Adults with Special Needs Services

Living life to the fullest.

FAQs

What opportunities are available upon high school graduation for a young adult receiving special education services?

What is a group home for person(s) with intellectual/developmental disabilities?

What level of independence will my loved one experience at Lifesteps’ Community Home?

What are “Direct Care Professionals?”

My adult child has a developmental disability and has become increasingly more difficult to care for; however, he/she does not have funding for placement in a “Community Home.” What can I do?

What should I look for in seeking care for my loved one with an intellectual/developmental disability?

Why are environmental assessments for individuals with Autism so important?

Q: What opportunities are available upon high school graduation for a young adult receiving special education services?

A: There are many services available to individuals with special needs upon graduation. Services like competitive or supported employment (paid work in the community with varying levels of support); sheltered workshops; or adult training facilities are just a few opportunities for graduating students.

The key to finding the right service is based on the individual’s desires and abilities. Consider activities in which your family member likes to participate. Does he/she enjoy community outings, or a classroom setting, or both? Ask his or her teacher for input regarding their needs, accommodations, and skill levels.

Schedule visits to several day programs or other services in your area.
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Q: What is a group home for person(s) with intellectual/developmental disabilities?

A: Group homes for person(s) with intellectual/developmental disabilities are licensed community residential facilities that provide a home-like environment for one to five individuals who require specialized living arrangements.

Now known as community homes, they are typically situated in a residential area and maintain necessary staff, programs, support services, and equipment to meet the individual(s) needs.
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Q: What level of independence will my loved one experience at Lifesteps’ Community Home?

A: Lifesteps’ Residential Living program assists individuals in becoming more self-sufficient in daily living activities. A dedicated team of Direct Care Professionals will work with each individual to help them develop daily living, socialization, and leisure skills through community relationships.

Over time, individuals learn the necessary skills to enable them to function in a less-restrictive environment and increase their independence in their home or residential facility.
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Q: What are "Direct Care Professionals?"

A: Lifesteps’ Direct Care Professionals are made up of a dedicated team of Residential Companions, Residential Aides, Nurses, and Program Specialists, who work with each individual to help them develop self-sufficiency. These professionals take pride in caring for and working closely with individuals to help them meet their fullest potential.
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Q: My adult child has a developmental disability and has become increasingly more difficult to care for; however, he/she does not have funding for placement in a “Community Home.” What can I do?

A: An Adult Training Facility or day program may be the right choice for your loved one. Day programs provide a way for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities to socialize and learn, providing daytime care while offering respite for the family caregiver.

It is important that you discuss what type of day program is best for your loved one with the individual's Supports Coordinator. If you do not have a Supports Coordinator, contact your local Base Service Unit. That person will in turn work with you to plan for your loved one's future and find the solution that works for your family.
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Q: What should I look for in seeking care for my loved one with an intellectual/developmental disability?

A: While visiting a day program, look for quality services. A good program will welcome your questions: What is the ratio of staff to participants? Is the staff engaged and working on activities with the participants? Is the staff friendly? What are the staff qualifications? Is programming unique to each participant? Is transportation available? Is technology or a structured curriculum utilized? Is the scheduling flexible? What are the opportunities for family and community interaction?

When looking for a Community Home, look for several key factors. Ensure the proper staff to individual ratios are being maintained. Respect for the individual's independence and dignity needs to be an important belief for the organization providing the services. Additionally, the staff should be friendly, qualified, and neat in appearance.

The facility should be clean and have convenient access points. The company providing the care should be accredited, well-established, and responsive.
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Q: Why are environmental assessments for individuals with Autism so important?

A: Individuals diagnosed with Autism often have heightened sensory awareness. Noises that may be normal or not even noticed by others can be overwhelming to individuals with Autism. Lighting may also affect an individual with Autism. It is not uncommon for bright or flickering light to cause discomfort or distraction.

Something as simple as changing the type of light bulbs used can have a positive effect on someone who has light sensitivities. A thorough assessment of the individual’s environment should be taken into consideration and planned accordingly to ensure a calm and healthy atmosphere.
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