As the parent of an adult child with autism, I know how scarce programs are that address the needs of that population. Slowly, more are becoming available, and an example of this is the Spectrum Tech Trade School, Village, and Training Center, a non-profit program that was just getting off the ground when the pandemic hit.

Their long term goal is to eventually have a Monday through Friday Vocational School located on an organic farm and they are working with other nonprofits in the Monmouth County area to achieve this. Their short-term goal is to begin with an intensive weekend program (including trades, tutoring, job sampling, and occupational, physical, and speech therapies for individuals from 12 through 21 years old) that addresses the fact that individuals on the Autism Spectrum have been negatively affected by virtual learning caused by lockdowns. This lack of routine and missed therapies and educational interventions has not only stagnated, but progress for individuals on the Spectrum, in many cases it has caused regression that has left them further behind than they were before.

To help them realize their long and short term goal, they are having a fundraiser. It’s “Goat Yoga” on Saturday, April 24 at 10:00 am, hosted by Oasis TLC in Red Bank. The cost is $30 plus a registration fee, with the proceeds benefiting Spectrum Tech. You can register here. The money raised will help lower the cost for parents already struggling with the cost of therapies and interventions for their children.

So grab a mask and a mat and hang out with some goats!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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