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AIM Academy Presents Adult Autism Living Weekend for Investors, Stakeholders

AustinManaging Editor's Note: We realize our readers will not be able to attend this event as a rule. However, as our kids age and we start planning for their futures, I can promise you that the Austin Texas model below should be required reading for all.  Thank you to our Contributing Editor Dan Burns, himself father to an adult son with autism, for his tireless work in the brave new frontier - aptly leading the way in Texas.

Overview and purpose

Appleseed Ventures and AIM Academy are hosting a get-together in Bastrop, near Austin Texas, on the weekend of Sept. 20-22 for autism families, real estate developers, and financiers, and autism advocates. The purpose is to cultivate a network of resources for parents who seek to create living, working, playing, and healing communities for their adult children on the ASD (autism) spectrum, and to exchange ideas for a pilot community of ASD adults that is self-originating and self-sustaining.

Agenda and Program

The get-together will run from 5:00 PM Friday, September 20 through until 12:00 noon Sunday, September 22. We’ll gather Friday at 5:00 PM around the pool at Quality Inn in Bastrop, caravan to the historic district, take a walking tour of this Victorian frontier city, and reconnoiter for hand-crafted ale at the Bastrop Brewhouse. Dinner is at the Brewhouse Restaurant, at Anita’s, or at your choice of one of the dozen top-ranked restaurants in old downtown Bastrop.

Saturday morning at 8:00 we’ll convoy to McKinney Roughs Nature Preserve for a hike through Lost Pine trails famous for scenic views of the Colorado River.

At 10:00 on Saturday we’ll settle in for the centerpiece of the weekend: our Bridge to the Future Roundtable hosted by AIM Academy and Appleseed Ventures. This is an open, audience-participation event. If you can’t come to anything else, come to this! Our featured guest presenters, Diane Belnavis (Juniper Hill Farms) and Cathy Boyle (Autism Housing Pathways), whose work has been featured in Age of Autism, are journeying from Pennsylvania and Boston to share their experiences/successes in housing and employment for our adult children. Diane, Cathy, and other presenters will help develop templates for creating similar success stories in Texas and beyond.

After lunch on Saturday we’ll open our Think Tank: opportunities for discussion and networking in comfortable air-conditioned surroundings at the Special Events Science Center McKinney Roughs Nature Preserve. Bring your ideas and questions for transition, housing, and jobs! Bastrop 3

At 3:00 PM we'll have tubing outfitted courtesy of the Bastrop River Company. Bring swimsuits.  Tubes and lifejackets provided free.

Join us at 6:00 PM for Saturday night dinner at the Bastrop Brewhouse Restaurant, overlooking a scenic bend in the Colorado River and featuring live music and local cuisine. Bring your own instrument or purchase an inexpensive kazoo from LarryLand Music next door and join “Pickin’ on the Porch” (anybody can play) at the Brewhouse for a good time.

Sunday? An optional tour of possible properties in Travis, Bastrop, and Lee counties for establishing a safe, supportive community for our adult children with autism.

Accommodations and Food

You’re invited to relax, enjoy, talk, and take advantage of the special room rates ($89/night) at Quality Inn in Bastrop, whose owner has a son with autism. Free Deluxe Continental Breakfast will be provided by the hotel. Friday and Saturday night restaurant meals, including the meal at Bastrop Brewhouse Restaurant, are Dutch treat. Noon meals and snacks out of our Appleseed Icebox are free. We’ll provide oven-baked turkey or ham, choice of spread (including almond butter), folate-rich kale or spinach and mushrooms, GF/CF bread or non-grain wrap, healthy raw veggies, and flavorful La Croix sugar-free, aspartame-free sparkling water.

Please register at appleseedventures.eventbrite.com. This is not a fundraiser, but there is a $20 registration fee to offset costs. If that’s a budget buster, everybody in your family can ride on one ticket; just email me and let me know how many you’re bringing so we can count heads. Admission to McKinney Roughs is free for registered guests. Hotel reservations at Quality Inn in Bastrop are up to you. Call Ken or Sandra at 512-321-3303 -- SOON -- because the football game crowd is coming to town).

This is the party I have wanted to give since high school. It would be great if you could join us at any point in the agenda at this Bastrop get-together, think tank and transition-themed retreat. The 10:00 AM Saturday Roundtable at McKinney Roughs is the centerpiece. See our Facebook page, AIM Academy Get-Together, for a visual overview of this unique venue and event.

This is an autism family-friendly event. Bring the kids!

Contact information: QUALITY INN, 106 Hasler Blvd, Bastrop, TX, US, 78602 Phone: (512) 321-3303, Fax: (512) 321-3003. Talk to Ken or Sandra. Ask for autism rates, reservations by Dan Burns, Appleseed Ventures. MCKINNEY ROUGHS NATURE PRESERVE, 1884 State Hwy 71 West, Cedar Creek, TX 78612, (512) 303-5073. Ask for Stephanie. BASTROP BREWHOUSE RESTAURANT, 601 Chestnut Street, Bastrop, Texas 78602.

AIM/Appleseed Ventures Bastrop Schedule

Friday 07/21       
5:00        Gather at Quality Inn, Bastrop    Quality Inn, 106 Hasler, Bastrop. Register, unload, meet at pool, and caravan to Old Historic Downtown Bastrop

6:00        Walking tour of Bastrop    Old Historic Downtown Bastrop

7:00        Reconnoiter at Bastrop Brewhouse. Dinner at Brewhouse Restaurant, Anita's, or your choice.    Bastrop Brewhouse, 601 Chestnut Street

Saturday 07/22       

8:00       Hike McKinney Roughs    McKinney Roughs, 1884 Hiway 71 West

10:00    Bridge to the Future Roundtable. Audience participation. Presenters include Cathy Boyle, Diane Belnavis, and others.     McKinney Roughs Learning Center

12:00    Icebox Lunch. GF/CF.    McKinney Roughs patio

1:00        Think Tank. Open Discussion.    McKinney Roughs Learning Center

3:00        Tubing    Bastrop River Company

6:00        Pickin' on the Porch    Bastrop Brewhouse

Sunday 07/23       

9:00        Tour Austin-area properties    Travis, Bastrop, & Lee counties

12:00    Adjourn    Next stop, the future.

Dan E. Burns, Ph.D., is the father of a 25-year-old son on the autism spectrum and the author of Saving Ben: A Father’s Story of Autism. Through his new dba, Appleseed Ventures, Dan empowers parents to organize communities where their adult ASD children and friends can live, work, play, and heal.


Dan E. Burns

Josie, I like drug free. Ben's mom and I prefer nutrients to drugs. This is one of the ideas we'll discuss at the Roundtable.

josie muller

as long as is a drug-free environment...it could be paradise...

Dan E. Burns

Cia, we're not waiting on the state of Texas. Here's a sample of some of the ideas Diane Belnavis brings to the table. "Buy an abandoned house on a cul-de-sac and rehab it yourself. Rent bedrooms to your ASD kids and their friends, who pay out of their SSI/SSDI and housing choice (Section 8) vouchers. Your renters and their parents hire their own support staff as needed. Your job includes providing vocational opportunities and extra income through home-based microenterprises, horticulture, or job carving."

For more ideas, come to the Roundtable or visit http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/04/what-happens-when-youre-gone-aging-out-asd-adults-their-parents-need-solutions-for-the-future.html

cia parker

Would the residence be paid for by the state, for Texas residents? I have a cousin in Austin, this might be feasible five or ten years from now.

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