Tommy Ney, 21, rolled an exercise ball back and forth to his caregiver, Ed Calvin, on a recent Thursday afternoon at a physical therapy room in Maryland Heights.While it seemed so simple, the action brought a smile to the face of Tommy’s mother, Christy Ney, of Overland.
“I didn’t know what we’d do when Tommy graduated from SSD’s Neuwoehner School this spring,” Ney said. “He has severe autism, and his behaviors are too disruptive for him to be in a sheltered workshop or other day programs. But MAAP will give him a stimulating environment and consistency.”
Tommy will be one of the first three or four clients to participate in the new Midwest Adult Autism Project (MAAP) day program, set to open Sept. 13, in the headquarters of the Center for Head Injury Services, 11786 Westline Industrial Drive. They will attend the program from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. It can presently accommodate up to eight adults.
MAAP will provide individualized, stimulating physical activities and behavioral therapy for adults with severe austistic behaviors.
It will allow Tommy and others like him to remain in their homes, rather than being institutionalized, while providing a much-needed respite for their caregivers.