Frequently Asked Questions

If your question about the Advance LA program is not addressed here, please contact us.



How do I know if my child is making progress?

In addition, to weekly reports on your child’s progress, you will be able to call the clinical coordinator for updates and discussion. More importantly, as we are always trying to improve and facilitate the young adult’s independence and communication skills, we will work with your young adult to communicate his/her progress to the team by email, text or phone call.

How many hours of coaching does my young adult or teen need?

This depends on your young adult’s individual needs and the goals the team has identified. Some young adults, who need some support and guidance, work with us 3 to 4 hours a week; while others with more intensive needs or goals, use our services for up to 25 hours weeks. In our experience, we have found we need at least 3 hours a week in order to see significant progress and thus require a minimum of 3 hours a week of coaching.

What are the benefits of sending my young adult to the social club?

The social club is specifically designed for those young adults who may need a little extra support in meeting and maintaining friends. They may have had negative social experiences in the past and may avoid interactions with others. When at the social club they will be able to connect with other young adults who have similar interests and who perhaps have had similar social experiences. However, this time they will have the support of our coaches. This support will allow the young adult to feel more comfortable socially and learn new skills to support future interactions.

What Does a Typical Coaching Session Look Like for Family/Parent Coaching?

As in the coaching sessions for young adults, parent coaching sessions will differ based on your goals and needs. Your family coach will spend some time with you, identifying your family’s needs. You will highlight your family strengths and work together to identify new ways to support your young adult in advancing toward a greater level of independence. Depending on your goals, the family coach may meet with you individually at first and perhaps bring in your young adult or other family members as the sessions progress.
The ultimate goal of our work together will be to create a partnership between you and your young adult, that supports your child in becoming more independent , while allowing you to have a more “adult relationship” with your child.

What Does a Typical Coaching Session Look Like for my Young Adult?

The format of the session is based on the individual needs of your young adult or teenager.
The sessions occur in the environment where the support is needed the most, some examples include:

  • On a college campus
  • In a classroom
  • In social situations in the community
  • At banks
  • At local businesses or job fairs
  • At home

Coaches work with their young adults in a creative, innovative, and enjoyable way. We have created specially designed interventions based on our years of experience with youth and families, as well as the most up-to-date research.

Below is the typical structure to a successful coaching session:

  • The coach will meet up with your young adult review goals and discuss specific goals or tasks for that day.
  • “In-the moment” instruction is provided–specifically skills are practiced in the environment in which the young adult needs to use the skill.
  • The coach will provide instruction or interventions in the specific area of focus, model what the young adult needs to do, offer opportunities for guided practice, and then provide them with feedback about how they did.
  • At the end of the session, coaches may assign follow up homework or projects until the next meeting.
  • All sessions involve a great deal of positive reinforcement and allow the young adult to celebrate each step toward becoming more independent.




Areas of need frequently addressed:

Vocational/employment; self-advocacy; academic; independent living skills; hygiene; stress management; money management and budgeting; recreation and social, making friends, motivation, building a life beyond high school.

Collaboration and Consultation Services

Advance LA works collaboratively with the young adult, family and professionals to ensure consistency in services. Collaboration can include coaches and/or supervisor coordinating services, sharing information and goals, as well as team meetings. In addition, Advance LA works with each young adult to share their progress and needs with all treatment team members on a regular basis.
Advance LA provides hands-on consultation support for professionals in multiple settings including universities, colleges, schools and other service providers. Our support also includes training, program development, and team meetings to facilitate and monitor the implementation and progress of these programs.

College/School Based Support

Advance LA offers a range of services for young adults who are in need of additional support in order to be successful in their current environment. Many universities and colleges have reached out to Advance LA in order to gain assistance in meeting the needs of their students with special needs.
We have had particular success in working with young adults in the transition into college. We provide the support they need to access services available to them, develop organization systems that work for the individual, and ultimately help them successfully enroll in and complete the coursework in their chosen field. Using this experience we provide consultation support to the universities and colleges serving them.

How do the coaching services work?

Advance LA relies on a team-based approach. Team members may include all significant people in the client’s life. For example, the team may include the client, family members, service providers/professionals working with the client, the coach, and the administrators of the program. An assessment is conducted at the outset of services and continues throughout the coaching process. Once the initial assessment is complete, individualized goals and interventions are developed in conjunction with the client’s team. The coaches implement the individualized program plan, assess progress, celebrate successes with the client, and work with the team to adjust goals. When needed, the Advance LA team will communicate with instructors, dorm personnel, employers, and others in the community to gauge client progress and identify additional needs.
While interventions used are often creative, innovative, and fun, they are firmly based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).ABAis an evidence-based practice that is frequently utilized in helping people achieve important goals. Within this framework, we focus on strength-based approaches in the natural environment to enhance outcomes and build on the client’s current skills and personal competencies.

How do you work with other professionals?

We find that our services are the most effective when we are able to work as a team on agreed upon goals. Many times therapists or other service providers have been working on developing skills with their clients but wish they could be with the clients more often, helping them apply these skills in various setting. This is where we can help, we will work with you to identify the areas you would like us to focus on and the strategies you have found to be useful. We will then help your client generalize these skills in their communities with the team’s support and guidance.

What types of goals do coaches typically work on?

Advance LA coaches work to support clients in a variety of ways and focus on the development and enhancement of: independent living skills, executive functioning skills, social relationships, academics, internships and careers, as well as health and wellness.
We provide the various supports required for the client to achieve success in the community, whether it is at home, school, or at work.

Who should I refer?

One important factor in Advance LA’s success is our intentional focus on each individual and his/her goals. We work with young adults and teens who are in need of additional support in reaching their personal goals and actively participating in their community. The specialized and individualized nature of our program has allowed us to successful with clients with a wide range of needs and diagnoses including: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Aspergers Syndrome, Learning Disabilities, Executive Functioning Challenges, ADHD, and Social/Emotional/ or Behavioral challenges including dual diagnosis.

Why is Advance LA coaching effective?

There are several reasons that our clients experience positive outcomes and an improved quality of life; some important aspects include:

  • Clearly defined realistic goals support the client in moving toward these goals with improved confidence and efficiency
  • The use of evidence-based strategies and direct instruction in various natural settings allows the clients to develop new skills and these skills translate into more successful experiences in many aspects of their lives.
  • Clients receive intervention and support in better managing their time, organizing various aspects of their lives and completing projects
  • Continued progress monitoring and feedback provided to client and team allow the client to celebrate successes and note areas for improvement


Young Adults and Teens

Young Adults and Teens

Do I have to tell other people I have a coach?

You don’t have to tell anyone you have a coach. However, we have found that many people like to share with others that they have a mentor or coach. It is totally up to you and can be discussed with your coach before you go out. When you are out with your coach, it will likely feel pretty natural; you may feel like you are out with a friend, older sibling, or mentor.

How do I get matched with a coach?

We have many different coaches on our team. In addition, to their varied personalities, each coach has a unique set of skills and talents. The clinical coordinator will work with you to figure out who would be the best match, based on your personality, interests, and your goals!

How do I know this will work for me?

We have a lot of experience working with young adults and teens who are working toward their goals and dreams. Also, we keep up with the most up-to-date research on “what works” and train our coaches to use those tools to help you.

How often do I meet with my coach?

This depends on what your goals are and how quickly you want to get there. Some people spend 3 hours a week with their coaches while others spend 3 to 4 hours a day.

What can I get help with?

Most teens and young adults need some support or help in order to get what they want out of life. Advance LA coaches will work with you and focus on helping you feel more confident and successful in all areas of life.
Some of the areas we have helped young adults and teens with are:

  • Managing your time
  • Making friends and keeping them
  • Getting organized
  • Building motivation to get stuff done
  • Managing your money
  • Getting and keeping a job
  • Doing well in school
  • Advocating for yourself- Asking for what you need!
  • Living on your own

Learning more about “how to be independent” and learning some tools for being successful can empower you and offer that extra confidence you need to move forward.

What does a typical session look like?

There is no “typical session” as it varies from person to person. Depending on what you need – we will be out there in the community helping you do it! Our coaches can work with you on your college campus, in a classroom, at a social event, at job fairs, or in your home.
Here is what will happen:

  • You will talk with your coach and name a place to meet up
  • You may chat about what you want to work on and what you need to do to get it done
  • Then, you will go out into the world, try new things together, explore your surroundings and learn new skills. The good news is that you will have someone there to support you until you feel comfortable doing these new things on your own.
  • At the end of your time together, you will talk with your coach about what you will be working on until the next session. And make plans for your next meeting.

Most Advance LA young adults enjoy their meetings with their coach. As you will be working on the goals you are interested in, with a person you like and trust and you will be having fun along the way.

What will the social club be like?

The social club will include young adults, just like you, who are looking to meet new people who are welcoming, interesting, and fun. We will introduce you to people you want to meet and offer a place for you to get to know others with similar interests. Each club meeting will involve different activities and will be based on your interests. We will work with out club members to identify and organize enjoyable activities that you will want to participate in. Some sample activities are: bowling, interactive video game competitions, hiking, karaoke, and game night. We will also be hosting a few special events every year that may include trips to theme parks, museums, and other interesting cultural activities.