Youth Plus is a specialist program dedicated to supporting young people with developmental disabilities as they transition through adolescence and into adulthood. The program is designed to develop and maintain skills that ready each person to live their best life.
Please note that this service is currently only available in the Geelong and Barwon regions, which includes the Surf Coast and Colac Otway areas.
Our multidisciplinary team includes occupational therapists and speech pathologists with extensive clinical experience working with adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability and other developmental disabilities.
With a focus on young people aged 12-25 years, the Youth Plus team is passionate about helping young people with disabilities navigate this important time as they strive to achieve what they need or want to do in their lives.
Please refer to our COVID-19 Current Services Update page for a regularly updated list of available services, including Gateways Online programs.
Learn more about the importance of therapy during adolescence in this article by Youth Plus Occupational Therapist, Jessie Hutchinson.
Geelong Therapy Program Manager Sharon Bassett says the Youth Plus program was developed to address a gap in the market for services designed specifically for adolescents and young adults with a disability.
‘The Youth Plus Team was founded around our thorough understanding of the unique needs of young people and the challenges they are faced with during these life stages,’ Sharon says.
‘We promote a ‘Journey Approach’ to better support adolescents and young adults not only through their current milestones, but also with a clear focus on understanding and planning for their future supports and individual needs.’
Our team recognises that every journey is unique and offers an equally unique suite of evidence-based therapeutic interventions to support the specific needs, aspirations and life goals of each individual.
Transition to secondary school – Gaining The Edge
Gateways Support Services’ Gaining The Edge program is designed to support children with additional needs and their families as they prepare for the transition between primary and secondary school. Find out more.
Transitions to independence – Bob’s Pizza
A plan to teach brothers Charles and Dan the life skill of meal preparation developed into a small business thanks to the young men’s enthusiasm and the adaptability of the Youth Plus team. Read their full story.
What we do
Our one-on-one and group programs draw on the clinical expertise and experience of our occupational and speech therapists.
Occupational Therapy can help adolescents and adults with disabilities develop and maintain skills to improve their quality of life at home, school, group program and in the workplace.
Our team can help with:
- Independent living skills assessments and planning,
- Transitioning to employment,
- Social understanding, emotional regulation and complex behaviour support,
- Addressing sensory processing challenges,
- Assessment reports, equipment prescriptions, customised resource development,
- Basic home modifications, community access, risk assessment,
- Family/carer training and education,
- Cognitive and executive functioning challenges such as time management, organisation, initiation and self-direction
- Customised therapy programs,
- Routines, organisation and self-management support,
- Life transition support, such as school and accommodation transitions,
- Collaborative Care Team planning,
- Puberty and sexuality support,
- Mental health wellbeing and resilience building,
- Develop and maintain skills to prepare participants for the workplace and improve their quality of life.
Speech Pathology can support adolescents and adults to improve their ability to communicate with people in their life, form and maintain relationships and improve their function in day to day life.
Our team can help with:
- Speech, Language and Mealtime management
- Support to overcome communication barriers through providing alternate and augmentative communication (AAC) assessment and therapy.
- Assessment reports and completing funding applications for communication devices
- Strategies to support comprehension difficulties and develop expressive language
- Training and support to families, carers and staff within a home, educational, group program or work place setting,
- We also have the ability to run specialised group therapy programs depending on the need and availability of therapists.
The Youth Plus Team’s passion and experience working with these young people and their diverse needs enables us to offer additional services including:
- accommodation transition support,
- independent living skill assessments,
- equipment prescription and assistive technology to aid independence and communication.
We also have access to our parent support groups providing valuable peer support for parents and carers of young people with disabilities.
Want to know more?