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Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP) Stories of Success

Gaining Independence

When one mother enrolled her adult son in ACAP, she was still his legal guardian and was concerned about his ability to live independently.

Shortly after joining ACAP, he was able to move into his own home with the support of ACAP’s community support professionals and the oversight of a behavioral health specialist. This gentleman has difficulties with social skills and changes in routine, and initially he would access ACAP’s crisis service to ensure his safety as he worked to gain his independence.

Once he settled into a routine, however, he accomplished several milestones, including gaining competitive employment. He was recommended for a supervisor position, which he accepted. He has also moved in with his girlfriend, and they are now married. Taking on the role of father to his wife’s young daughter, he is working to create a stable family home. Now he has reached the point in his life where he has asked for ACAP’s support in taking steps to become his own legal guardian.

Joining the Community

Before joining ACAP, one gentleman spent over twenty years in a day habilitation program, and the only people who took him into the community were his mother and his aunt. Now that he is enrolled in ACAP, community support professionals and behavioral health specialists support him in the community. He has visited the library and volunteers at Mission Central. He and his family have come to trust the ACAP staff.

He has exceptionally strong mathematical skills, and once he becomes comfortable with new people, new settings and a new routine, he aims to find competitive employment.

Achieving Success in School

One of the gentlemen who receive services from ACAP is a student at a local technical college. At his request, we are focusing on strengthening his organizational skills, improving his time management skills, and encouraging him to socialize in his community. He recently created a daily schedule, Monday through Friday, hour by hour. Previously, he had missed meals because he forgot about them, but he is now using a time management tool where he records his assignments, phone calls and meal times. He started turning in his class assignments by the assigned due date, and he made the Dean’s list. He is also in the process of preparing several pieces of art for an art exhibit. Moreover, he attended a movie night on campus, a way for him to socialize with his college community.

Making New Friends

When one woman enrolled in ACAP, she was not involved in any community activities. She set a goal to become involved in at least three community activities. After sixty days in the program, she was regularly attending a writing class, a memoir writing class and a photography class, and she had registered for an art class. She was also volunteering for the Humane League.

After having such success with her first goal, she decided to challenge herself to interact with two new people each week. While attending her memoir writing class, she read one of her memoirs out loud, and the group was very impressed with her writing style, as well as her courage to read her personal thoughts out loud. At the next class, one of the members approached her and said that the woman’s memoirs had inspired her to rewrite her own memoirs in a similar style. The woman began talking to the other member, and they soon realized that they also attend a writing class together at the library. They began sitting next to each other in class, and the woman is very excited to have a friend to share ideas with.

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