Appropriate ‘Forever Homes’ for Adults with Autism Are Possible, Yet Uncommon

November 22, 2021

One Adult Celebrates 10 Incredible Years at His Residential Placement 

Nate Goehner is an adult living with autism. He arrived at The Center for Discovery, located in New York’s Hudson Valley, when he was just 17 years old. Now 27, Nate has lived and thrived on the center’s 1500 acres for a decade. The Center for Discovery provides medical, clinical and special education services for Nate and the Center’s other residents who also have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Funding for their placement is supplemented by the resident’s Social Security and Medicaid benefits. Nate shares a three-story house with five young men his age. Each has their own bedroom and bathroom. The six roommates share a kitchen, common room and fitness room. At home, Nate is responsible for doing his own laundry, cleaning his room and assisting with household chores. The Center is located on a sprawling farm. Nate spends close to six hours a day doing farm work. He feeds animals, bales hay, waters crops, harvests vegetables, and assists in other farm-related tasks. Nate also enjoys recreational and therapeutic activities at the Center. These activities include horseback riding, swimming, hiking, canoeing, yoga, karaoke and ballroom dancing. Additionally, He has opportunities to take classes at the community college. Nate was originally enrolled in the Center’s pediatric program which ends at age 21. He was able to seamlessly transition into an open spot in the adult residence program. His spot in the adult program means Nate can remain at The Center for Discovery for life, which is a great relief for his family. Residential centers like this are desperately needed. The Center for Discovery provides an incredible model of how to keep their residents happy, safe, and engaged. Hundreds of these centers are needed across the country as the explosion in the rate of children with autism ages out of pediatric services and become individuals in need of adult services. 

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