August 2, 2013

Houlton has partnered with the Autistic Global Initiative (AGI), a foremost organization focused on solutions for adults with autism

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Houton’s partnership with AGI comes during a time in which there is growing demand for adult services catering to individuals on the spectrum. Currently in the United States, there are 1.5 million individuals with autism spectrum conditions, 80% of whom are under the age of 22. As these young people with autism age into the adult years, existing programs and services will be overwhelmed. Families, professionals and individuals with autism face significant challenges in the upcoming decade as our community anticipates an exponential rise in the need for adult programs, living options, and employment across the spectrum. AGI members feel that solutions to some of these challenges can be found within the adult autistic community itself. By designing and directing initiatives specific to adult concerns and to those who provide support to adults, the Autistic Global Initiative aims to be a part of the solution to the demand that lies before us.

Houlton is partnering with AGI to create a series of educational solutions to help this growing need. The Autistic Global Initiative is part of the Autism Research Institute, and is comprised of a committee of adults diagnosed with autism spectrum conditions. AGI members hail from all regions of the United States, representing the broad life span of autistic experience and expression. The first programs will be available in late July 2013.

As part of this partnership, Houlton will gain several faculty members from AGI\ARI including Valerie Paradiz, PhD., AGI director and thought leader on adults with autism. Dr. Paradiz has been featured in the New York Times, Redbook Magazine, The Guardian, Parade Magazine, NHK Japan, MTV’s True Life and on National Public Radio. She is a regular consultant for for New York City’s Board of Education and serves and has served on national boards and advisory councils, including Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism, the Autism Society of America, IDEA Partnership’s National Community of Practice in Autism, and the National Institute of Mental Health’s Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s Strategic Planning Consortium.


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