Submitted by The Edinburg Center:
The Edinburg Center in Bedford announced that it has received a grant of $10,000 from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism to help fund its Community Social Integration Program for young adults with autism. This new Edinburg Center initiative will provide group activities and outings for adults with autism, ages 22 to 30, to help them build social skills and create connections.
This new initiative is part of The Edinburg Centers Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) program that was launched in 2016. The program’s primary goal is to help young adults with autism increase their independence and become active participants within their family, home, and community.
“There is a critical need for social and recreational programming for young adults aged 22+ with a primary diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder,” said Carol Gillis, Senior Director of Applied Behavior Analysis Services at The Edinburg Center. “At age 22, children receiving special education services age out of the state funded programs and must transition to adult services. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of socialization programs in place in Massachusetts for people aged 22+ with autism.”
The Community Social Integration program will enable young adults with autism the opportunity to interact with their peers which will enhance their communication abilities and boost self-esteem and confidence. Outings, such as bowling, mini golf, and apple picking, will be available in addition to cooking classes, lunch out at a restaurant, shopping at the mall, and seasonal holiday parties.
“This very timely award from [the] Flutie Foundation will offer our young adults with ASD access to essential community social integration services such as building social skills and creating meaningful connections. We are very thankful for this opportunity,” said Edinburg Center President and CEO Patti Maguire.
“The Flutie Foundation Autism Community Impact Grant helps our partner agencies address a variety of significant needs in the autism community,” said Nick Savarese, Executive Director of The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. “Programs like these are helping people on the autism spectrum live life to the fullest and we are proud to support their efforts.”
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, based in Framingham, awards grants annually through a competitive application and review process. The Autism Community Impact Grant that the Flutie Foundation distributed this year supports traditionally under-served, under-funded, culturally diverse communities reflected in the Foundation’s areas of interest; providing a path for educational and vocational skills, supporting recreational and active lifestyles, and ensuring people with autism are safe, supported, and informed.
Established in 1977 and based in Bedford, the Edinburg Center serves thousands of children and adults with mental health challenges, intellectual and developmental disabilities, plus autism and brain disorders. Learn more at www.edinburgcenter.org.