Programs at Touchdown Communities are based upon the work of some of the most forward thinkers in the field of autism, human development, and neuro-science. Below are just some of the current research based programs TDC is basing our own programming on:
- Relationship Development Intervention®: RDI is often called the “missing link” in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders. It is a research based and ever evolving developmental program that teaches parents and other important adults how to guide their child to desire and succeed in their environment. Go to more www.rdiconnect.com for more information
- Mindsight Institute and Dr. Dan Siegel – http://drdansiegel.com/ – “Our mission here at the Mindsight Institute is to provide a scientifically grounded, integrated view of human development for mental health practitioners, educators, organizational leaders, parents, and others to promote the growth of vibrant lives and healthy minds.”
- Collaborative Problem Solving Model and Dr. Ross Greene: http://www.livesinthebalance.org/
What does “Quality of Life” mean to you?
The statistics for adults with autism are not encouraging:
- 90% of adults are unemployed
- 70% are unable to live independently
- teens and adults on the autism spectrum are particularly vulnerable to anxiety and depression as well as social isolation (Tantam & Prestwood, 1999)
Overall, the quality of life that this population is experiencing is very low. These statistics are not acceptable to us and our mission at TDC is clear. We know that time is of the essence and we pose this question to you “As a society, how can we sit by and allow the most vulnerable of our population live in these circumstances?”
As the parent or family member of an adult with autism, your worries about your loved one’s quality of life most likely keep you awake at night. The uncertainty of future living situations, employment, recreation, and overall independence weighs heavily on every family touched by autism.
- What does the future hold for your loved one?
- How ready are you to think about your loved one’s future quality of life?
- Do you have hopes and dreams for your loved one? Are they reachable?
- What are your loved one’s possibilities?
Our programming at TDC strives to provide a quality of life that are contrary to the current statistics. Our residents will have abundant opportunities for adults on the spectrum to have meaningful and longterm employment, semi-independent living possibilities, and social opportunities that connect your loved one to his / her peers and social groups to combat feelings of isolation and depression.
Our Commitment to Lifelong Growth:
Touchdown Communities is centered around the belief that neural growth is possible and should happen throughout the lifespan. We believe that amazing things can happen when we work on social – emotional and cognitive milestones in a sequential, meaningful manner. With that in mind, we use the most up to date, research based programs that offer the best opportunities for this growth to happen in the most natural and supportive way possible. The combination of these programs have culminated in our Guiding Program where each resident is assigned his / her own Personal Guide.
Our Guiding Program & Personal Guides:
Personal Guides are highly trained professionals who appreciate the need to guide our residents’ overall social and cognitive development in safe, enjoyable, and slightly challenging ways. The role of the Personal Guides at TDC is to foster a relationship of trust and healthy dependence while at the same time striving to meet specific, individualized goals that will lead to an improved quality of life for the individual. This is a critical relationship and is the cornerstone of each resident’s program at TDC.
With the help of our Program Director, our Personal Guides meet their residents where they are in their ability to engage with others, think critically, problem solve, and to function in our ever-changing world. Once this relationship is established, our PG’s slowly then begin to identify personal goals for their resident and they begin to see where the individual has opportunities to stretch and grow beyond their current comfort zone and skills. Below is a list of just some of the areas that our Personal Guides work on with their assigned resident:
- Set personal goals for work, employment, leisure time, and relationships
- Communication including non-verbal communication
- Initiating and sustaining balanced engagements
- Identify strengths as well as obstacles
- Daily schedule management
Similar & Inspiring Programs:
Other adult, therapeutic, and educational programs that have inspired TDC as we form our programs are:
- Arthur & Friends @ Greenway Flowers located in Hackettstown, NJ http://www.arthurandfriends.org/active-programs
- Sweetwater Spectrum located in Sonoma, California http://www.sweetwaterspectrum.org/home0.aspx
- The Nonpareil Institute located in Plano, TX http://www.npitx.org/index.htm
- Els Center for Excellence located in Palm Beach Gardens, FL http://www.ernieels.com/els_for_autism/index.html