A cornerstone of YAP's philosophy includes believing that everyone has strengths, capacities and the ability to contribute and thrive within their community. Our work with adults on the autism spectrum and with developmental disabilities extends this premise to a significant group of people who have historically often been institutionalized and limited more by the negative perceptions of the community than their own abilities. Through our Adult Autism and OBRA Medicaid funded services, we work with individuals 18 and older who have an Autism diagnosis and live independently or at home with family.
Jim Sinclair, autism rights activist, said "Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person."
As such, YAP embraces the uniqueness of every individual by working in partnership with the individual and other caring individuals and organizations to identify the specific skills and domains of functioning that will be addressed in the service plan. These may include activities of daily living, budgeting, housekeeping, venues for recreation and socialization with peers, age appropriate community resources to address sexuality issues, housing, employment, post-secondary education and volunteering. Staff can provide a range of hours from 10 to 60 a week.
YAP's ultimate goal is to foster self-determination; to support individuals in developing age-appropriate relationships, having a full range of daily activities, and expecting to have a working lifestyle; and, most importantly, in maintaining a sense of security, dignity and belonging. YAP believes that Adults on the Autism Spectrum and with other developmental differences can thrive and realize their full potential when supported to access and participate meaningfully in all aspects of typical community life.
In Pennsylvania, YAP is currently providing a number of different services, such as Respite, Behavior Support and Community Inclusion/Integration in a number of counties, including Adams, Berks, Crawford, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Northampton counties. For more information contact Jessica Carlton Humenick at firstname.lastname@example.org.