Transitional Independent Living


New Directions was designed to be a true multidisciplinary clinical program. All staff meet on a weekly basis to review each client’s progress and goals and work together to support individual achievement and keep students focused on their goals. Because no two clients have the same needs regardless of clinical diagnosis, a personal clinical/vocation/academic plan, called an Individual Service Plan (ISP), is designed and implemented with input from students, parents, and our clinical team.

The New Directions program was designed by Andrew S. Rubin, PhD. Dr. Rubin is a clinical psychologist with expertise in working with young adults and Autism Spectrum Disorders (i.e., autism, Asperger’s, and PDD-NOS).

A tax deduction for medical expenses for the tuition paid to New Directions for Young Adults, Inc may be available. In accordance with IRS regulations, a medical deduction is allowed for tuition costs when a school meets the definition of a “special school.” Tax advisors should be consulted regarding the availability of this deduction.

Every school has a unique process for admissions and registration. Students are assisted in developing an individual academic timeline, a semester timeline of assignments and expectations, and a daily time management schedule. We provide support to help guide the students through the scholastic system’s requirements, including:

  • Academic Advisement
  • Registration
  • Scheduling Courses
  • Transcript Requests
  • Placement Testing
  • Prerequisite/Co-Requisite Requirements
  • Selection of a Balanced Course Load

Based on each student’s individual needs, attention is paid to details such as:

  • Online Versus Traditional Offerings
  • Time of Day Classes are Attended
  • Structured Versus Unstructured Teaching Styles
  • Tests Versus Class-Based Projects

Once a student moves from the secondary to the post-secondary educational arena, the rules governing the access to and the type of accommodations granted change. The onus is now on the student, not the school.

To that end, we review student expectations, make sure testing will satisfy the school’s requirements, schedule the intake appointment, and work together with the student and the scholastic officer to ensure the student is receiving the support to which they are entitled. Students are also encouraged and assisted in becoming a part of their school’s community by participating in social organizations, honor or academic organizations, and/or intramural teams.

Students will be provided transportation to and from classes and required academic events.

Both on campus and at our offices, students are given necessary academic support. All students receive one-on-one tutoring sessions for each subject. Some tutoring sessions are held in on-campus learning labs in order for the tutors and students to have access to the technology and curriculum required by the course. A community learning environment is fostered through staff-led weekend study halls.

Students also participate in “study hall” sessions held throughout the week. Proctored by tutors, these sessions are two hours long.

All students receive at least one hour of private tutoring in (by a specialist in that subject) per course per semester with the option to add more or less depending on the particular student’s level of need.

Choosing a career requires several factors be considered. Personal abilities are essential, but interests, personal preferences, and life experiences also play an important part in helping select an occupation your young adult enjoys. Research shows individuals have a better chance of being satisfied in an occupation if their interests are similar to those of people already employed in that occupation.

Career assessments are used to ascertain our clients’ likes and dislikes. These results point out areas where our clients’ interests match and do not match other people who are working in various occupations. The results obtained help understand how individual preferences fit into the world of work. Results are designed to be an aid for reaching a career decision that will be most satisfying for each student.

Tried and true standardized assessment tools are utilized in our program. Such tools have been revised and updated through many decades of research. They provide the latest, most thorough information available relating career interests, personality, and work environments. These assessments expand each of our client’s understanding of both themselves and their career options.

We help your young adult identify career opportunities commensurate with education and experience. Education and assistance is provided for:

  • Application and Resume Requirements
  • Interview Skills
  • Dress Codes
  • Employee Benefits Programs
  • Appropriate Professional Conduct

  • Integrated Behavioral Plans (Monitored Daily)
  • Personalized Clinical Interventions
  • Neuropsychological Assessments
  • Clinical Treatment Team
  • Meetings & Coordination
  • Individual/Group Psychotherapy
  • Medication Observation and Medical Care Coordination
  • Social Skill Training
  • “Team Building” Groups

These are some of the schools our students are currently attending:

  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Palm Beach State College
  • Digital Media Arts College
  • Florida Art Institute
  • Atlantic Technical Center
  • Broward Community Schools

We recognize that finding a job is a fundamental aspect of our mission, and have made job placement one of our strengths. When they are ready, clients are supported in procuring first internships and then full-pay positions in their field of choice. Their search is aided by our partnerships with local businesses and the Job Match Program. Students are assisted with:

  • Resume Writing
  • Mock Interviews
  • Transportation To Employment Sites

Free to students who enrolled in the New Directions program, psychologists and counselors are available daily. All students receive a minimum of one personal counseling session and one group social skills training session per week. Others may receive 2-3 individual sessions per week and attend groups daily.

We are committed to a multidisciplinary approach to service integration. All of our staff meet formally each week to review each client’s progress and needs. This enables our services to be targeted and implemented most efficiently and comprehensively. Each student is treated using our Direction Therapy CMT, or Dt² treatment method and receives an individualized service plan.

The International Society for Autism (ISA), in partnership with doctoral students at the Illinois Institute of Technology, is taking part in a research initiative to evaluate evidence-based components of Dt². This research initiative funded by ISA examines:

  • Factors predicting academic achievement, social skills, and daily living skills for young adults with ASD.
  • The significance of differences between Dt² and traditional therapeutic modalities and interventions.

The research is evaluating what accounts for long-term transitional success using the Dt² model. Outcomes are analyzed longitudinally using variables such as vocational success, academic success, and measurements of psychopathology.

New Directions seeks students who are trying to find themselves in life or who have specific goals they are trying to achieve. Students who aren't motivated to succeed and do not have any life goals would likely not do well in our program.

A student’s Primary Therapist typically has weekly update meetings with Parents. With the permission of the student, parents can also access Bestnotes. Bestnotes is a web based program that provides a platform to view and monitor staff care and notes. The access to this service is available 24/7. Staff are also on call 24/7 in case of an emergency.  The resident assistance (RA) on duty can be accessed through New Directions general telephone line by dialing the RA’s listed extension. Staff are readily accessible at all times during the day in the event a parent has any concerns or in the event of an emergency. Please note that students are required to sign a release of information giving permission to the New Directions staff to communicate on their behalf, and to designate who can receive such communications.

Student isolation is quickly made apparent to our staff due to the students’ structured and detailed schedules. When a student does not attend their therapy sessions, LMS sessions, tutoring sessions or social activities, an effort is immediately made to get in touch with them. When we don’t see or hear from a client, staff can easily walk over to their residence as our offices are intentionally and conveniently located within walking distance.

We typically maintain an average of approximately 35 staff for an average enrollment of between 50-60 students. One of our founding goals at New Directions was to maintain a personalized concierge-type of service for our clients.

New Directions has two student tracks, transitional services for typical young adults with unique challenges (young adults who are struggling with traditional issues common amongst 18-25 year olds) and one for special needs students who need a program to help them transition into independence.

We offer cutting edge clinical support, unique programming, a family atmosphere, and strong academic and vocational services.

Practitioners who are employed as Psychologists and Licensed Mental Health Counselors are licensed by the State of Florida. New Directions also holds a licensed with the Florida Department of Children and Family Services (for three levels of care) and receives an annual review of its facility and documentation procedures.

A tax deduction for medical expenses for the tuition paid to New Directions for Young Adults, Inc may be available. In accordance with IRS regulations, a medical deduction is allowed for tuition costs when a school meets the definition of a “special school.” Tax advisors should be consulted regarding the availability of this deduction.

Students live in a gated apartment complex. Our Florida students live at The Preserve at Deer Creek, (an Equity Residential Property) located in Deerfield Beach. California students live in Wood Creek in Pleasant Hill (also an Equity Residential Property). Our office is located within walking distance from the student's apartments.

Apartments range in sizes from one (765 sq. ft. – 950 sq. ft.) to three bedrooms (1,250 sq. ft. – 1,500 sq. ft.). Prices typically range from $850 – $1500 per month, per student depending upon the size of the apartment.

Students usually have the option of rooming with one to two other students within the program which helps offset the rental costs. Most students live in a two bedroom apartment with two master bedrooms each with their own private bathroom. Washer and dryers are included in all apartments.

In terms of goal-setting, an ISP is created for each student. This ISP lists short and long-term goals for the coming year. These are then reevaluated by our program directors, the students and their parents on an ongoing basis.

All students have weekly schedules and specific goals identified on their individual service plan (ISP). Depending on individual needs, some students are provided with weekly checklists posted inside their apartments with daily chores/routines/nutritional guidelines/medication reminders. During every LMS (Life Management Skills) session, an evaluation stating what was accomplished and what still needs to be worked on is completed.

We have students that come for short-term transitional needs (typically for a 6-month period of time), while others stay longer while completing their academic and vocational endeavors. The average length of stay is 14 months. Typically students who have received services for 6-month or more enter into the Step-Down faze of the program where services (and tuition) are gradually reduced based on need until the student has achieved independence. This sometimes enables students to “transition in place” and go on living their lives in the same community where they have established social, vocational, and academic success.

We do not accept students with extensive behavioral problems that cannot be managed in a transitional setting (for example, those prone to extreme violence or running away).

Most of our students are referred from educational consultants and come from various locations around the United States. Programs where our students have come from include Commonwealth Academy (Virginia), Second Nature Wilderness Program (Utah), Hidden Lake Academy (Georgia), The Catalyst program, Four Circles, The Lab School (Washington DC), Diamond Ranch Academy, and the University of Miami Center for Autism.

Marijuana or alcohol abuse is dealt with on a case-by-case basis through direct intervention with the student’s mentor and therapist. Dr. Rubin (Psychologist) and Dr. Aaron Tendler (Medical Directory and Psychiatrist) formerly trained together at Tulane University and Charity Hospital and have extensive experience dealing with drug rehabilitation issues. To help assess for potential problems, all students receive a minimum of one drug test per month.  Students who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse can receive up to three drug tests per week. There are no 12-step meetings held at New Directions although students are encouraged to attend community-based meetings when and if there is a need.

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