Additionally, LEADPrep will be able to access Ryther resources such as robotics teachers, the outdoor challenges course, and after school activities. Adding these to Digital Storytelling, Spanish, STEM, and core subjects will allow LEADPrep to become even more engaging and personalized.

Along with Kirkland open houses and hosting students for a day-long visit, there are parent information sessions at Ryther on April 20 and May 24, 6:30-8:00pm (register through the links). Digital Storytelling themed summer camps on LEADPrep’s Kirkland campus is another excellent resource to engage our students. (Details at cherrystreetfilms.org.)

Activity League: Bowling | A sports league for quirky kids.

Join us this spring for the 5-week Aspiring Youth Activity League! Sports offer a unique opportunity for our students to develop in both body and mind, as they work to build their athletic abilities as well as the nuanced social skills needed to form a cohesive team. The Activity League brings Aspiring Youth’s social skills curriculum to the playfield, providing a new learning environment for students to improve their communication, friendships, teamwork, and self-confidence!

Bowling Club: Players develop social and athletic skills, good sportsmanship, and a sense of belonging to a team as they prepare for the Championship Game.


Join us for FIVE WEEKS of the Aspiring Youth Activity League!

  •  Location: Kenmore Lanes, 7638 NE  Bothell Way Kenmore, WA 98028

  •  Dates: Each Saturday from Mar 4 to April 1, 2017

  • Time: 3:00pm – 4:15pm

  • Fee: $275 for five weeks ($75 if already enrolled in another group).

  • Shuttle: Optional shuttle from Ryther leaving at 2:30pm and returning at 4:45pm for pick-up. Parents not using the shuttle will drop-off at 3pm and pick-up at 4:15pm from Kenmore Lanes.

Contact us for more information on enrolling.

Introducing Magic Mondays!

Group members work on communication skills while playing Magic: The Gathering (card game) in a facilitated setting. Our group facilitators make sure that there is productive conversation during the game and that group members learn about being a good sport win or lose.

Ages 8-18. Group members bring their own decks.

ENROLL NOW

Seattle: Mondays | Co-ed | 5:45-7pm | 1/23 – 4/3 (except 2/20)

Enroll now for Aspiring Youth winter social skills groups

Visit our website now to enroll in Aspiring Youth’s Social Skills Groups starting January 18! For ten weeks, our master’s level facilitators help participants identify and practice new skills, establish friendships and boost self-esteem. Young people develop the skills and confidence they need to feel more comfortable as they navigate their social world.

Enroll now.

New to our social skills groups? Schedule your enrollment meeting.

AGE-BASED GROUPS: Topic-driven discussion ● Reinforcing games and activities ● Groups available for ages 8 to 18.

THEME-BASED GROUPS: Social skills curriculum through shared interest activities such as art, Dungeons & Dragons, indoor climbing, Magic cards and more!

Aspiring Youth Running Club competes in first 5k

This gallery contains 7 photos.

On Saturday November 19th, the Aspiring Youth Running Club took to the trails at Carkeek Park to compete in the team’s first 5k. Despite the rain and mud, our runners showed up with a positive attitude and support for one another. They did an incredible job navigating hills, stairs, and the occasional fallen tree, with […]