A podcast series focused on the impact of the ACRES Project on its small town community by highlighting individual's stories from its participants, staff, and other members of the ACRES network. ACRES is a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster independence, self-advocacy, social opportunities, and work/life skills for adults with autism.
This episode is a follow up/continuation of the conversation that started in episode 6 with Caitlin about the best ways to support individuals on the autism spectrum. In episode 6, the focus was primarily on individuals with specific support needs, or "higher functioning" and this episode's focus is on supporting individuals who have greater support needs. Another big focus of this episode is once again on language-- the words "high" and "low functioning" and the stigmas that are associated to those phrases.
In this episode of the ACRES Podcast, a former member of ACRES, Caitlin, who now lives in Texas, comes on to discuss topics relating to the autism spectrum such as what phrases like "high functioning" and "low functioning" really mean and why adults who are considered "high functioning" still benefit from support systems for adults with autism-- advocating for more programs that could provide support services.
In this episode of Pieces, Penn State Professor Pam Wolfe comes on to discuss sex, sexuality, and sexual abuse-- specifically in relation to disability. In examining these topics, Pam offers insight into how schools, families, and communities, can better support individuals with disabilities not only in regards to sexual abuse, but also, in understanding, teaching, and practicing safe and consensual sex. A content warning: this episode does feature conversations about sexual abuse and assault. No specific details or examples are discussed, nor is there any graphic descriptions of any sexual act, but a large portion of the episode is dedicated to this subject matter, which is discussed throughout.
In this episode of Pieces, Megan McGrath, an ACRES staff member who had a big hand in revamping ACRES' job program, ACRES of Opportunities, describes her experiences working as a staff member and job coach for ACRES. Additionally, she goes into detail about ACRES of Opportunity and expresses the reasons why job placement programs like this one are so important for hopeful employees who have autism.
In this episode of Pieces, Matt Bacon comes on to talk about his work as the horticulturalist at ACRES. From consulting on the upcoming aquaponics project ACRES has been working on to being a leader for the Day Program (ACRES' biweekly small group meetings with adults with autism to work on life skills and self-advocacy through a variety of activities) and how he uses farming and gardening techniques to teach the ACRES participants valuable, universal, skills.
In this episode of Pieces, Jeff, a young adult on the autism spectrum, describes how ACRES has helped him pursue his degree in college and how he has been (in many ways) a trailblazer regarding support in schools for students with autism-- from elementary to collegiate education.
Go here a written transcript of this episode: link
ACRES is an organization whose mission is to increase independence and quality of life for adults with autism. Piece's first guest, Mary Krupa, discusses her experiences as a woman with autism, along with some of the programs ACRES has formed to provide social and supportive outlets specifically for women on the autism spectrum. Content warning: between 9:30 to 13:05, sexual assault is discussed in very general terms in regards to how autism can effect a person’s perception of sexual advances. The conversation is kept non-specific and is only talking about it as a larger issue, but if you’d prefer to skip over it, 13:05 is the last time it comes up.