Supervised Living for Adults with Autism
What happens when my child becomes an adult and is no longer in school?
Where will my child live and still get the all support he needs?
How can my child transition safely to community living?
For most parents, helping their children “launch” – or transition to adulthood and learn to live independently – is a bittersweet milestone. But for parents of children with autism, this can be a very overwhelming and stressful process.
At Lifeworks, we understand parents’ concerns for their children’s future, happiness and well-being. We also understand the complicated daily living challenges faced by many young adults with autism. That’s why we provide all the intensive supports necessary to ensure they will live safe, happy, fulfilling and productive lives in the community.
All the Comforts of Home
For the last five years, Lifeworks has been developing specialized home environments with round-the-clock support where adults with autism thrive. With 1:3 staffing ratios or better, our team of autism experts all hold college degrees (many of them master’s level) and are trained in best practices – including the Monarch Model, which emphasizes visual language supports and state-of-the-art technology.
Lifeworks residents live in comfortable, secure home settings that are specifically designed to encourage independence, as well as strengthen social, communication and functional life skills. Morning through night, each day is highly structured and consistent, yet residents are given appropriate choices of free-time activities and household responsibilities based on their preferences and skill levels. Whether it’s learning to prepare a favorite snack, folding a stack of laundry or playing a video game, each activity fosters self-sufficiency and personal growth.
Embedded in the charming Cleveland suburbs of Shaker Heights and University Heights, our residential settings include neighborhood group homes, as well as dormitory-style suites, complete with teaching kitchens and a range of supported social activities. Residences are within walking distance of many restaurants, groceries, shops, parks and collegiate sporting events. And just minutes away by car, Cleveland’s cultural and recreational destinations provide numerous opportunities for community involvement, including museums, community centers, libraries, Metroparks, theaters and more. Staff frequently take small groups of residents on outings to enhance their social experiences and practice communication skills. Many local establishments have become longtime favorites and welcome our clients on a regular basis.
Ensuring the Right Support at the Right Time
At Lifeworks, we believe proper service and support for individuals with autism begins with proper assessment. Staff begin the pre-planning process well in advance of a resident’s arrival; then starting on day one, the Lifeworks team commences a 30-day appraisal of each client. While he or she acclimates to the new surroundings, adjusts to new faces and becomes familiar with new routines, the team gathers baseline information. A board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) or a professional under the supervision of a BCBA performs objective, individualized assessments in order to develop appropriate service goals.
When assessments are complete, a comprehensive, individualized service plan (ISP) is then prepared for each resident in close collaboration with the client and his or her family. This plan outlines all of the priority areas for skill development and establishes personalized goals. Our highly qualified staff implement the prescribed supports and interventions, which are based on the individual’s strengths, deficits, preferences, dislikes, supports, diagnoses and medications. If necessary, the plan also outlines recommended approaches for staff members to address challenging behaviors.
The ISP is a fluid document, thus, clients’ progress is continually monitored and pertinent data are collected on an ongoing basis so that necessary adjustments can be made in the treatment plan. Regular team meetings, as well as individual and group supervision, ensure consistency in approach and communication among staff so that clients receive the precise treatment and support they need at all times. If the resident also attends the Monarch Adult Autism Program (MAAP) for day services, the ISP is developed in full collaboration with his or her team to further optimize outcomes.
For whatever length of time our clients wish to be part of our supported community, whether it’s a year or a decade, we will do everything possible to ensure it is a place where they can grow, a place where they will be supported and safe – a place they can call “home.”