Monday, July 09, 2007

Association for Residential Programs for Autistic Adults Recognized

The Autism Society of America, which is holding its annual national conference in Phoenix this week, announced a list of honorees for its awards "evening of champions" to be held July 12. Among those scheduled to be honored is the National Association of Residential Providers for Adults with Autism (NARPA), a group founded in 2002 "to assure the availability of residential services and other supports for adults with autism throughout their lives."

The Autism Society's selection is interesting because of its timing. The media coverage and much scientific research are focusing on the very young, and it's easy to understand why: the rising caseload and unexpected prevalence of autism spectrum disorder diagnoses is prompting a lot of attention and many questions. But the focus on young children and their development shouldn't cast a total eclipse over the need for ongoing supports for these children when they grow up -- and for those already grown.

In a statement on NARPA's website, the group lays out five strategic goals for adult residential programs which demonstrate the broad range of serious issues that need addressing. These goals include:

1. Quality assurance and improvement: "Establishing health and welfare safeguards that balance personal security with individual freedom and choice," along with systematic assessments of service provider performance and quality improvement.

2. Building a community infrastructure that provides not only individual case managers, but also allows for the development of new options for individuals and their families.

3. Building capabilities, service delivery models and service provider capacity, to handle a very complex population, including people who have autism and another disability, and extend to those who have committed crimes or dangerous acts.

4. Developing a skilled workforce to support these residential facilities. This includes providing training, better benefits and other efforts to fight high turnover rates and staff vacancies.

5. Developing "responsive financial systems and strategies" to pay for these services.

It will be interesting to check on the NARPAA's progress in the future as they work on this list of goals that represents a collection of serious concerns.

In addition to NARPAA, the Autism Society is honoring Temple Grandin, author and animal expert, advocates Denise Resnik and Jim Adams of Phoenix, the University of California at Davis M.I.N.D. Institute, the Autism Research Institute founded by the late Bernard Rimland, and the National Assistive Technology Technical Assistance Partnership, a network for teachers and trainers of autism teachers.

Read the full news release related to the Autism Society's conference this week by clicking here.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to NARPAA and all of the other award recipients. Thanks to them for their hard work.

Unknown said...

I tried to go to the NARPAA website and I got the following error message: Directory Listing Denied
This Virtual Directory does not allow contents to be listed.

Is there a phone number for them? I really need to get in contact with them.