When children with autism become young adults many families struggle to find appropriate supported living options. At age 22 all of the educational supports and services they have been receiving under the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) vanish overnight. This transition pushes them into a world woefully lacking in appropriate programs for autistic adults.
“What happens next?” This is a question every parent of a child with a disability has asked themselves as adulthood approaches. Our purpose is to help answer this difficult question as we work with individuals and their families or guardians to fill in the gaps in services for adults with autism available in our community.
ACES has provided scholarships and financial support to local programs that focus on social skills instruction and developing the life skills necessary for increased independence in autistic adults. Additionally, our new skills-based day program, The ACES Barkery, opened in March 2022. Our participants gain vital life skills through real-world learning while hand-crafting and packaging our delicious dog treats. Proceeds from our sales are reinvested into our mission to provide meaningful opportunities for autistic adults in our community to live fulfilling, joyful lives while flourishing in a safe and secure environment.
The vision of ACES is to create a residential community specifically for adults with autism who require an increased level of supervision. Residents will receive appropriate levels of support while gaining independence, pursuing personal happiness, and connecting with the local community.
Our community will offer family-style housing or roommate arrangements, dedicated caregivers in each home, autism-friendly smart home features, case management and direction for participants, and the possibility of a cottage industry or supported employment opportunities.
The saying goes, "It takes a village"… so, let’s build the village!
*inspirational village image via Rincon del Rio