Click here to read a story in the New Haven Register about this unique partnership:
Since 2009, Art Teacher Tina Menchetti has worked closely with the museum to develop a cutting-edge museum educational program called Out to Art. Participants from Chapel Haven take part in a wide range of museum activities and sensory learning. They enjoy behind-the-scene tours, close looking at works of art and studio activities. Participants are able to build life skills while also developing theory of mind, memory and interpersonal connections. Continue reading
Congratulations to Barbara Doherty, who has been named Chapel Haven’s Artist of the Month because she showed great determination in creating 200 key chains to give to guests at her sister Maureen’s wedding this summer. Barbara and Maureen designed the pieces together and Barbara spent the summer making it a reality with her handiwork.
Chapel Haven Out to Art class, under the direction of teacher Tina Menchetti, worked with some exciting educators through the Yale Center for British Art. Clara Odell offered to teach the class while visiting in New Haven. Clara is the drama and French teacher at the American School of Milan in Milan, Italy. Clara is seen here talking to the students about acting out the scene depicted in the painting at the Center, infusing theater with paintings. Continue reading
Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, distributed 19 iPads to organizations who serve the needs of adults on the autism spectrum throughout parts of New England, including Chapel Haven.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Celegene Corporation, the New England Chapter of Autism Speaks was able to distribute iPads to organizations dedicated to autistic adults.
Lauren Amendola, Director of Field Development for Connecticut Autism Speaks, visited Chapel Haven on Friday, Jan. 31, to donate the iPads and to tour the campus. Based in New Haven, CT, Chapel Haven is a nationally accredited, private, non-profit school and postsecondary program that teaches adults with autism and other cognitive disabilities to live independent lives. The agency will hold an open house for interested families on Friday, Feb. 28. For info or to register, go to www.chapelhaven.org.
“With these donated iPads, we are supporting important service providers who are on the frontlines of addressing the underserved adult segment in our autism communities throughout New England,” said Russ Kenn, Executive Director of the New England Chapter. “It is also a tangible way to support adults on the spectrum, and allows our chapter to showcase the gifts inside people with autism, helping them reach their full potential.”
The goal at Autism Speaks is to provide individuals with autism and their families with all the tools they need throughout the lifespan. Adults living with autism often have difficulty finding information about programs and supports that would allow them to live as independently as possible. Therefore, Autism Speaks’ Adult Services initiatives focus on resources that impact all facets of adult life including employment, housing, community life and post-secondary education.
“We are so grateful to receive the iPads, which fit in well with our evolving use of technology in teaching and learning at Chapel Haven,” said President Michael Storz. “Technology applications can be used in many ways to help adults on the spectrum, from time management to something as simple as hygiene lessons. This contribution helps keep Chapel Haven at the forefront in using these tools.”
With the diversity in needs and programming for adults on the autism spectrum, these donated iPads will serve a variety of uses. The receiving organizations have reported that they will use them to enhance communication, support job training, and provide virtual support, among other uses. In addition to the these 19 iPads, Autism Speaks recently announced the recipients of New England Chapter grants totaling $25,000 and a national iPad give-away that has helped 800 additional schools, service providers and students on the spectrum; 24 of which were received in Connecticut. For more information about the New England Chapter of Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org or contact the New England Chapter of Autism Speaks at (617) 726-1515 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The sound of wind chimes, the crunch, smell and taste of mint leaves, oregano, dill and rosemary, followed by colorful flag designs that fuel the imagination. These are some of the sensory pieces students and community members delight in as they negotiate an outdoor trail on horseback at Turning Point Farm in Woodbridge on Wednesday evenings.
“Students connect in a very special way with these huge animals…It’s about having to focus, trusting this huge animal, “said Chapel Haven art teacher Tina Menchetti, who was instrumental in connecting Chapel Haven with the non-profit Animal Assisted Therapy Services, Inc. and its founder, CEO and director Chris Patella.
“It’s different than a human connection…I’m seeing a lot of growth in the students.” Patella opened the business after 30 years as a music teacher with the Bridgeport School system, believing it would be a nice part-time venture. Chris also went back to school to earn a masters’ degree in recreational therapy from Southern Connecticut State University. “It’s seven days a week,” she said of the successful new chapter in life that includes music therapy and therapy with the dogs. Continue reading
In the face of new studies predicting that 1 in 88 children will be born with autism by age 8, Chapel Haven West is a postsecondary school that teaches adults on the autism spectrum how to be successful. The students graduating Saturday will tell you they have gained important skills over the 24 months in this residential program – such as how
to go to college, manage an apartment, take the bus around town, learn vocational skills, make friends, and most importantly, how to communicate with confidence.
“I have learned to be patient with everyone,” says Carter Barker, 21, who came to Chapel Haven West from his hometown of Marshall, MN. “Now, I can cope with the
stresses of daily life much easier.”
During his time at Chapel Haven West, Carter worked at an accounting firm in Tucson,
took college classes in accounting, learned to cook and clean for himself, made
friends and learned how to travel independently throughout the Tucson community.
Carter impressed so many people, he was even offered a plum job, working the front desk at the Autism Society in Tucson. Continue reading
A consulting team from Chapel Haven, which included Michael Storz, President, and Virginia Hodge, Chapel Haven’s Vice President of Autism Spectrum Programs, spent a year helping the agency understand the “intricate nature of Asperger’s and the challenges young adults often face as they transition into adulthood.”
The agency credited Chapel Haven with helping to grow the AACES (Asperger’s Awareness, Community Education and Support) program from a single service socialization program, serving 25 individuals, to “a comprehensive program with four additional components focused on employment, post-secondary education, parent support and life skills instruction.” The program has grown to serve 125 individuals.
Staffers remarked that the staff trainings provided by Chapel Haven were invaluable. “As an old timer in the field of mental health, but a newcomer to the Asperger’s world, I found the support offered by the Chapel Haven team to be invaluable. The training sessions provided a foundation for understanding the major issues of Asperger’s, including: theory of mind, emotional regulation, executive functioning, communication differences and sensory integration. Ginny and Mike enriched me both professionally and personally and I am grateful for their efforts.” Continue reading
Yale Child Study Center will present an all-day seminar on Sunday, April 22, 2012, entitled, “Moving On: Preparing Students with Autism, Asperger’s and Learning Differences for College,” and Chapel Haven is delighted to be a featured part of the day.
This all-day seminar is for high school students, parents, teachers and others on Sunday, April 22, 2012 at Harkness Auditorium, 333 Cedar St., New Haven. To learn more and to register, please click here
Topics will include:
. Prospects for College Admission
. Finding the Program That’s Right for You
. Transitional Programs
. Social and Communication Supports
. Supporting Academics: Organization and Other Aides
. Achieving Independence: Life Skills
. Mental Health and Other Supports, Legal Issues and Mandates
. Parent Perspective on College: Advice for Parents
. Coping with Stress
. Parent Perspective on College: Advice for Students
. Academic Supports, Organizational Strategies, and Time Management
. Social Skills and Life on Campus
. Panel Discussion with Students Who Have Successfully Transitioned
Among guest speakers will be Michael Storz, president of Chapel Haven, and Ginny Hodge, Vice President of Autism Services at Chapel Haven.
The Yale Child Study Center has provided invaluable help to Chapel Haven in creating its Asperger Syndrome Adult Transition Program. Dr. Fred Volkmar, Director of the Child Study Center, and Dr. Ami Klin are on the program’s advisory board.
Chapel Haven sends out a quarterly e-newsletter. Click HERE to read the winter 2011 edition of Chapel Haven’s e-newsletter.
Eleven students showcased their unique personalities and shared highlights of the past two years on June 18 when they became the third graduating class of Chapel Haven West.
“We are gathered here today to celebrate the end of one phase of life’s journey and the beginning of another,” said Robert D. Nurin, Director of Education at Chapel Haven, Inc. who made the trip west to Tucson for the ceremony.
“Life is a journey,” he continued. “A course that you set and determine by the decisions you make each and every day. Eleanor Roosevelt once said ‘the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams’. So as you step out to meet the challenges of the future, your minds prepared and your skills honed by the experiences you have had at Chapel Haven West, I urge you to set your direction with a positive “can-do” attitude and a strong spirit.”
The graduating students – Michael Augerson, Gary Blomquist, Chris Brown, Sara Christensen, Joshua Friend, Mike Hurson, Sydney Kramer, Aaron Monihan, Jonathan Shuman, and Stephanie Tse – took the stage to say a few words about their Chapel Haven experiences. The speeches were filled with a combination of humor, candor, and heartfelt thanks that drew both laughter and sentiment from family, friends, and CHW staff. Continue reading
CARF International has awarded Chapel Haven with a three-year re-accreditation and many accolades along the way.
After a comprehensive, three-day visit facilitated by Sherry Robitaille, director of quality assurance at Chapel Haven, we were delighted to receive word that CARF has once again agreed to accredit Chapel Haven for a period of three years. The latest accreditation is the fourth consecutive three-year accreditation that the international accrediting body has awarded to Chapel Haven and we were found to be in compliance with 96% of CARF’s rigorous standards, our best outcome yet.
CARF said it most eloquently with this comment: “A philosophy of excellence pervades the organization and is clearly spearheaded from the top down. Persons served are treated with respect and dignity. Their wishes and choices are considered extremely important and it is clear that the staff members are committed to ensuring that action is taken whenever possible.”
In a detailed report, CARF summarized its findings. Click here to read the details: Here are some excerpts:
- CARF was impressed with Chapel Haven’s 14-member Board of Directors. “The board is actively engaged and knowledgeable in the services the organization offers. Board members are great advocates and ambassadors” of Chapel Haven.
- The management team is experienced and “displays genuine passion for the organization’s mission and dedication to the person served. They are well respected by persons served, families and other stakeholders.”
- Chapel Haven’s families and clients are happy, as evidenced in surveys and feedback. “Stakeholders report very high satisfaction with the organizations performance and quality services.” CARF also commended Chapel Haven for giving its clients “multiple opportunities to provide feedback.”
- Chapel Haven Enjoys Sound Financial Management
- Chapel Haven offers an admissions process that is comprehensive and provides “a thorough evaluation of the candidate’s strengths and needs” through a one-week visit, followed by a detailed written report. For those candidates deemed ineligible for services, Chapel Haven provides recommendations for alternatives, information that is extremely helpful to the family served.
- Chapel Haven enjoys strong communications, including this e-newsletter, articles in media publications and regular meetings with families.
- Chapel Haven has a great mentoring program for students, including the sixth largest Best Buddies chapter in the country, offers a plethora of activities in the community and maintains great relationships with local employers and colleges
The CARF accreditation represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit that its programs and services are of the highest quality, measurable, and accountable.