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North Texas Planned Supported Living Community for Adults with Autism In the Works

JackalopeNote:  Housing for adults with autism is as rare as a Texas Jackalope. Yet, this is the future for many of us: "Where will my adult children with autism be living?" We can't expect them to live with us forever. For starters, our children will probably feel like any adult, despite their autism, it's TIME TO LEAVE THE NEST. And we're gonna die. D. I.  E.  If our kids have never known anything but us and our homes, how the hell will they suddenly survive at 40 or 50 years of age thrown into a life with strangers? It's almost too much to think about. But it's reality. We need for our kids to live without us while we are still able to help them. And here's a dirty secret - WE WANT SOME PEACE! I'm tired, how about you? The best part of my divorce? I have 4 entire full nights of sleep a month. From Friday to Sunday I am just Kim Rossi. Not Mom. It's amazing. I crave this precious time. I'd like more but... well, that's for another book one day.  Oh! and today would have been my 27h wedding anniversary   Time flies! LOL! Congrats to the folks from 29 Acres.  Let's cheer for them and see if we can follow their lead.

From Dallas:

A groundbreaking ceremony Saturday marked the biggest milestone to date for 29 Acres, a planned supportive living community for adults 18 and older who have autism.

Located at 3000 Moseley Road in Cross Roads, west of Prosper, the Denton County development has been in the planning stages for about three years. Its first phase is expected to cost about $6 million.

The aim is to help adults with autism live independently and form a community, in contrast to many adults with autism who today live at home.

As North Texas autism community becomes a reality, the program seeks its first trainees

"The need in North Texas is just gigantic," said Debra Caudy, president and co-founder of the nonprofit 29 Acres and the parent of a future resident. "I've had calls from dozens, not only from families but [also] individuals with autism. I really get calls every day."

Autism is a group of developmental disorders that can fall on a wide-ranging spectrum. Some people with autism have only mild symptoms; others are severely disabled. Individuals often have difficulty communicating and some exhibit repetitive behaviors.  Read more here.


Grace Green

The hope is that an initiative like this will set an example of how it can be done, if it works well. That's why we have to give our full support to any attempts such as these, as it takes an enormous effort to get these projects off the ground.

Anne McElroy Dachel

Mark, you said it perfectly. This has to be addressed on a nationwide scale. The need is 'GIGANTIC' so providing for a handful of people in the face of massive numbers is only a token response. The 29 Acres spokesperson cites an autism rate of one in 45. How can it be that there is practically nothing available for such a significant population?

Mark Wax

I know Debra and understand the objectives. Wonderful people with big hearts and real savvy. That notwithstanding, the larger problem mus be attacked simultaneously. The effort cannot be limited to the "high functioning" or "intentional communities" for those who can pay. The problem for those families with incompetent or low functioning loved ones, starts at CMS and Medicaid funding mechanisms. This is a national problem and will require a national solution. We need support in the Congress to force rule changes at agencies. The political optics of "community based" services versus "dark institutions" is a meme which is causing great harm and unintended consequences. Whether is be benign neglect or simple lack of compassion, the harm continues to mount. The unpaid labor of aging loving parents or 4 person poorly planned and administered "group homes", has gone under the radar and banner of "lower taxes." I could easily take the existing budgets and raise the matching funds locally to offer a better solution in my area. The problem is that I have no political clout to do so at the Federal level. The person is office is always about power and control to benefit themselves. Not the small constituency of autism. I wish 29 acres the best of success. But, it will be far too few "starfish" that get saved.

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