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How is the program funded?
We accept the Level 1 and Individual Options Medicaid Waiver. In some cases, we can contract with the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities if the consumer is on the TDD Waiver.

Can a student who is currently enrolled in school attend MAAP?
No, the student must be separated from school services and be placed on a waiver in order to be accepted into Monarch Adult Autism Program (MAAP).

What can you tell me about the staff?
All staff are at least bachelor's level, in a wide variety of areas, including PT, OT, speech and education. All staff are BCI/FBI checked. Many are enrolled in master’s programs. Staff are highly trained in the structured programming of MAAP, the Monarch Model of Communication as well as other forms of communication. Staff are TCI/ First Aid and CPR Trained. Other trainings include the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Principals of Self-Determination and Positive Behavior Supports.

Does the program close for breaks?
The program runs year round, with weeklong breaks in spring and summer. There are also days throughout the year that the program closes for specific holidays. Please refer to our calendar of operation.

We operate 12 months of the year, five days a week from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Transportation is available for some participants.

What is the enrollment process?
After initial contact with the program, there will be a tour set up for parents/guardians to see the program. If the consumer has a Support Administrator,  they may also want to attend. An assessment will be set up to meet the consumer to discern if the program is a good fit. If the team of MAAP staff and guardians for the consumer decide this would be a good fit, the Intake Department contacts the guardians to fill out the necessary paperwork.

At that point, a transition schedule is set for the consumer to visit and become acclimated to the program and staff.

How are the supports and services provided by Lifeworks funded?
The answer depends on the setting and case. The majority of individuals served by Lifeworks, both at MAAP and in residence, are funded through one form of Ohio Medicaid or another, with a small offset from Social Security (Supplemental Security Income-type).  For a handful of others, funding is private.  

What criteria are used to determine whether or not a given individual is a candidate for services through Lifeworks?
Lifeworks’ mission is to serve adults with autism.  As such, an ASD diagnosis is essential for admission into any home or program operated by the agency.  Being 18 or older is also necessary. Another important criterion is compatibility with a given setting’s level of care standards.  It is essential that no individual be brought into a therapeutic environment that is too restrictive for her or his level of capability, nor, conversely, into one that cannot account for her or his needs.  

Although Lifeworks currently serves individuals with diabetes, histories of seizure, dietary restrictions and other health-related issues, there is a ceiling for the level of medical necessity that the agency is equipped to bear. Thus, in some instances, complex health issues may be a rule-out. Lifeworks also does not currently have any settings that are appropriate for individuals who have a history of sexual offending behavior.

Beyond these few “musts” and “must nots,” there are a variety of criteria that are considered when assessing fit. Safety and a given candidate’s expressed wishes regarding housing, foremost, but also variables related to compatibility with peers, environmental factors, staffing needs, the expectations of parents/guardians, etc.

Is there a waiting list?
In the event that an appropriate referral for supported living and/or the Monarch Adult Autism Program is made at a time when no opportunities exist, it is common practice for Lifeworks to retain contact information and make a plan for future correspondence with the referral.  There is not a concrete first-come, first-serve waiting list. All things being equal, those who have waited the longest will generally take priority, but as previously mentioned, other variables are considered.

How does healthcare work for residents in Lifeworks’ homes?
Lifeworks subsumes responsibility for coordinating all aspects of residents’ healthcare. Case managers imbedded in each home ensure that primary care visits, dentist appointments, physicals, vision checks and specialist appointments are scheduled as needed and attended. These same case managers take care of healthcare benefits upkeep, liaise with involved pharmacies, and work with doctors and nurses to properly support medication management. Parents or other authorized parties may choose their own level of involvement in these processes. Residents, or guardians on behalf of the residents, determine which doctors will be seen. 

How are unsafe behaviors addressed?
Lifeworks is accustomed to serving individuals with complex behavioral profiles, inclusive of physically aggression, self-injury and/ or property destruction. All elements of therapeutic support are presided over by Board Certified Behavior Analysts. The vast majority of the work that goes into supporting individuals who present with unsafe behavior is proactive. It is invested in visual supports that are created and provided to allow for enhanced communication and organization. It is invested in proper assessment, treatment planning and staff training, which in turn drives appropriate proactive interventions, which mitigate risk.

Lifeworks does not employ interventions such as chemical restraint, mechanical restraint, or seclusion in response to unsafe behaviors. Physical holds, performed by trained and certified staff, are included in some service recipients’ plans, as last-resort strategies to provide for safety, with clearance from the clinical team, a human right’s committee and with guardian approval.     

How are attendees’ unique interests and capabilities accounted for?
Service planning in any Lifeworks setting starts with learning the expressed interests of participants, or else of their guardian, speaking on their behalf. It includes the utilization of empirical assessment to further identify participants' preferences, as well as to determine their current capabilities in relevant domains. Professionals, adhering to best practice standards, will then design individualized service and support plans that allow for the greatest achievable degree of self-direction, as well as target critical areas for skill development.      

What opportunities are attendees provided in the community?
Lifeworks aims to maximize clients' abilities access to the community in a self-directed manner for the purposes of recreation, skill development and general enrichment.

Individuals served by Lifeworks attend a number of different volunteer and simulated work sites. They regularly visit community rec centers, attend movies, go to the public library, go for evening walks in their neighborhood, shop at local grocers, attend sporting events, go out for meals, spend time in parks and museums, visit their families, vacation, etc.