Classes, Outings and Support Groups
Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center offers classes and activities all year long for people age 18 or older with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. We serve learners of all abilities. Classes focus on health and fitness, social and life skills, and the arts. Our activities provide meaningful ways to connect with others, socialize, build on skills and take part in the larger community.
During the intake process, we will work with you to figure out which types of activities are the best fit. After your intake appointment, you can choose from those classes and outings to take part in the way that suits you. You only need to do the intake process once. After that, we will email you a reminder to sign up each quarter.
Current Classes, Outings and Support Groups
Most classes are at the Burnett Adult Life Center in Bothell. Our activities include group visits to local coffee shops, stores, parks and museums. Students gain experience and socialize outside their network, helping to build a more inclusive community.
|Classes (In Person and Virtual)||One-Time Events|
|Class Catalog (PDF)||Calendar (PDF)|
|Class Calendar (PDF)|
Quarterly Schedule 2022
- Winter Quarter: January 3 – March 17
- Spring Quarter: March 28 – June 17
- Summer Quarter: June 27 – September 16
- Fall Quarter: September 26 – December 16
“Our son Austin continues to find such joy in attending classes. He selects classes and outings that we would not have thought he would be interested in, which is truly allowing him to expand his horizons.” - Austin’s mom, Suzie, Shoreline, WA
Prism is a free bi-weekly virtual support group for LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, queer, question, intersex, questioning and other nonconforming genders and sexualities) students to discuss their experiences, share stories and ask questions in a safe space. Group sessions take place over Zoom every other Wednesday from 3:20 – 4:00 p.m.
Who are classes, outings and support groups intended for?
We serve the broad spectrum of adults with developmental disabilities. We build on your strengths, help you connect to others and promote independence. Our goal is for you to lead the most fulfilling life possible.
- Have autism or other developmental disabilities.
- Are at least 18 or turn 18 during the quarter.
We welcome people who:
- Want to socialize, have fun, build skills and learn in a supportive group of peers.
- Are in a high school transition program or other school program.
- Are heading to college or a job.
- Need high levels of support or supervision for everyday activities. If a student needs help from a caregiver, their caregiver must attend class with them.
- Have serious disruptive behaviors (extreme physical aggression toward self or others)
- Have verbal aggressions with intent to threaten or harm others
- Destroy property with the intent to hurt another person or self
- Have symptoms related to psychosis
The intake process helps us decide if Burnett Adult Life Center activities are suited to you.
We group classes and outings by color to show the abilities students need to benefit. During intake, our staff figures out which colors are a good fit for you. Students may take classes or outings in more than 1 color group. See our class catalog (PDF).
Blue classes are suited to people who:
- Do best with a high level of support
- Have trouble following verbal directions with only a little prompting
- Need a 1:1 caregiver (who will attend each class with the student)
- Need hand-over-hand help (another person’s hands to help complete a movement, like using scissors)
- Have trouble changing between activities without physical guidance
- Need help with medicine
- Need restroom help
- May benefit from clear visual schedules or supports
- Need support for challenging behaviors such as tantrums, self-injury, disruption or frequent vocal outbursts
Yellow classes are suited to people who:
- Do best with a moderate level of support
- Can follow verbal instructions with a little prompting
- May require a 1:1 caregiver (if Burnett Center staff decide so)
- Can change between activities with a little verbal prompting
- Can express basic wants and needs and respond in basic social settings by voice, device or sign language
- Need little restroom help (only verbal reminders)
- May benefit from visual schedules or supports
- May show challenging behaviors such as mild disruption, mild self-injury or infrequent vocal outbursts
Green classes are open to students who can take blue or yellow classes.
Red classes are suited to people who:
- Are mostly independent or need only a low level of support
- Can follow verbal or written instructions with little prompting
- Do not require 1:1 caregiver help
- Can change between activities with little or no prompting
- Can express detailed wants and needs and carry on more detailed and complex conversations by voice, device or sign language
- Do not need restroom help
- Do not need visual schedules or supports
- Show little or no challenging behaviors
Orange classes are open to students who can take yellow or red classes.
Gray activities are designed for people of all abilities to take part in together.
Learn how to start the intake process. After the intake process, you create your own schedule, based on your interests and class openings.
Policies for Success
Instructors who are experts in class topics teach with guidance from Seattle Children’s behavior specialists. To help all students get the most from our programs, we follow these policies:
We keep a 1:4 staffing ratio in each class and outing. Burnett Adult Life Center staff cannot give students 1:1 support. Depending on level of need and behaviors, students may need to have a 1:1 aide or caregiver attend classes with them. During the intake process, staff will discuss this with your family.
Following the intake appointment or as situations arise, we may ask a caregiver or family member to attend the first few sessions to help our staff decide the best approach.
During the intake process, we ask about challenging behaviors so we can recommend classes that best fit you. We do not discriminate based on any past or current behavior or aggression. But our 1:4 staffing ratio is not a good match for everyone. Some students may require additional support, which may include bringing their own 1:1 caregiver.
If you have a diagnosis or a behavior that would be of concern (such as severely disruptive behaviors or recreational drug use), discuss this matter candidly with a staff member during the intake process. We hope to help all families in their quest for the best possible resources. Please call 425-488-6173 or email us to discuss.
We may require that you come with a 1:1 caregiver if you:
- Need help with toileting or medicine
- Have severe challenging behaviors
- Have a history of running away or wandering off
- Need hand-over-hand support
At any point, we reserve the right to request support from a 1:1 caregiver for a student with challenging behaviors or needs beyond what we can meet with 1:4 staffing.
To make sure students gain the most from class, we expect caregivers to sign and follow our Caregiver Code of Conduct (PDF).
Our curriculum is designed to build on skills learned each week and to promote socialization among a consistent group of peers. To get the full benefit, it is important for you to attend class as often as you can. To report absences or for any scheduling questions, please call 425-488-6173 or email us.
Since safety is our utmost concern, please do not come to class or an outing if you:
- Are having behavior problems
- May have a contagious condition (such as uncontrolled runny nose, coughing or sneezing; sore throat; fever; diarrhea; vomiting; measles; bed bugs or lice)
Students who miss class or an outing because they are sick, have serious medical issues (such as seizures or healing from surgery) or are having behavior issues should contact us as soon as possible and no later than 24 hours after class has ended. Call 425-488-6173 or email us.
If behavior problems are causing you to miss class often, we may ask you and your family to meet with our behavior analyst to talk about strategies to help.
Families in our Summer Transition Program may be excused for 4 absences in up to 4 classes (for a total of 16 missed classes), related only to transition program scheduling during the summer quarter.
We count as unexcused any absence:
- If you do not contact us within 24 hours of missing the class or outing.
- Related to caregiver or transportation issues, appointments, vacations or conflicts with other camps or programs. For Friday outings, we will excuse the absence if you tell us by Wednesday that you cannot attend.
Unexcused absence: See DDA Policies.
Excused absence: We will not charge you for the first 3 excused absences due to illness, medical issue or behavior issues per class, per quarter. For any additional classes missed, we will bill you unless you provide a doctor’s excuse. Private-pay families can contact the program manager at 425-488-6173 or by email about getting refunds for excused absences. Families using DDA hours are not charged for excused absences.
What to Expect
- Most classes have 4 to 15 students. Size varies based on class color, topic and classroom.
- Most classes last 1 to 2 hours. Length varies based on class color and topic. One-time events and outings are often 4 to 6 hours long.
- Most classes run for 12 weeks and align with the quarter schedules of most community and public colleges.
- Students must enroll for the full 12-week session unless they are in our Summer Transition Program. See our policies for more information (PDF).
The Burnett Adult Life Center is not designed to be an all-day program. We offer a series of classes and activities, allowing you to tailor a schedule based on your interests and class openings. Some students enroll in 1 class at a time. Others take multiple classes a day, several days a week. During the intake process, we figure out what will best serve you.
Classes and activities vary by quarter. When possible, class schedules are consistent from quarter to quarter to provide structure throughout the year.
If a class is full, we will add you to the waiting list. When we have openings or add new classes, we will let you know.
We accept payment by:
- Credit card.
- Debit card.
- Check or e-check online
- Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) respite hours. If you do not have enough DDA respite hours to pay for all classes in the quarter, you must pay out-of-pocket for the rest of the quarter.
We offer scholarships to help cover costs. Learn about class costs, scholarships and payment.
We allow a 15-minute window for pick-up and drop-off for classes. We cannot guarantee staff supervision for students who are waiting longer than 15 minutes for class to begin or for their ride to arrive. If using ACCESS or DART, please ensure that pick-up and drop-off times fall within this 15-minute window.
Students must coordinate their own transportation to and from the Burnett Adult Life Center, which is located in Bothell. The center is close to a bus line and is an approved ACCESS and DART drop-off and pick-up site.
The center has plenty of free parking in our private lot. The entrance is in back of the building in the upper parking lot.
Meals and snacks are not provided, except for cooking and baking classes, where the class price includes a meal. Students who need snacks or drinks while at the center can bring and store them in our refrigerator. Please tell the staff about any dietary limits or allergies. Note these on your intake form.
Burnett Adult Life Center staff cannot give students prescription or over-the-counter medicines. We cannot help with other personal care. If you need this support, bring a caregiver to help you.
We do not allow visitors or give tours except as part of our intake process for new participants. Our business hours are:
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Most classes are held on these days.
- Friday: Outings, special classes and events often happen on Fridays.
- Saturday and Sunday: Closed.
- New Year's Day: Friday, January 1
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Monday, January 18
- Presidents' Day: Monday, February 15
- Memorial Day: Monday, May 31
- Independence Day: Observed date Monday, July 5
- Labor Day: Monday, September 6
- Veterans' Day: Thursday, November 11
- Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 25
- Christmas Day: Observed date Friday, December 24