Adult Comprehensive Experience

Ascendigo’s Adult Comprehensive Experience, or ACE, is a year-round system of supports for adults on the autism spectrum or with a related condition. ACE is for clients who want to live their life in the community, participating in an array of community activities of their choosing. ACE invests in building extensive connections with local businesses and other community members, so clients can take full advantage of the opportunities within the Roaring Fork Valley of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

ACE therapists and specialists provide the structure and supports clients need to create a vibrant life of increasing independence, employment, wellness and social engagement. Our values stress self-determination along with achievement.

ACE supports fall into four categories: comprehensive life planning, community building and access, behavior therapy, and employment services.

1. Comprehensive Life Planning
We establish goals, objectives, and teaching strategies and develop community providers and opportunities for each client for each major life experience domain (employment, fitness & recreation, passions & talents, independent living & functional skills, social connectedness, wellness.

2. Community Building and Access
At Ascendigo, Community building means working continuously with businesses, organizations and community members to form collaborations for employment, social recreational, leisure and cultural engagement, and retail purchasing.

ACE enables community access by providing supportive services throughout the day, as determined by client needs. We can train clients on skills to ride the bus, navigate streets to walk to work, make a purchase at the grocery store, or communicate with their climbing instructor.

3. Behavioral Therapy
ACE behavioral therapy services utilize evidence-based methods called Naturalistic Developmental Behavior Interventions. This model focuses on rigorous skill building within community settings using intrinsic motivators and principles of applied behavior analysis. Our behavioral supports also address co-occuring conditions which create barriers – sensory and motor differences, inattention, negative thinking, anxiety and so forth.

4. Employment Services
ACE employment services include (a) job development, including what adaptations are needed for the individual to succeed in the job, (b) job coaching, for on-site support at job sites and for career development, and (c) employer relations to identify employers, train employees, and maintain ongoing communications and problem-solving. Read more about our employment services here.

Individual Life Plan

The foundation of the services ACE provides and the community activities the client engages in is the Individual Life Plan. Through the ILP creation process, the roadmap for the client’s next year are established. The roadmap covers:

  • the goals, objectives, target skills, and teaching strategies and tools;
  • the community settings and providers, and how these will be put in place;
  • the ACE services needed, including who will provide which services, days of direct service support and direct service intensity level;
  • the client’s schedule, by month for the next 12 months;
  • the estimated cost and the financial resources which might be available;
  • outcomes to measure and monitor;
  • the process for monitoring implementation of the plan, revising the plan and communicating with the client, parents/guardians or other caregivers.

The Value of Self-Determination & Motivation

We value self-determination, the right of each individual to work towards competence, autonomy, and a socially rich life experience of their choosing. Motivation is built/created by including choice for the individual in a variety of age-appropriate activities, which are authentic and community based. Our clients engage in activities that allow them to feel successful and competent while always stretching abilities just a bit further to add onto growing skill sets.

Building motivation, competence and autonomy can only be done successfully when authentic, reciprocal and respectful relationships are at the foundation of teaching and interactions. We see the individuals we serve as partners in learning, providing guidance on their path toward independence and full, meaningful life experiences. We work together to expand social connections to a wide arc of community members, so they become an important source of wider and deeper social relationships.

For a comprehensive program description and additional information, please contact Sarah Stamper at sstamper@ascendigo.org or 970-927-3143.

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