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Organization teaches neurodiverse people life skills with its breakfast club

Organizers say the outing is designed to give young adults the confidence to explore the world on their own
Wisconsin Daily Life
Posted at 7:08 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 21:08:40-05

A non-profit organization hopes to offer support and guidance to people on the autism spectrum through one-on-one peer mentorship and interactive programs.

Through their dedication to empowering neurodiverse people, Islands of Brilliance students and peer mentors spent their Wednesday strolling through the aisles of a grocery store, before making their way to Milwaukee Public Market to cook up a delicious meal.

Known as the Brilliant Breakfast Club, organizers say the outing is designed to give young adults the confidence to explore the world on their own and use their skills to approach every situation without fear.

“You don't learn unless you experience things yourself. So, we try to just offer help if they want it. We'll say, ‘Do you need help with this?’ And they'll sit sometimes they'll say yes. And sometimes they'll say, ‘No, I got it. You know, I wanted to really try this myself.’ The group is not often getting to do these things on their own, and we give them the opportunity to participate in a way that's meaningful,” said Amy Mason, Director of Integrated Learning, Islands of Brilliance

One of the participants, Alec Schall, has been with the program since finishing high school.

He says the activities give him the chance to meet new people, learn how to enter the workforce and feel comfortable trying things for himself.

“It makes me feel pretty good that I have a good understanding of how to get into the real world and not many people do have that benefit,” said Schall.

The Brilliant Breakfast Club meets virtually every week and spends a day together once a month.

Leaders with the non-profit tell us they’ve seen their students grow leaps and bounds since joining the program and say they can’t wait to see what they can accomplish.

If you would like more information on how to get involved, head here.

This story was originally published by Elaine Rojas-Castillo of TMJ in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.