Achievements Unlimited exists to provide specialized services for adults with autism and related disorders, to encourage independence, enhance quality of life, and broaden the opportunity for increased participation in the greater community.
Achievements Unlimited (AU) is a new day program that opened in January 2013 to support the growing number of young adults with autism and related disorders in the St. Louis area. The program was developed and is being managed by Melissa Weber, BCBA, LBA and Angela Craven, BCBA, LBA. Achievements Unlimited has been designed to meet the needs of those who do not qualify, or have been refused, by other day programs, sheltered workshops, or vocational rehabilitation due to their challenging behaviors.
AU is the first of its kind in the state of Missouri. It offers a therapeutic approach that blends the fields of Behavior Analysis, Speech, and Occupational Therapy and incorporates “microenterprises” as a means to build functional, daily living, and community interaction skills. All activities in the program are meaningful activities that are designed to teach new skills and build independence. AU is founded on the belief that substantive supported community interactions and vocational training can be a powerful catalyst for young adults with developmental disabilities to take concrete steps towards becoming increasingly self-sufficient, self-fulfilled, productive members of society.
The program’s success hinges on the following three features of its design
- A highly structured environment with the physical capacity to support the unique client needs
- Extensive and ongoing staff training
- Therapy utilizing the latest in evidence-based best practice.
These features make it possible to serve a clientele that has been previously under-served. In this way AU hopes to provide a model that can close the gap in services for this group of people.