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Sherwood Center For The Exceptional Child

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Special Education

Mission: Sherwood autism center's mission is to empower children and adults with autism and related developmental disabilities to maximize their potential in family and community life. While autism remains an important area of expertise and focus, the agency serves children and adults of all ages with a wide range of needs and disabilities.

Programs: The special education program is a comprehensive full-day program that operates 225 days a year, including a nine-week extended term during the summer. Special education offers a variety of instruction, therapies and activities that are available in group and 1:1 settings, on and off site. Classrooms follow routines that are based on goals and objectives identified in each student's individual education plan (iep). Transition services are also an integral part of the special education component, which assists students and their families to prepare for new environments and ultimately passage into adult life. Special education students engage in a varied and integrated array of activities: (1) language and communication training includes teaching imitative speech, pecs, ipad apps, and complex communication systems. (2) functional academics allow students to focus on skills they need in order to be independent outside of the school environment. (3) activities of daily living skills including: personal hygiene, laundry, cooking and cleaning skills. (4) community inclusion is a vital activity of special education. Students are able to go out into the community weekly and encouraged to take skills learned in the classroom and adapt them to other environments, such as shopping, restaurants, movies, parks and nature trails, local exhibits or other endeavors. Repeated exposure helps students learn appropriate social skills needed to participate in the community. (5) vocational training is centered on strengthening the skills needed in a competitive, supported or sheltered employment. Skills frequently focused on are packaging, collating, assembling, and sorting. Volunteer opportunities are offered on and off site. (6) interaction with peer models and volunteers provide students with the opportunity to form friendships on their own that they might be able to access in the community in the future. (7) music is offered weekly to students, who are encouraged to participate through singing, dancing or playing an instrument. (8) adapted physical education, speech and occupational therapies are offered on site. Each service is structured to fit the individual needs of each student. Therapists also teach classroom staff how to implement goals throughout the day consistently. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year our special education program served 94 students and provided over 80,000 hours of service. We support students from age five to age 21 providing 6 hours of service, 225 days a year.

sherwood autism center's adult day services program is a developmental habilitative training program and part of the medicaid waiver home and community based program certified under 9 csr 45-5. 010 and funded through the department of mental health. Outcomes for the program are taken from the missouri quality outcomes and goals for those outcomes are developed in coordination with the individual support plan. Services are provided both on and off site in small group settings (1:3 or 1:4 staff to individual ratio). On site outcomes are designed to increase a person's independent functioning, physical health and development, language and communications development, cognitive training, socialization, domestic and economic management, activities of daily living, behavior support, responsibility and self-direction. Off site outcomes include opportunities for repeated exposure to community life, development of independence or interdependence in areas relating to community inclusion and the reduction of specialized supports due to increased independence or linkage to a system of natural supports in the community. Participants also have the opportunity to volunteer at other nonprofits, allowing them to become participating members of the community. On site activities: (1) cognitive activities are available on a daily basis. Computer and ipad access in addition to non-electronic games, puzzles, and other activities that stimulate brain activity are readily available. (2) recreation is offered both indoors and outdoors. Participants are able to access walking pathways and the gymnasium for more organized types of recreation or group activities. There is also an exercise room with treadmills, stationary bikes and other equipment. (3) leisure activities, such as television, movies, books, and magazines are available in a designated room and may be accessed per individual requests or as part of group activities. (4) music therapy is provided once a week in a group with a licensed music therapist. On an individual basis, the participants have access to stereos, headsets and musical instruments daily. (5) art therapy is taught by a psychologist and professional artist to allow adults to socialize, express their feelings and ultimately stay healthier. (6) activities of daily living include laundry and kitchen facilities that are available for instructional and functional use. (7) volunteer opportunities, such as assistance with mailers and projects for other organizations are available and made accessible. (8) an on site garden allows participants to help with the planning, planting and cultivating of fresh produce, including salad vegetables and melons that are used with meals. Off site activities: (1) recreation and leisure activities, such as nature trails, movies, bowling, local exhibits, museums, dining out and shopping. (2) volunteer opportunities such as repackaging product at harvester's voc or sorting clothes at goodwill. Staff accompanies program participants into the community, and assists in the acquisition of new skills to help them generalize skills previously learned on site to different environments. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year our adult program served 34 individuals, providing over 42,000 hours of service over 255 days. Our adults range in age from 21 to 55. Participants can stay as long as the program remains appropriate. Some of our adult participants have been with us for over 40 years.

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