Adventure program that builds life skills, identity and belonging in young people with Autism and other disabilities.

Leighton Smith

Session type: Regular forum session

Key words: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Disabilities, Adventure Therapy, Rock Climbing, Canoeing


A presentation by Leighton Smith, Program Director and Founder of New Heights Youth Outreach, about his journey from youth worker to adventure therapy practitioner, and how it lead to creating an adventure therapy program for young people with autism and other disabilities, that builds life skills, identity, and belonging.Leighton also talks about his Youth Outreach Centre, which is a drop in centre and ‘home’ for many of the participants from his Youth Outreach programs. Leighton explains how this centre is an important part of the post program support for the participants who have gone through one of the 10 week Youth Outreach programs, and how this centre is set up as a self sustainable model.
Leighton also shares 10 practical tips from his past 10 years of developing youth programs and facilitating groups in the outdoors, that you can use in your program design, on programs and to connect with young people.