Our Programs

Read about Exciting Program Updates for Fall 2018 Here!

ASNL offers a variety of programs and services for individuals with ASD and their families.  Registration for the program year (September through June) open on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 at 12:00 pm.

The registration process is completed online and participants must be attached to a current ASNL membership. The registration process will require the completion of a general form and may require further information, additional forms, and/or an interview, depending on the nature of the program. Some programs may offer alternate registration times which will be indicated in their description.

Once registration closes, participants and their caregivers will be contacted by individual program staff to discuss suitability and scheduling. Our programs are in high demand and are filled on a first come, first serve basis; many participants are placed on a waitlist and are contacted if/when a suitable opening becomes available.

Please see the list of programs below to gain a better understanding of the nature of the program and intended age, ability, and interest. For further information about any of our programs please contact Sarah White swhite@autism.nf.net

*Please note ASNL accepts and/or declines applicants on the basis of specific criteria for each program; it is crucial that forms be completed accurately and to the best of your knowledge. ASNL may choose to withdraw any participant’s participation in a program if/when there are emerging safety concerns; alternate programming may/may not be available.

Social Learning Opportunities

Social Group – NEW!!!

Social Group provides an opportunity for youth and adults with ASD to socialize with peers, try new activities, and share common interests with others in the community.  Participants are grouped depending on age, ability, and interests to promote friendships, shared experience, and peer support.  All activities are supported by a staff member and volunteers. Ages Kindergarten entry and up; suitable for those who have emerging to advanced language and are comfortable participating in community-based group activities. Registration required; $5/hr.

Sibling Workshop

Sibling Workshop provides an opportunity for children and youth to learn more about their family members with ASD through various activities and discussions. Participants learn to share with peers and build an understanding of what having ASD means for an individual and the family as a whole. Ages 8-18; suitable for typically-developing children and youth who have a sibling or close family member with ASD. Registration required. 

Pre-Employment and Career Services


The Transitions Program aims to identify the strengths and interests of individual participants to better prepare them for employment and meaningful community involvement beyond high school. This program provides a full year of classroom learning, enriching community volunteerism, job shadowing, and onsite summer work experience to build the confidence and skill sets of young adults on the spectrum. The Transitions Program is heavily involved with the operations of the Shamrock Garden Centre and includes gardening and greenhouse work. This program is funded through the Department of Advanced Education and Skills, Government of NL. Ages 18+; Suitable for those motivated to gain employment skills, comfortable learning in a variety of community environments with varying levels of supervision, and for a minimum of three consecutive hours. Annual registration in August. 


EmploymentWorks is a program that offers employment preparedness training and support to adults with autism and other disabilities. It is designed for individuals who want to enter or return to the workforce, and who are committed to developing and practicing the skills need to support employment success. As of 2019, over 500 autistic adults have benefitted from this program across Canada!

The EmploymentWorks program is divided into two phases. The first phase is 12 weeks long and uses adult learning principles to focus on social, communication and job skills development, combined with community-based job sampling and hands on work experience in a wide variety of workplace settings. The second phase supports the transition from weekly programming to active job seeking and employment through linkages to employment agencies, job coaching and other community based supports.

EmploymentWorks relies on the support of the community to round out the program for participants. Employers provide valuable real-world learning opportunities, volunteer mentors share their lived experiences as job seekers, and other community agencies support the path to employment.

For a full program description and to find out how to get involved in this proven program, check out www.employment-works.ca.

The EmploymentWorks program is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities Program.

STEP (Students Transitioning into Employment Program)

 The STEP Program enables high school students who self-identify with Autism Spectrum Disorder to participate in targeted career development activities and exploration. With an individualized approach, students build self-awareness and skills through structured learning sessions and community mentorship placements with the ultimate goal of identifying appropriate employment or post-secondary choices upon school leaving. The STEP Program is suitable for students in Level 2 up to school leaving year. STEP is designed for students whose primary method of communication is verbal language; are comfortable working independently, or with minimal support; and are interested in exploring career options though work placements and/or attend post-secondary education. To register please click HERE.

Ready, Willing and Able

Funded by the Government of Canada and active in 20 communities across the country, RWA is designed to increase the labour force participation of people with an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This is accomplished through employer engagement and raising awareness about the value of hiring people with disabilities. Through ASNL, individuals on the spectrum can join a job seekers database to apply for opportunities created and sourced through the RWA initiative. ASNL will also provide guidance and support in resume building, interview techniques and employer education as required. Ages 16+; no registration required. Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) is a national partnership of the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL), the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) and their member organizations. For more information visit www.readywillingable.ca. Free. 

Life Skills Development

Adult Leisure

The Adult Leisure program provides a safe and supportive environment for adults on the spectrum to discover new interests and socialize with peers. The program  focuses on developing meaningful leisure skills that can then be incorporated into the participants daily life.  Participants are grouped in small peer groups. Ages 18+; Suitable for those who are nonverbal or have emerging language and experience significant barriers to community participation and peer group integration; registration required per semester $5/hr . 

Community Inclusion

Swimming Lessons

Swimming lessons are offered as a partnership between ASNL and local recreation facilities.  This program provides individual swim lessons with an instructor who receives training and instructional supports from ASNL staff. Lessons are designed to meet the individual needs of those who may not be able to take part in typical swim lessons due to communication, sensory or behavioral challenges. Ages 3+; Suitable for all abilities and water skill levels. Available at the Aquarena (Partially funded temporarily by GoodlifeKids Family Foundation), Summit Centre Mount Pearl (Community Healthy Living Fund REMOVE),  CBS Recreation Centre ($160 for 8 weeks) and the MEWS Centre ($96 for 6 weeks). Registration required per semester. 

Rock Climbing

NEW! Wallnuts Climbing Centre is offering a learn to climb program for participants through ASNL.  In small groups with two climbing instructors, participants will learn the basics of climbing, build self-confidence, and meet others. Climbing provides opportunities for gross and fine motor skill development, hand-eye coordination, and building core strength. Ages 6+; Suitable for those comfortable learning in group settings and motivated to learn how to climb. Registration required per semester. 

Music Therapy

Renee White Music Therapy offers individual & small group music therapy programs both in studio and in the comfort of your home. Within the music therapy sessions, various therapeutic interventions are implemented. These interventions may include: improvisation, vocalization/singing, instrument play, music listening and song writing. Each session is facilitated by a certified music therapist (MTA) with specialized training in ASD. Family or support person(s) stay onsite. Suitable for all ages & abilities. Located at Take Note Music School, 1076 Topsail Rd., Mount Pearl. Registration required per semester. 

Individual Art Therapy

Individual Art Therapy sessions are designed to address specific goal areas such as visual processing, communication,  focused and sustained attention, and/or fine and gross motor movements. Each program is individually designed to address these goals through a variety of therapeutic  art activities such as experimenting with a variety of art textures and mediums, perceptual art, bilateral art etc.  Suitable for all ages & abilities. Located at Spectrum Consultants Group, 193 Lemarchant Rd., St. John’s. Registration required per semester. 

Video Game Creation Classes

Sassy Tuna Studios offers group Video Game Creation classes for participants through ASNL. Small group size and an individualized pace creates a great learning environment for those who want to take their gaming expertise to the next level. Grades 2 to 9; Suitable for those comfortable learning in group settings; comfortable using a PC, keyboard, and mouse with basic to advanced typing ability. Located at Sassy Tuna,17 Pippy Place, St. John’s. Registration required per semester.

Horse Discovery Program

In partnership with Rainbow Riders, the Horses Discovery Program offers weekly 45 minute sessions to groups of 3-5 participants(this program is open to those with a diagnosis and their siblings). During the sessions, Rainbow Riders CANTRA Certified instructors will lead the group though  stable management (feeding, turnout, cleaning),horse care (including grooming), horse handling and leading. Suitable for all ages & abilities. Located at Rainbow Riders, 103 Mount Scio Road, St. John’s. Registration required per semester.

Family Events– NEW!!!

We are adding more family events so that members and their families can participate in fun activities with other families! These events will occur approximately once a month and will provide opportunities for families to connect with others through a variety of different activities.

No registration required, just ensure your membership and contact info is up to date to get all the details about when and where!  Do you have a suggestion for Family Events? We’d love to hear it!

Adult Meetups – NEW!!!

We are going to be scheduling Adult Meet-Ups for those adults who require support when accessing community activities.  These events will occur approximately once a month and will provide opportunities for adults on the spectrum, and their caregiver or support person, to join others in a community activity.

No registration required, just ensure your membership and contact info is up to date to get all the details about when and where!  Do you have a suggestion for Family Events? We’d love to hear it!

For further information about any of our programs please contact Sarah White swhite@autism.nf.net