“Avnei Derech” or “Milestones for Life” was founded to change the way high functioning young adults on the Autism Spectrum (AS) integrate into society following high school completion. These young adults require an individualized, professional and holistic program in order to successfully transition from the period of developing adolescence to successful adulthood. There is no such program today in Israel. The creators of Avnei Derech recognize that by investing intensive training and resources in these young adults at a critical age, for a limited period of time, results can change the trajectory of their lives from dependence and loneliness, to living full, independent and successful adult lives.

Israeli children with Asperger’s Syndrome do not fit into a clearly defined educational framework. Some are educated in special education classes and others manage sufficiently well in mainstream classrooms. While social situations are generally difficult for these students, they often manage to maintain their grade level and complete their high school education. The Israel Ministry of Education does not maintain specific statistics on this group of children and does not currently track their progress. Data is only collected on students in special education classrooms. Upon graduation, teens with Asperger’s Syndrome are ill equipped for moving on to the next stage of life. They are not compelled to participate in any form of National Service and are left without the specific obligations that face their peers. They are not provided with a training ground to garner skills and experience in life as they look toward their adult years. Just as the late teen years are a time of soul searching and self-definition for all, they are a time of confusion and loss of direction for many youngsters with Asperger’s Syndrome as they are not capable of navigating through their experiences, emotions and impulses of their own accord.

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