Puzzle Pieces Intervention Center creates “adulting classes”

Puzzle Pieces Intervention Center in Warner Robins expanded their services to include an adult life skills class.
Adulting classes

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Being an adult, or “adulting” if you will, can be tough for anyone, and transitioning to adult life can be much harder if you’re dealing with autism or a developmental disability.

“We’re trying to get them to a point where they adjust outside in the community,” said Stephanie Jefferson, Learning Support Specialist for Puzzle Pieces Intervention Center.

The center started an adult life skills class in January that teaches everyday life skills.

“Some people don’t even know how to prepare a meal,” Jefferson said. “So we can teach you how to do that and sort out clothes so that you can wash your clothes.”

Bridgette Arno-Sparks, the Education and Behavioral Consultant for Puzzle Pieces, helps patients develop social and emotional skills. She saw the need to expand to a group setting to help people who need it.

“Being able to meet minimally, once to twice per month, and be able to have on-site facilitation services by our life skills coach,” Arno-Sparks said. “As well as going into the community every six to eight weeks to make sure we’re applying and generalizing those skills.”

Alex Corzine lives with high functioning autism and has worked with Arno-Sparks for four years. His mother, Michelle, says before they found Puzzle Pieces, Alex lost his joy.

“Over the years, and especially over this last year, I’ve really seen that come back,” he said. “He laughs, he smiles, he engages with other people and that’s just been a joy for me.”

While Alex hasn’t taken part in the life skills group class, Arno-Sparks has helped Alex with relationships outside of his home.

“Like work relationships, just friendships, anything like that is helping me to understand people,” he said.

Arno-Sparks says much like the progress Alex has made in four years, the adult life skills group has come a long way in just four months. She says some of the group members didn’t like the class and would say things like:

“I’m not coming to that group again. I don’t like it. Why would I want to have friends? Why would I want to have a job?” Now, they say things like, “Man I love this place. I want to be there. I can’t wait to see my friends.”

She says the development and growth speaks for itself. She believes it won’t be long until the adult life skills group members will be seen in the community making a difference.

You can head to the Puzzle Pieces website if you or someone you know would like to sign up for the adult life skills classes or if you want to work with them.

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