Introducing the Prism Program – Triangle’s Newest Project
This is a special post by Travis Dion, Triangle’s new Director of Autism Services. Check back tomorrow to learn more about Travis!
What is the Prism Program?
Triangle’s Prism Program is a program that will provide experience to a largely underserved neurodiverse population. This program will offer a wide variety of employment, independent living, peer connections, and social skills programs for transition-age young adults who are often identified as high-functioning. It will feature customized and flexible services that meet their personal advancement goals with their input helping to shape daily services.
Who is served by the Prism Program?
This program will provide services to high-functioning neurodiverse transition-aged adults (22 years old and up). This population is currently in need of flexible and innovative services as traditional day programming formats can often be cumbersome and not engaging enough. This new program will allow for increased engagement and participation as together we will shape daily and weekly programming.
How will the program support autistic individuals?
This program will support participants with personal and professional growth through a combination of one-to-one and group learning sessions on topics that fit their respective individualized plans such as employment, independent living skills, and social opportunities. More specifically, the program will focus on various need/support areas for growth, such as self-adjustment skills, career education (employment and collegiate pathways), social interactions, and self-determination. It will also be a truly judgement-free zone, where ideas will be valued as staff members work in conjunction with participants to meet their needs and desired outcomes with their programming.
How is this program different than other Triangle programs?
This program is unique in that from day one, participants will take an active role in determining daily programming. This will allow for the program to incorporate on-going feedback to alter or enhance services in real time. It will be a club house model, in a sense, in that it will allow for increased social opportunities, recreational activities, and one-on-one and group sessions to support employment/professional growth, as well as support for those pursuing collegiate or post-secondary education pathways.
When will the Prism program launch and where will it operate?
The program is launching in December, with participant enrollment starting this month through the referral process and subsequent in-person attendance targeted for the beginning of March 2022 at Triangle’s Main Street site in Malden*. Throughout January and February, enrolled participants will have the opportunity to be a part of programming and development of in-person activities through Zoom as the program space is set up for these services.
*Note that Triangle’s program currently located on Main Street in Malden will be relocating to our new flagship service site at 450 Broadway in Malden. Our Main Street facility will be the new, exclusive home to the Prism Program.
How many people will be in the program and what communities will it serve?
Currently, the initial target number is 16 participants through a combination of current Triangle participants who would fit well in the program and new outside referrals. The program will gradually expand to up to 30 active participants, as we continue to bring on new referrals throughout the year. The Prism Program in Malden will primarily serve participants from the Metro North communities of Everett, Lynnfield, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Saugus, Stoneham, and Wakefield.
Later in 2022, we will also begin to offer elements of the Prism Program to North Shore communities out of our Salem service site. More information will follow as we expand the program in the future.
What are your future visions/ideas for the Prism Program and what are you most excited about for the Prism Program?
This new program is such a great opportunity for Triangle as we work side by side with DDS to be a positive support and provider to this neurodiverse population. The future vision is that this can be a model for other providers and that we can expand to other areas of the state to provide similarly formatted programming as the need for this type of programming will continue to increase.
Anything else you’d like to include that you think is important!
My hope is that Triangle will be a leader with this type of program and can be sought out as a positive support for the neurodiverse population as we create an inviting environment that fosters personal and professional growth for participants, and they can take great pride in helping to shape their services!