Welcome to the Foundation for Autism Support and Training (FAST).
Our mission is guided by a vision of a good life for people with autism across the entire spectrum. Through a person-centered process called Lifespan Planning, we can ensure that our loved ones have the choice to live and thrive in the communities they know. To accomplish this, we also need to find or develop a menu of high-quality community housing options that are sustainable, integrated, accessible, affordable, and most importantly, are real homes that are specifically adapted to support the needs of adults with autism. We also need to find and train qualified support staff, provide augmentative communication (speech generating devices) to help people with autism communicate and we also need to understand how assistive technology can be used to support greater independence.
Become a member of ARCHway and you will have access to our social network. ARCHway was designed for family members, loved ones, caregivers, professionals and other stakeholders whose lives are personally touched by teens and adults with autism. ARCHway is a place to develop communities where people can communicate with other like-minded people who are also looking for solutions about where they can find or develop long-term, sustainable housing options. Here we share knowledge and provide facilitated discussion forums specifically on this topic. ARCHway provides a place where members can recommend or not recommend group homes to others. By request, ARCHway provides contact information of other members in your local area that also want to connect and form chapters in order to develop friendships and plan happy, safe and sound futures for adults with autism. The ARCHway pages on this site contain an expanded Table of Contents with a tremendous amount of information on developing community housing options and much more. These are the companion pages to our social network site and provide background for our forum discussions.
A national crisis now exists regarding the lack of quality group homes, community housing options, job training and vocational programs for adults with autism. Now, one in 91 children are born with autism. This number is increasing by more than 10% each year. This enormous, unmet need in our country for housing and high quality services has become a daily hardship for hundreds of thousands of families in the U.S., families struggling to provide a meaningful and productive life for loved ones who have aged-out of school and have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Today, 80% still live with aging parents. What will happen to them tomorrow? Consequently, parents of adults with autism feel great fear, uncertainty and confusion about what will eventually happen to their children when they're gone.