Rutgers Unveils Plans for “Groundbreaking” Adult Autism Center

9cc617425fdfdd4b2a26_ru_autism_3.jpg
a8827bbb6f4dad6a7f79_ru_autism_2a.jpg
6eb14a4f7db0248367c5_ru_autism_1.jpg
9cc617425fdfdd4b2a26_ru_autism_3.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — A first-of-its-kind center for adults with autism is slated to take root on Douglass Campus, where the closed Corwin houses now stand, according to a Rutgers University official.

Frank Wong, the school’s executive director of facilities, planning and development, introduced general plans for the Adult Autism Center last night, July 10, at the New Brunswick Planning Board meeting.

“It’s hoped that this will become the model for other universities,” Wong said of the project.

Sign Up for E-News

The first of the development’s two phases would result in a 12,500-square-foot, one-story building to be used by a program that provides vocational training for adults with autism, Wong said. That structure would include a large meeting area, staff offices and support space, he said.

Rutgers hopes for the facility to begin serving 50 to 60 individuals by late 2018, he said.

The second phase would usher in the construction of a neighboring residence hall that would house 20 adults with autism and graduate students who serve as mentors, Wong said. While those plans aren’t yet concrete, the building could house two-, three- and four-bedroom suites, he said.

The project would take up an area off Nichol Avenue, between Recreation Park and Dudley Road. It would encompass two “horseshoe” streets near the old Corwin dorms at Douglass College, the Little Theater and the Corwin Lodge. It’s also near a treatment plant owned by the New Brunswick Water Utility.

For years, the residential Corwin homes have been shuttered, with boards on their windows, Wong said. Demolition could begin later this year, depending on funding—though the Little Theater and the Corwin Lodge will remain.

“This project will actually clean up what has become a rather derelict area,” he added, “and is an improvement to the neighborhood and to the campus.”

But perhaps the most striking attribute of the endeavor is what it could do for people with autism in New Jersey and beyond.

As many as one in every 41 children in the state fall somewhere on the autism spectrum, according to the advocacy group Autism New Jersey. Nationally, the prevalence rate is one in 68, according to the organization.

Schools typically provide many services to individuals with autism until they turn 21, when they age out of the system, according to experts. Roughly 500,000 people with autism are expected to transition to adulthood over the next decade, Wong said.

Rutgers’ coming autism center is meant to help those adults get training and ultimately work jobs around campus, Wong said. That could include arranging books, sorting mail or working in dining halls, he said.

Graduate psychology students, meanwhile, would receive college credits for helping these clients work and navigate the bus system. Eventually, when the residence hall opens, grad students might also help adults with autism live there independently, Wong said.

In the early stages of the project, the day center would mostly serve as a home base for adults with autism, who would be dropped off there in the morning and picked up from that point after work, Wong said. They would spend their workdays across Rutgers.

When the residence hall goes up, the day center—with a kitchen, living room and game area—would “become sort of an extension of their living environment,” Wong noted.

“I think it’s a wonderful project, certainly,” Planning Board member John Petrolino said.

Rutgers officials have visited projects designed for people with autism on other campuses, but they have yet to find any arrangement that matches the scope of this one, Wong said.

“We believe it will be the first of its kind,” he said.

Rutgers came before the Planning Board only to present the project in terms of how it jibes with the master plan. The university didn’t offer up a full site plan.

For its part, the board recommended that the proposal does indeed align with the master plans of the city and Rutgers.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Piscataway

Staci Berger for Ward 3 Piscataway Township Council, June 5 Democratic Primary

April 24, 2018

1. Why are you running for election for Piscataway Township Council, Ward 3?

I am running for the Piscataway Township Council Ward 3 position because our community needs new leadership. I will be the independent, principled, and collaborative advocate our neighborhood deserves.

I have been a Piscataway homeowner for 20 years.  I am proud that my husband, Bill Irwin, and I are raising ...

Dr. Jacqueline Littlejohn - Candidate for Piscataway Town Council

Why are you running for election to the Piscataway Township Council?

I am running for election to the Piscataway Township Council because I believe that a vibrant democracy only flourishes when the governed have a voice in their government, be it in the form of compromise, protest, or even becoming viable candidates themselves. I have chosen the latter approach. As a candidate I want to be the ...

The Piscataway Democratic Organization Names its 2018 Ward Slate

The Piscataway Democratic Party is putting forward an incredible slate of ward candidates for the Township Council.  “Frank Uhrin, Jim Bullard, Steven D. Cahn and Michele Lombardi have brought us a 12 percent drop in the tax rate, many new job opportunities for hard working residents, and a rise in property values,” party chair and former mayor, Ted Light said.  ...

Bristol-Myers Squibb Chemist Used Thallium to Poison Husband

April 24, 2018

MONROE, NJ - A local woman who killed her husband using "the poisoner's poison" did not win an appeal yesterday to have her life sentence repealed.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that a Monroe Township woman’s 2013 murder conviction was affirmed today by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.

Tianle Li, 48, of Monroe Township ...

Obituaries

Piscataway – Reinhard Rudolf Kiefer, 85, died Sunday March 11, 2018 at home. Born in ...
Read more
Piscataway, NJ – Manuela Cruz, 94, born July 17, 1923, passed away peacefully on March 8, ...
Read more

Step Outdoors and Into Spring with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County

April 24, 2018

EARTH CENTER, SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Looking for something to do outdoors? The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County is pleased to announce its spring and summer events! There will be opportunities for kids and adults to learn the basics of gardening, for experienced gardeners to sharpen their skills and for bargain hunters to add to their collections.

These events are ...

Craft Brew Fest Pours Into Westfield April 28; TAPinto Readers Get $20 Off

Westfield Hops – A Craft Beer Experience will be taking place on at the Westfield Armory April 28 with one session from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Enter code TAPINTO when you order your tickets and get $20 off! Tickets are available online at  http://www.westfieldhops.com. All tickets include unlimited tastings and a souvenir tasting glass. 

Westfield Hops – A Craft Beer ...

Ready for Rutgers Day this Saturday?

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - RU ready for Rutgers Day?

You will not want to miss the university’s annual welcome and show-and-tell for New Jersey residents of all ages. It all takes place this Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It is already thr 10th anniversary of Rutgers Day, There will be more than 700 free performances, demonstrations and interactive activities. Last ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, April 25, 5:00 PM

Piscataway

Better Together

Giving Back

Carousel_image_e1c86484bd07288a6140_bike_blessing_sickle_cell

Sat, April 28, 11:00 AM

New Market Firehouse, Piscataway

Sickle Cell Fundraiser and Bike Blessing

Education Giving Back

Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield

Plainfield Symphony Mahler's 9th Symphony

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_f725af9823f099a5b919_pway_5k_full_flyer

Sun, April 29, 9:00 AM

Piscataway High School, Piscataway

PWay 5K Run/Walk 2018

Education Sports

Sun, April 29, 2:00 PM

Otto Kaufman Community Center, Skillman

Relax, Rejuvenate, Renew

Health & Wellness

Kurt Steiner, a Holocaust Survivor, tells Life Story as 106th Birthday Draws Near

April 23, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ – In a quaint white house near the border of Cranford and Garwood, 105-year-old Kurt Steiner sat at his dining room table, surrounded by cabinets that held his collection of Viennese glass and antique Limoge plates. At his table, he had his carefully taped together passport and exit papers from Vienna, Austria, stamped with a large “J” and “Jude,” the ...

Cluelessly Clueless

I teenaged my way through high school under the assumption that my parents had no idea what I was doing.  I like to think I was pretty good at withholding information and presenting situations in ways that were other than they really were.

 

Still, sometimes they found things out.  Like the time my friends plopped me on our front door step at one o'clock in the morning ...