Posted by Shayna Fel
John is in his early 60s and has Asperger's syndrome. He was referred to the Adult Autism Spectrum Care Coordination and Coaching program by his elderly parents. He had no daily schedule, minimal social interaction, limited understanding of personal hygiene and social cues, and no concrete plans in place for his future. Through our work together, John now participates in the CHAI Works day program, has a buddy through Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, and receives coaching on social skills, hygiene, and how to live independently. Additionally, John's parents are receiving support to create plans for John's future when they are no longer able to be present for their son.
Now John is taking advantage of all of the different resources his community has to offer and his charm and exuberance shine through. John walks into any room and exudes a warm and friendly attitude that draws people to him. He knows the names of the employees at the shops he frequents and never shies away from a conversation about politics, the Red Sox, or Judaism.
Today is World Autism Awareness Day. At Jewish Family & Children's Service we are wearing blue to join this campaign and celebrate with, bring awareness to, and show our support of John, all of our clients on the autism spectrum, their families, and the worldwide autism community.
Did you know…
- Autism now affects 1 in 68 children.
- Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the US.
- Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average.
- Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism.
- There is no medical detection or cure for autism.
List from Autism Speaks
Learn more about Light It Up Blue (#LIUB) on Autism Speaks' website.
Shayna Fel, LICSW has been with JF&CS Services for People with Disabilities & Mental Illness since 2011. Shayna is the Coordinator of the Adult Autism Care Coordination and Coaching program. Shayna earned her MSW from the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York City. Before becoming a social worker, Shayna received her BA in Elementary and Special Education from Boston University. Shayna's experience in teaching and social work has been focused on supporting clients with disabilities to create meaningful and purposeful lives for themselves.