Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s Community Adult Autism Partnership Program is helping local individuals on the autism spectrum achieve their goals, writes Richard Gaw for the Chester County Press.
John Pagnoni, who grew up in Glen Mills and was diagnosed with Asperger’s in high school, wants to operate his own restaurant. Currently, he is using his culinary talents as a dietary aide at the Pocopson Home, the long-term healthcare facility in West Chester.
His aspirations are closely tied to help from CAAPP. This program, which also serves Delaware and Montgomery counties, provides individuals with instruction and support and works to help them become productive, socially connected, and personally fulfilled.
“The program’s goal is for all of our participants to get into the community in ways that are most meaningful for them,” said CAAPP Director Amanda Duffy.
Thanks to the program, Pagnoni has now learned how to manage his finances and form lasting friendships. He also accompanies a CAAPP staffer on visits with chefs at restaurants and has prepared dishes for large-scale CAAPP events.
“I want to employ people on the autism spectrum at the restaurant, and give them opportunities like I’ve been given,” Pagnoni said.
Read more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s Community Adult Autism Partnership Program in the Chester County Press here.