When their son, Scott, was diagnosed with autism at age 3, Scott’s parents initially thought he had developmental delays. He was verbal and able to express his needs and wants and was engaged in inclusive special education classes in his home school district of East Brunswick.
But by age 11 or 12, Scott had begun to experience behaviors that prompted his parents to seek additional resources and support for their son. They started with 25 hours a week of in-home support provided by Performcare — and the hope that they could help manage those behaviors on their own. But as time passed, they began to realize a more structured behavioral plan and 24/7 care might be a better fit Scott’s needs.
“After Scott turned 17, we started thinking about his future,” explained his mother, Amy “We looked for residential placement and education options, with the hope that the placement would continue into his adult life.
For Scott’s family, Bancroft and its continuum of services across the life span, became the answer.
They enrolled Scott in the Bancroft school in 2016 — where he continued to learn and build both life and job skills until he graduated in 2019, at the age of 21.
He especially loved the work he did within the school’s Transition Program – staffing the Wawa convenience store on the Raymond & Joanne Welsh Campus in Mt. Laurel, and delivering mail throughout the campus.
After graduation, Scott transitioned into a Bancroft community group home in South Jersey, where he has continued to flourish alongside his housemates. Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the daily routine for Scott and so many others with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Scott has been resilient throughout, and is looking forward to getting back to normal — and being able to see his friends.
“Before the pandemic, Scott really enjoyed going to Day Program and engaging with skill-level peers,” said Amy. “He was supposed to start a vocational program and we are hopeful that he still will! He’s so looking forward to going back and mentions the friends he made outside of his house.”
Scott calls his parents almost every night and looks forward to his monthly home visits. He is always so excited to share with them stories about his friends and the Bancroft staff who work with him daily, his mom says.
“When he comes home he provides us with a flood of information that is very hard to get just from his phone calls; he is just so happy,” recalls Amy.
Since he started at Bancroft, Scott has learned to overcome his behavioral challenges, and increased both his life and communication skills.
“Our family notices how Scott is more willing to help with minor chores when he comes home,” comments Amy. “He will even make his bed with one verbal prompt.”
Scott’s family is extremely grateful to have found a home for him at Bancroft.
“As parents, we want what is best for our children,” explained Scott’s parents Barry and Amy. “Throughout Scott’s journey, despite encountering some challenges, we have also celebrated many triumphs and continue to do so.”