Moorestown, NJ (PRWEB) June 12, 2014
Adults with autism and related developmental disorders will soon have a place to live, work, and socialize. Touchdown Communities (TDC), the brainchild of Moorestown’s Tim Downes, is in the process of purchasing a site for development in Burlington, N.J. at the intersection of Elbow Lane and Route 541 South. The site will offer housing for 66 individuals with all the amenities found at home to allow independent living.
Downes, the father of two teenagers with autism, founded TDC, a nonprofit organization, to create a healthy environment for adults with autism.
“Children and teenagers with autism have needed access to educational and social services, but autism is a lifelong development disability,” Downes said. “Their development shouldn’t have to suffer just because they age out of the school system. That’s the purpose of Touchdown Communities -- to provide community-based housing and day programs for adults with autism and related developmental disorders.”
Autism is a serious health issue. It is the second most common developmental disorder in the United States, affecting one in every 68 children in the country. In New Jersey, a staggering one in 46 children, including one in 28 boys, is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which includes autism, Asperger's syndrome, Rett syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
Downes has done everything he can to improve the quality of life of his two teenagers with autism. Whether working with school districts or private therapists, he has tried to help his son and daughter develop meaningful relationships with family and peers for better success at home and school.
Thinking about the future, though, Downes shares the concerns of many parents in similar situations about the lack of options for living, employment, and recreational activities for adults with autism.
Medford’s Libby Majewski, who has been working with children with ASDs for more than 20 years, is helping Downes launch TDC.
“Each individual will enjoy a variety of day programs, innovative therapies, and daily group activities in a supportive and stimulating environment,” Majewski said. “We’d also like to collaborate with local companies to identify employment opportunities that offer our adults a match with their skills and areas of interest.”
TDC is teaming with Arthur & Friends to provide training and employment for adults on the autism spectrum. Arthur & Friends is a nonprofit organization that develops employment opportunities in agribusiness occupations and industries based on the strengths, needs, and desires of individuals with a disability.
TDC’s Burlington site will include hydroponic greenhouses where residents can grow hydroponic vegetables for sale to restaurants, stores, and the public.
“This is only the beginning,” said Downes. “Our vision is to have communities across the country.”
For more information about TDC or to make a tax deductible donation, visit http://www.touchdowncommunities.org.
About Touchdown Communities
Touchdown Communities (TDC) is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to provide day programs as well as community-based housing offering semi-independent living with extensive personal, employment, and social support to adults with autism and related disorders.
Media Contact: Libby Majewski, libbymajewski(at)touchdowncommunities(dot)org or 609-704-1548