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Setting Up New Year’s Resolutions for Success

Like starting a new chapter in a book, a new year brings anticipation of what we can expect. Starting the new year with resolutions sets us up for success and gives us a jumpstart on achieving our goals, whether those goals are to eat healthier, help an autistic loved one get a driver’s license, or learn a new skill, like doing the laundry or playing the piano.

This month’s Resource Spotlight identifies resources to help autistic teens and young adults define, plan, implement, update, and achieve personal goals.



Supporting Teens and Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Setting and Pursuing Self-Determined Goals

Developed and written by T A Meridian McDonald, Ph.D., and Beth Malow, M.D., M.S., with input from Julie Lounds Taylor, Ph.D., Whitney Loring, Psy.D., and Ivy Chen, B.A., at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

As noted at the beginning of the toolkit, it was designed to help  parents and caregivers, teachers, siblings, service providers and others who support teens and young adults on the autism spectrum as they set and pursue self-determined goals. Each step in the goal setting and achievement process has a section in the toolkit:

  • Brainstorm (person-centered) ideas for goals.
  • Choose several goals.
  • Break goals into smaller subgoals.
  • Take action.
  • Track progress.
  • Revise goals.

Supporting Self-Determination (Autism at-a-Glance Brief)

Developed by Laura Dickerson, CSESA Development Team, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina

This toolkit was designed to help family members and service providers promote self-determination among autistic teens and young adults. Topics include:

  • Setting goals
  • Self-awareness
  • Making choices
  • Self-advocacy
  • Solving problems
  • Self-monitoring
  • Making decisions




OAR staff wishes you and yours a year full of health, happiness, and success!