The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) launches the nation’s first-of-its-kind comprehensive treatment program for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The CARD Adult Services program uses intensive, scientifically-proven applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy to place adults with ASD on the fast track to being functional in their daily lives, integrated into the community, and living their lives to their fullest potential.
Unlike any other program in the United States for adults with ASD, CARD Adult Services focuses on individualized treatment with the mission of minimizing challenging behaviors and maximizing skill acquisition to improve social skills, social language, basic language concepts, functional academics, adaptive skills, functional communication, executive function, and vocational skills. These skills are taught at home and at CARD centers and can also be provided in vocational settings.
“When people speak of individuals with autism, they tend to be referring to children because, statistically, 1 in every 88 children in America is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder,” says Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, CARD founder and CEO. “But the reality is that many adults with autism need therapy and daily support.”
Twenty-three-year-old Russell Rollens has received therapy since he was 22 months old. His biggest challenges include a lack of expressive skills and spontaneous language, behavioral issues, co-morbid medical issues, and a sleep disorder. He began using CARD Adult Services at the age of 18 to improve his behavioral and functional skills, and he is making measurable progress. In the past few months, he has been participating in a part-time day program where he works with horses. “My family and I are greatly indebted to CARD for making my beloved son’s life as good as it can be,” says Russell’s father Rick Rollens.
According to research, Russell is 1 of an estimated 1.5 million Americans living with ASD, making it one of the fastest-growing developmental disabilities in America. According to a 2012 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012, the unemployment rate for individuals with a disability is 13.4 percent. CARD is working to decrease the number of unemployed adults with ASD by providing targeted therapy that increases their vocational skills, enabling them to join the workforce and maintain employment.
For more information about the CARD Adult Services program, visit their Programs page.