What Inspired Us...
Raising children on the autism spectrum, the families of Next Step Berks researched and secured resources that helped them create the right support structure for their children. While still in school, the children had support from coordinated and compassionate teams, consisting of members of local nonprofits, government agencies, public/private education, friends and family. Once they graduated from high school, however, the families knew most of those supports would end.
The challenge became helping their children adapt to a new adult lifestyle. As the families started looking into ways to give their children more independence as adults, they came across very few options in Berks County. The national trend of supportive communities, consisting of senior citizens and adults with autism/individuals with developmental disabilities, is the model these families felt would best serve our community. This model is attractive for several reasons: it allows for self-determination; aging-in-community; social interaction; access to services; natural supports; and keeps our loved-ones here in Berks County.