BOOST! After School Program with the JCC of Manhattan




Boost! After School Programs

The Goal
NEXT for AUTISM created the Boost! after school programs to help children with ASD learn to communicate and socialize in a fun group setting while learning about the world around them.  NEXT for AUTISM provided grants to local community based organizations in New Jersey, Long Island and New York City to create Boost! for children with ASD ages 6 to 18.

The Model
The Boost! model is a highly structured after-school recreational program. Participants are offered the same types of activities that their typical peers enjoy such as off-site activities including visits to stores, restaurants and bowling facilities.

Peer Mentors
A unique component of Boost! is the involvement of typically developing children ages 7-18 who become the social buddies of the program participants.  The buddy’s role is to help a child with ASD learn how to socialize and communicate with friends in a group setting.

Staff Development
NEXT for AUTISM's objective in creating Boost! was to develop professional capacity in community organizations already providing recreational activities to typically developing children. To this end, extensive staff training and ongoing professional development are offered. In the initial program set up phase, Colleague Roundtables were conducted and electronic exchange of information allowed professionals in the three sites to develop a strong infrastructure which facilitated problem solving, thereby ensuring a high level of program quality.  NEXT for AUTISM has continued to provide funding to support professional development training opportunities. NEXT for AUTISM encourages the development of future professionals by having Boost! sites engage college interns as a regular component of Boost! .

Boost! is based on an exemplary after school program in Chicago, Have Dreams. NEXT for AUTISM’s goal was to create a model for replication so that other after school programs across the country can be created to serve and integrate children with ASD in a typical setting. These programs will enable children with ASD to develop the skills that they need to live joyful and productive lives within society.


NYCA and JCC Joint Press Release

Click here for Manhattan Boost! .

Click here for Long Island Boost!.

NeXT for Autism

3 East 54th Street - 5th Floor  |  New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212.759.3775  |  Fax: 212.759.9273

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© 2017 NEXT for AUTISM

NEXT for AUTISM is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, Tax ID # 57-1136147.