Rutgers University broke ground on a $9.5 million facility to expand services to a growing community of adults with autism who have aged out of school-funded program.
Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services will be built at the former local location in New Brunswick, NJ reports Catherine Carrera of the North Jersey Record.
The center’s executive director, Christopher Manente, quoted “We are committed to serving adults with autism by providing meaningful paid employment, full integration into Rutgers community and ongoing research and training related to helping adults with autism lead full lives.”
With autism affecting more than two million individuals in America and tens of millions worldwide, most professionals can expect to meet many adults with ASD in their working lives and beyond. But regardless of occupation, there simply are not enough trained professionals to work with this population. And, all too often, services generated specifically to serve this group provide minimal or no staff training on how to interact and work with adults with ASD. For a new generation of professionals and clinicians to be prepared to meet the needs of this underserved group, they must be exposed to its unique challenges and potential, and receive exceptional training that is based on credible research and best practices.
Rutgers is home to a tremendous breadth and depth of autism expertise. Many Rutgers academic units are working in partnership together with the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology on multidisciplinary projects for the center.
Under the guidance of a dedicated executive director and an experienced professional staff, the center will leverage these and other university resources to work hand in hand with local agencies and communities. Additionally, a newly appointed endowed chair in adult autism will be tasked with discovering, developing, and optimizing evidence-based best practices benefiting ASD individuals. Ultimately, the findings that grow out of the center’s research will be translated into real-world solutions that inform education, intervention, and public policy as they pertain to adults with ASD.
With 18 schools and colleges and 175 centers and institutes at its disposal, the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services is uniquely poised to leverage Rutgers’ diverse faculty interests across disciplines, yielding the most advanced clinical and applied research in support of adults with ASD.