UAS offers peace of mind that your young adult is developing the independence and skills to be a long-term member of an urban community through involvement in a thoughtful and managed environment. In addition, we want our families to see themselves as community members where their young adult is part of a growing system that offers support.
Q: WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME AS A PARENT OR A FAMILY MEMBER? WHAT DOES UAS PROVIDE AND WHAT DO FAMILIES PROVIDE?
Your participation in this journey is always welcome in whatever form is best for you and your child. Our program is designed for residents to become as fully independent of their parents as possible. To better assess how we may help you, please fill out our preliminary residency program questionnaire.
Q: WHAT WILL AN AVERAGE DAY/WEEK BE LIKE FOR MY CHILD?
Every week residents engage in activities that encourage and develop independence, socialization, learning and community involvement. Unique schedules are created for each resident according to their specific needs and abilities. A sample day may include a part-time job, internship, school, or volunteer work.
We also offer voluntary participation in scheduled program activities such as cooking, budgeting, or completion of home maintenance care and chores. Social programs are offered and include meet-ups, movie nights, festivals and all of the other things that young adults living in Chicago like to do in their spare time. Further, UAS has created ways for residents to participate in our micro-businesses, Washdog Chicago and/or Growing Solutions Farm.
Q: WHAT IF MY CHILD DOES NOT WISH TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SOCIAL ACTIVITIES OR OTHER PROGRAMS?
An important element of the program is developing socialization skills and a desire to be a part of the community. Our residential spaces are thoughtfully designed with a mix of public and private space. However, social activities take place within residential spaces and within the immediate neighborhood. While there will certainly be circumstances when a resident will choose not to participate, the goal and expectation is participation in social activities.
Q: CAN THE PROGRAM ACCOMMODATE AN INTEREST MY CHILD HAS THAT ISN’T PART OF THE CURRENT PROGRAM?
Yes. One goal in setting up your young adult's customized program is developing skills and interests as part of the path to greater independence. To that end and within reason, we anticipate accommodating a wide variety of vocational, educational and social interests. Individual support and activities outside of our planned activities can be arranged for additional fees.
Q: WHAT IS THE RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER FOR AUTISM ASSESSMENT RESEARCH TREATMENT AND SERVICES (AARTS)?
The AARTS Center at Rush offers unparalleled expertise in diagnosing and treating children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A distinct advantage UAS offers is our relationship with, and proximity to, Rush University Medical Center's AARTS program.
All residents will need some form of assessment and medical clearance from our partners at the Rush AARTS program. At the very least, we require one visit with a psychiatrist from the AARTS program to establish a medical baseline and for admission approval. In order to provide the safest and most appropriate environment, we cannot admit any residents without this step. Depending on the nature of your family’s needs, we also recommend a records review and visit with UAS Clinical Director to determine if further psychological assessment is needed.
We feel that we can most effectively help your family if you make the best use of these resources at the start. Developing individualized programs begins with accurate assessment data. Full disclosure of psychiatric and independent-living challenges by families is needed in order to appropriately serve all residents safely and effectively.
Learn more about the AARTS Center.
Q: CAN WE KEEP OUR CHILD’S DOCTOR/PSYCHIATRIST?
Individual choice in discernment is at the heart of our programming development and all residents are offered the same opportunities to make these determinations. An initial appointment and medical review with the Rush AARTS Medical Director is needed for all residents to ensure an appropriate medical program is in place regardless of the provider.
Q: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BE PART OF THE RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM?
Program fees vary by each client but typically cost approximately $6,000 per month. We work with each family individually to determine the most affordable approach based on the individual needs of the client.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT CAPACITY?
Our 1212 Residence can house a maximum of four young adults. The home has private, 2nd-floor bedrooms, an adjoining shared bathroom for two and a private bath for one, as well as two small sitting/activity spaces for the residents. An additional bedroom with private bathroom is located on the lower level. Our second residence located nearby on Ada Street can house three young adults and offers private bedrooms and a shared bath.
Both residences feature a main floor, with living, kitchen, dining and activity spaces which are available for both public and private use to accommodate the variety of activities available. Our residences are home to clients who have funding from the home and community-based waiver as well as clients who pay privately.
Q: DO YOU TAKE CILA OR HOME BASED WAIVER FUNDS?
UAS is not a licensed DHS provider and cannot take the HCBW for CILA. However, we can work with your provider to create programs and services for your family member. A+ Autism Solutions is a licensed CILA provider that has assisted clients who chose to live either in our Ada or 1212 Residence. A+ Autism Solutions is licensed to accept the home and community-based waiver. Other providers are welcome to contact us as well. Disclosure: Julie Tracy is President of A+ Autism Solutions.
Q: IF I FEEL YOUR PROGRAM IS A GOOD FIT FOR US, WHOM MAY I SPEAK TO AND WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
We are glad you feel Urban Autism Solutions is a good fit! Please complete the application with as much detailed information as possible.
Q: HOW DO I TALK ABOUT THIS WITH OTHERS?
A thorough review is necessary to get to know any program. To start, we suggest you have an open dialog with others that will be affected by a decision to participate in Urban Autism Solutions. From the candidate, immediate and extended family to trusted friends, other caregivers, and your medical team, what thoughts and questions can they contribute to your list? Try prioritizing the list based on the importance of the answer. While we have put together a great residential program, it is likely that ours, like others, won’t offer everything you are looking for.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I FILL OUT THE APPLICATION?
We know that the application process can be stressful and we promise to minimize as much anxiety as we can as well as make ourselves available to answer your questions. Simply put, we view your first steps as the beginning of our relationship with you and your young adult. If, after our initial conversation, you want to proceed, and we believe we can offer the services you need, we will schedule a second conversation.
Throughout this time, we may also invite your young adult to join us at our 1212 Residence so we can get to know each other. This gradual process of integration into our community will involve a number of steps over time with an increasing schedule of community involvement in our program.
Q: WHAT DO I DO AFTER I'VE COMPLETED THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS, CLEARED THE MEDICAL ASSESSMENT, AND HAVE BEEN INVITED TO THE UAS RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY?
At this stage, you have completed the assessment process, cleared the medical assessment and have decided/been invited to join our community. For a privately funded home, we will accept a non-refundable deposit of $6,000 to hold a designated bedroom for your family member. For CILA clients, we will manage the process through A+ Autism Solutions as well as designated members of the Rush AARTS team to begin developing the structure around which your young adult will begin their life with us. We anticipate that some residents will have very clear-cut schedules involving school, work, and volunteer opportunities while others will need additional assistance in exploring these and other options.