Social Groups Funded by DDS

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The Autism Alliance of MetroWest, in partnership with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), is happy to announce social and respite programming for Fall 2017. In order to participate in these free programs, you must meet this criteria:

1. Geography: Live in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts, as defined by DDS.

2. Eligibility: Be deemed eligible for DDS services under the Division of Autism. This is an application process that once completed, can take many months to process. Please contact one of our Autism Specialists if you have any questions about filling out this DDS application or require assistance. If you are unsure about your child's eligibility status, please contact Denise at 508-861-2420.

"Free to Be Me" Group Respite: ages 5-11

This program runs from September 2017 through June 2018, with monthly sessions for children ages 5-11 with autism. The program is in Natick on Saturday evenings. The respite is provided in small groups or with one-to-one support by special education teachers and specialists, with support from Autism Alliance staff. Sessions are limited to 15 children.

The goal of the program is to provide families with the opportunity to enjoy their respite time, while the children are in a safe, customized, community respite program with a full sensory gym area, crafts, special guests, dinner and a movie. Please click the following link for an application.  You will be notified if your son/daughter has received a slot for the group. We will have a waiting list. 

Video Gaming Teen Social Club: ages 10-15

This program has three, 6-week sessions – Fall, Winter and Spring (no group in the month of December). The goal of the program is for the participants to develop and build friendships while having fun doing what they love: playing video games! This is a drop-off program facilitated by three Special Educators.

The first half of the year, participants will work on several social skills, including introducing themselves to friends, working together/compromising while playing group games, understanding and following rules and limits, and dealing with uncomfortable social situations as they occur. At times, the environment can be very loud and unpredictable. We have seen incredible resiliency and adaptability in several of the participants, overcoming sensory challenges and continuing to build on their success. The participants all have dinner together, which is a great atmosphere for learning about each other’s similarities/differences and building the relationships they have made. Please click the following link for an application.  You will be notified if your son/daughter has received a slot for the group. We will have a waiting list. 

Young Adult Flutie Friday Night Club: ages 18-23

This program runs from September 2017 through June 2018 and meets twice a month on Friday nights in Ashland. We have a core group of young adults, ranging in age from 18–23, that have been attending for several years, as well as new participants that joined in 2016. The young adults have developed meaningful friendships and enhanced social awareness/cooperation, in addition to strengthened independence in social situations.

This is drop-off group and is facilitated by 5-7 staff with the group participant maximum of 15. Some of the participants require 1:1 support and we staff for each individual’s needs at no cost to the family. Other participants may be highly independent. Activities include: Music, Art, Animal Adventures, Zumba, Yoga, Holiday Dance Party, Pet Therapy, Paint Party, Spring Fling Dance Party and end of year Carnival. We have a weekly schedule which consists of: welcome, dinner, special activity and Wii dance. Please click the following link for an application. You will be notified if your son/daughter has received a slot for the group. We will have a waiting list. 

For more information about any these programs, please contact Allison or Pam at 508-652-9900 or AutismAlliance@Advocates.org