CSAAC oversees 68 homes in Montgomery County, MD, providing community living to children and adults with autism. Homes are staffed around the clock by counselors who teach independent living skills such as housekeeping, personal hygiene, shopping, money management, communication, telephone use, and leisure activities. Staff have specialized training in order to provide residential supports to individuals with autism.  CSAAC staff are able to meet the unique learning and behavioral needs of individuals with autism in the home setting.

Each child and adult who is served in the CSAAC residential program has an individually designed program plan which specifies outcomes and goals for the coming year. This individual plan is based on the individual’s interests and needs, and focuses on ambitions and goals related to community living. This plan is designed with input from the individual, family, staff, advocates and a team of professionals specializing in autism. Necessary supports, including recreation services, psychological services, applied behavior analysis, instructional programming, dietitian’s services and nursing supports are included in the individual plan as needed. Professionals involved provide training and supervision to staff in the residential environment to equip staff the resources necessary to assist residents in meeting their goals.

The CSAAC homes themselves are designed to meet the unique needs and preferences of individuals with autism. Depending on the needs of the individual, homes may have adjustments in furnishings, colors, and noise abatement to insure individual comfort. The type of home, the layout of home, and the location of home are all chosen to maximize adjustment and success of the resident with autism.  The amount of structure and supervision provided in the home varies, and depends on the unique strengths, needs and challenges presented by the individual’s autism. Typically, two or three individuals live in each home, which are appropriately staffed according to individual needs.

A primary goal of residential supports is to assist the resident with autism in having an enriched life. Depending on the interests and goals of the individual, a variety of opportunities are offered and supported. Shopping, classes at the local community college, dining out, sporting events, involvement in recreational sports, movies, concerts, dinner parties, dances, holiday celebrations, vacations, hobbies and evening bingo, dance and aerobics classes are among the offerings. Individuals are also supported to participate in the religious affiliation of their choice.

To learn more about CSAAC’s Residential Support services, contact Sam Asiamah, Director for Residential Supports at (240) 912-2233.