Autistic Adults at Bittersweet Farms
Routledge – 1991 – 226 pages
Autistic Adults at Bittersweet Farms is a touching view of an inspirational residential care program for autistic adolescents and adults. This compelling book focuses on adult autism treated through the concepts used at Bittersweet Farms, an 80-acre farm in northwest Ohio. Through historical rationale for a therapeutic community, a comparison between the Bittersweet Farms model and treatment settings in the United Kingdom, specific treatments and training programs at Bittersweet Farms, and staff, parent, and resident viewpoints, the innovative program--based on the premise that adults with autism continue to need special care and training throughout their lives--is brought to life. Divided into three sections, Autistic Adults at Bittersweet Farms returns repeatedly to the concept behind the program--molding autistic adults into contributing members of society in their own ways. Section One includes a potpourri of information, giving a glimpse of the range of models available for treatment and what makes each program a success. Taking a closer look at program considerations within various community settings, the second section examines behavior modification techniques in training autistic children and educating their parents. As politics play an important role in developing an innovative care program like Bittersweet Farms, the final section delves into regulations and funding for different types of residential care programs. Ending on a very human and optimistic note, section three closes with three personal accounts of life and work at Bittersweet Farms from a staff member, a resident, and a parent, with each praising a different aspect of the total person care environment of Bittersweet Farms. Occupational and physical therapists, policymakers, educators, and parents of autistic children will be encouraged from reading this outstanding book.