What is the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center?

Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center offers classes and activities for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities as they transition out of the education system and into adulthood. The Burnett Adult Life Center hosts year-round classes and activities for adults age 18 or older that promote lifelong learning and independence, enhance quality of life and provide meaningful ways to take part in the community.

The Burnett Adult Life Center follows a recreational approach and the range of classes are designed and intended to keep our participants interested, engaged, challenged, having fun and reaching their own greatest potential.

Through collaboration with parents, caregivers, participants and Burnett Center staff participants work toward personal goals and develop real-life skills that promote independence while having fun among peers.

We also offer evening activities for families and participants, as well as family support nights.

Who are classes intended for?

Learners of all abilities may enroll – from those heading to college or work to those who will need ongoing support throughout life. To best serve the diverse needs of each participant, classes are divided into levels. Learn more.

The Burnett Adult Life Center is committed to serving the broad spectrum of adults with developmental disabilities. We offer a wide range of classes to promote skill building and recreation.

While our staff are all trained to work with diverse populations, the center itself is not structured to be able to support adults with significant disruptive behaviors (extreme physical aggression towards self or others, verbal aggression with the intent of threatening or causing harm to others, or property destruction with the intent of causing harm to others or self).

If you believe that your son or daughter may have a diagnosis or a behavior that would be of concern (e.g. severely disruptive behaviors or recreational drug use), we encourage you to discuss this matter candidly with a Burnett Center staff member prior to completing the intake process—we hope to assist all families in their quest for the best possible resources.

Classes are suited for people who:

  • Have ASD, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities or other developmental disabilities
  • Are age 18 or older (students in a high school transition program are welcome)
  • Live in the region
  • Want to take part in a supportive community of peers
  • Want to build skills that promote independence

We welcome people who need high levels of support or supervision for everyday activities. If a participant needs help from a caregiver, their caregiver must attend class to assist them.

Classes are not suited for people who:

  • Have significant disruptive behaviors (physical aggression towards self or others)
  • Have verbal aggressions with intent of threatening or causing harm to others
  • Engage in property destruction with the intent of hurting another person or self

To best serve the diverse needs of each participant, classes are divided into different levels (Level I, II, III and all). Learn more.

Now Enrolling

Interested in volunteering?

Volunteers have always been at the heart of Seattle Children’s. Since the hospital’s founding, volunteers have guided our development, raised funds to keep our doors open, invested time in interacting with our clients and advocated on behalf of the hospital and the health care needs of the community in the Northwest.

Please view our Volunteer Opportunities Flyer (PDF) for more information on how to be involved as a volunteer.

If you are interested in volunteering, please complete our Volunteer Assessment Survey.

Interested in teaching?

We are always looking to expand our class offerings and welcome new instructors who have a passion for teaching adults with developmental disabilities in a suite of different class topics including; life skills, cooking, art, music, fitness, gardening and more.

Instructors are hired on as independent contractors to teach classes for a twelve-week term and typically sign a one-year contract. As an independent contractor with Seattle Children’s Hospital, you must have your own business license, LLC or UBI number AND liability insurance. If you do not have this, we are able to provide you with some guidance and get you started on the necessary paperwork.

Please contact our program coordinator, Michael Willen, for more information on teaching at the Alyssa Burnett Center.