Sam was born in 1957, before early diagnosis and treatment of autism were widely available. When he became an adult he needed placement and the only choice was the state mental institution. So my parents and other parents of young adults with autism founded CSAAC to provide a less restrictive environment for adults with autism. Sam moved into the first group home and enrolled in the first supported employment program.
It took quite a bit of convincing to get Sam to try living at his CSAAC apartment; but he quickly became immersed in the community. He learned how to carry himself as an adult and even developed social graces. The staff at CSAAC engaged his quick wit and sense of humor and his personality began to shine dispite his severe lack of focus and intense phobias. As unlikely as it may seem, Sam became a social butterfly.
CSAAC would be a wonderful charity if the story stopped here with the wonderul care and training my brother received. but it doesn't. When Sam became ill and had to stay in the hospital or nursing home he was traumatized. Even though he was considered too weak to walk; he repeatedly removed his IV tubes and walked the halls soliciting strangers to take him back to his group home. In order to ease his distress staff members from his group home took shifts to provide 24 hour care at his bedside. None of the governmental funders provide for this service. Our family was very limited in what we could do because my mother was also critically ill. Sam's CSAAC family made his last months the best they could be.
Today CSAAC provides education and support for people with autism from diagnosis through retirement. Many with autism attain far greater independence than Sam did. Never the less, one of the greatest concerns for parents of developmentally disabled children remains, "Who will provide care and support for my child when I can no longer do it myself?" CSAAC is the organization that I trust to provide the right answer.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I witnessed the progress my brother made as a consumer of CSAAC services
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Enlarge their medical staff. Treating patients with autism requires knoledge and experienc with autism as well as mastery of medical training.