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Young Adults with Autism Thrive in Their New Home

(April 28, 2015)

 

Eight years in the making, a new living environment for young adults with autism is attracting nationwide attention to their shared homes in downtown Sonoma.

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Tamsin Kearns (left) and Gwen Fisher at the edge of the 1 acre farm on the grounds of Sweetwater Spectrum in Sonoma
 
 
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The physical environment at Sweetwater Spectrum abounds in clean lines and open spaces, forming a space that is physically comfortable for the residents and staff. Even more importantly, says co-founder and current board president Caroline Klebanoff, was the creation of a psychic and emotional environment where the resident would feel secure and able to exercise their individual independence.

 

 
 
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This site plan details the numerous design features that make Sweetwater Spectrum a maximally sustainable complex. Click to see and read an enlarged image.

   The founders of Sweetwater Spectrum quite deliberately set out to create a new model of long-term housing for adults with autism, a place where each individual’s unique needs and preferences could be accommodated. Having done that once, says Klebanoff , they are now trying to develop a framework that can be reproduced in other places.  

 

 
 
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