Future of Adult Autism Services Unveiled Nov. 4 in Sugar Grove

Future of Adult Autism Services Unveiled Nov. 4 in Sugar Grove

Canopy, the Sugar Grove based day program for adult individuals on the autism spectrum, will unveil the future of autism services in an open house set for Saturday, Nov. 4.

The Canopy Adult Services Program‘s Open House will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Canopy building, 264 Main St., Sugar Grove, and at Rich Harvest Farms.

Attendees are asked to RSVP to the Director of Canopy Adult Services Lillian Peterson at (630) 864-3830 or online at www.mygiantsteps.org/canopyopenhouse. A dedication will take place at 11:30 a.m., with van tours of the Rich Harvest Farms’ property to follow.

“I encourage everyone to come out and support a program that has become an integral part of the Sugar Grove and Rich Harvest Farms community,” said Jerry Rich, the philanthropist who opened the Rich Harvest Farms property to the Canopy program.

Created by an ambitious partnership between Lisle-based Giant Steps and Sugar Grove philanthropist Jerry Rich, plans for the autism services ultimately call for independent and supported-living arrangements to be built on the campus of Rich Harvest Farms, the ultra-exclusive golf course rated as one of the top 100 in the nation. The vision includes autism-specific living in two-, three- and four-bedroom cottages to support the residential needs of adults with autism.

Plans also include work settings that will allow adults with autism to gain lifelong work experience in a wide variety of environments — tending the horses at the stables, harvesting vegetables in the on-site garden, food service and hospitality opportunities, housekeeping, administrative office experience — all based on the adult’s individual strengths and interests.

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About Canopy

Canopy is a day program for adult individuals on the autism spectrum. The program began in May 2012 as a response to the growing needs of the adult autism population in the surrounding communities. The goals of the program include providing individualized programming that recognizes the strengths and interests of each participant, providing meaningful opportunities to interact with the broader community, and to support participants in lifelong learning and engagement.

Canopy primarily serves adults between the ages of 22 and up, with an option for transition age students (18-21) to participate as part of a blended program. The blended program offers the therapeutic supports of the school program as well as part-day adult services. The purpose of placing an age limit on these services, is to be able to more effectively address the current age specific needs of the group, as well as to maintain a relevant peer group.

Canopy works to incorporate a combination of activities, opportunities, and supports throughout each participant’s programming. This may include participation in community engagement outings, life skills opportunities, vocational readiness activities, leisure or recreational skill development including music therapy, media integration, and movement based sessions. Additionally, the staff is well trained to incorporate sensory tools and strategies within each individual’s day to better support their diverse needs.

About Giant Steps

Since 1996, Giant Steps has been committed to providing individuals with autism spectrum disorders, and their families, superior educational and therapeutic services focused on improving the quality of daily life from early childhood through adulthood. Giant Steps is a designated therapeutic day school in the State of Illinois – licensed and certified to exclusively serve students with a primary diagnosis of autism. The organization seeks to improve a child’s ability to interact, communicate, and develop academic and daily living skills through one-on-one integrated approaches. To learn more, visit www.mygiantsteps.org.