Often, when we consider Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or intellectual and developmental disabilities, we immediately think about children. But there is a significant population of adults with these diagnoses, as well. At Grafton, our goal is to provide an integrated continuum of services for individuals with complex behavioral health challenges across every age range – from infants and children to adolescents and adults.
We want to help adults with autism and developmental disabilities not just live, but to thrive. To do so, we must overcome some tough challenges. For example, what happens when people “age out” of state support systems available only to children and adolescents and critical services, like applied behavior analysis (ABA) or speech and occupational therapy, are no longer funded? Such services are legally mandated throughout elementary and high school. After graduation, though, an individual will likely no longer have access. Often, without this type of one-on-one support, an individual’s skill level can regress.
Grafton is working in our group homes and out in the community to help adult clients live as full a life as possible. Innovative approaches, such as the Behavior Enrichment & Teaching Home (BETH) Program, help our clients continue to acquire skills and increase independence. Services like the Adult Day Activities Program Team (ADAPT) in Winchester and the Integration Program in Richmond work to engage individuals out in the community.
You can read more about Grafton’s services, including those provided to adults, in the spring issue of Grafton in Action.