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Posted September 23, 2003 

Allen Institute
Michael Worthen, M.Ed., Dean of Administration
Hebron, Connecticut

In September 2003, the Allen Institute, a program of Easter Seals Connecticut/Rhode Island, will be opening a "comprehensive, non-degree, campus-based program" designed for young adults between 18 and 26 years of age. Their goal is to "promote personal independence, and provide opportunities for growth and self-sufficiency." With "great excitement and anticipation" the Old Forge Center announces its merger with Allen Institute of Hebron, Connecticut. "After a decade of service and innovative, individualized programming for post secondary students with learning challenges, the Old Forge Center has decided to close its doors with the graduation of the Class of 2003. Their merger with the Allen Institute will create a "union of strengths of two philosophically and programmatically similar, mission driven institutions."

The Allen Institute offers a "highly intensive three-year program that transitions an individual from campus life to independent apartment living." During the first year, residents concentrate on developing self-confidence and the "skills needed to live, learn, work, and socialize with others." Then, in the second and third years residents learn problem solving, learning to compromise and independent thinking. The residents will be able to experience different job sites in the community to develop new interests and experience, which will then be highlighted in a portfolio that can be presented to prospective employers. They are also offering an "exciting new program with a primary interest in serving young adults with a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome.

The Allen Institute will monitor each individual's well being, assessing their current health conditions. They will provide nutrition, fitness, safety, and sexuality education. Mental/social/emotional supports and group sessions are also an important aspect of their instruction. They have an indoor heated pool, a gym and theatre, and are "located on 160 wooded acres in Eastern Connecticut, offering a beautiful natural environment while only minutes away from many cultural, educational and vocational opportunities. Program costs may be partially defrayed through Social Security Income payments.

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