As our Step Up and Open Door Student Alums aged into
adolescents and adulthood, the demographic shift in Oregon's burgeoning
Autism population from a majority of severely impacted students to a
majority of more mild Autism and Asperger's. So while the public system
focused on how to transition more verbal students to successful
vocational-educational--community-recreational settings, we stayed
focused on innovations in resource supports for less and non-verbal
people with Autism and their parent and professional program providers.
Door School was still running in the mornings at our model residential
school site when we opened our Windows of Opportunity training center
for our first alum to enter adolescence. This program met individual
students needs but also began our work to open our model site to other
programs and agencies serving more significantly impacted adolescents
and adults with Autism. We provided provider training and transitional
program consulting to thousands of providers around the PNW and for the
closure of Fairview Training Center and hundreds of its staff and
residents. We also provided program start up consulting to Walgreens
for their model plant site in South Carolina to open employment
opportunities to hundreds of people on the Autism Spectrum from entry
level jobs in recycling up through positions at the executive level.
While we never sought to grow into a big organization our outreach
locally and globally matured along with the students in our small model
programs, just by sharing their success using best Autism practices.