MARLBOROUGH – Crossroads Continuum, which serves to enrich the lives of people with autism and related conditions, will expand its offerings as it opens its adult center in the spring of 2023. Called the Commons Program, the center will help adults aged 22 and up to maximize their independence and receive career training.
Chief Program Officer Sarah Palin has led the organization’s efforts to develop the Commons Program.
“The biggest challenge was finding the right space. We are lucky to have been able to locate space directly across the street from our main facility,” said Palin.
The focus of the Commons Program will be providing clients with meaningful community integration, including vocational job opportunities.
“Our clients age out of school at 22. Finding a program that can meet all their needs is difficult, sometimes impossible,” said Palin. “Our program is designed to meet each individual’s needs and increase independence.”
The adult Commons Program will follow the Community-Based Day Support model, which integrates education in conjunction with community-based activities.
“We look at what each individual enjoys and what they are good at, and we match them to places where they will thrive,” said Palin. “We are actively creating partnerships with community organizations like the YMCA and local state parks. The Commons Program will enhance adults’ opportunities for an enriched life.”
Palin expects the adult facility to open in February, with a ribbon cutting in April.
Crossroads Continuum has been serving individuals with autism since 2002. It offers a wide range of services to its clients, from infancy through adulthood. Their day school provides amenities like a fully furnished barber shop, where students can learn to tolerate the sounds and sensations of a hair salon, and a doctor’s office to familiarize the students with the experience of a medical visit. A mock studio apartment provides students the opportunity to learn household tasks, and a rec room is outfitted with video games.
“Parents ask us for help with these areas of daily life. A student may need extra time to prepare for the sensations of these environments. They have the opportunity to undergo simulation and learn tolerance with us,” said Palin.
It’s an exciting time for Palin and her team.
“We’ve been meeting our mission of supporting the needs of students up to age 22, and soon we will have adults covered too,“ said Palin.
Learn more about Crossroads Continuum and its program expansion efforts at crossroadscontinuum.org.
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