The Neighborhood Network of New York (NNNY) is set to develop an innovative, community based service network for adults with autism, thanks to a grant from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). The program will provide individualized services to clients, including remote support technology and community activities.
NNNY will launch a prototype of the program to serve Medicaid beneficiaries in Westchester County. In time, the organization will develop protocols to launch similar networks throughout the state.
The NNNY program is intended to provide greater independence and empowerment for adults with autism through supports within the community, including remote support in private apartments. The program will be more affordable than traditional models, while also providing services which are appropriate to the individual’s needs and more fully integrated into the larger community.
With a record 1 in 68 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as of 2010, services like these will be essential in serving an unprecedented number of children with autism reaching adulthood. This transition often represents a challenge for people with autism and their families, as they leave the support of parents and the school system and struggle to identify appropriate supports within the adult service system. Traditional full service options, like group homes and day services, are expensive, and for many individuals with autism who do not need such a high level of staffing, unnecessarily restrictive. These traditional, segregated models may represent a stark contrast to the integration into the school community that the individual with autism previously experienced in school, where they were mandated by law to be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment, together with students without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate.
The NNNY program will take a three-pronged approach. Individualized Living Services for All Levels of Need allows clients to live alone or with a roommate in apartment complexes where both clients and non-clients reside. Clients who need more support may live with a professional family. All NNNY homes will include Proprietary Remote Support Technology that can be used to monitor residents’ safety and provide real-time coaching. Finally, the Communiversity will provide lifelong learning, teaching job skills and life skills along with community and recreational activities.
Learn more about our services by visiting www.specialneedsnewyork.com.
Was this article of interest to you? If so, please LIKE our Facebook Page by clicking here.