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Lexington Services Expands to Utah

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Lexington Services has expanded its services to Utah.

Having first met in 2020, Founder and CEO Harrison Rogers spoke with James Stubbs, a Utah Local, about potentially expanding Lexington Services to the state of Utah. Stubbs was immediately excited about the idea of serving individuals and their families who often find themselves underserved in our society.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have James leading our Utah expansion. He has a stellar track record of helping grow mission-driven organizations of different sizes,” Rogers said. “Most importantly, he has a passion for our specific mission and the families we serve. I can’t think of a better partner for this phase.” 

Available In-Home Services

Lexington Utah will begin with In-Home Services and will soon add ABA Therapy to their list. 

Lexington Services is currently contracted with the Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD) to provide in-home services in Utah. They will start in Davis, Salt Lake, and Utah counties. 

Services that will be offered include:

  • Respite: provides relief to the Person’s usual caregiver
  • Companion Services: one-on-one non-medical care, support, socialization, and supervision, including assistance with daily household tasks and accessing community services and resources 
  • Personal Assistance Services: personal assistance and supportive services specific to the needs of the Person, including daily living care
  • Supported Living Services: Supporting the member to live as independent, self-determined lives as possible, integrated into their community. Examples include personal care (e.g., eating, bathing, and dressing), homemaker and chore tasks, advocacy and self-help, communication and socialization, personal finances (e.g., keeping track of money and bills), and accessing community services and resources

Lexington Services Utah is also a member of the Utah Association of Community Services, a non-profit organization “with over 40 member agencies in Utah [that] serve over 5,000 people with developmental and other types of disabilities in over 400 locations throughout Utah.”

Meet James Stubbs

Stubbs graduated with an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and received his undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University. He focused on mission-driven internships to serve underrepresented or underserved populations, including: 

  • social impact investing
  • small business workshops for local Native American business owners
  • access to higher education for first-generation students, cultural minority, or of low-socioeconomic status

Stubbs’ career spans various finance and strategy roles across multiple industries and business models, including durable goods, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, health insurance, and religious/non-profit. 

“Throughout my career and education, I have come to recognize that business is one of the best vehicles to positively impact not only our world as a whole, but also the lives of individuals,” said Stubbs. “Lexington Services has a strong track record of providing successful services to those with autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities, and I am excited to carry on its reputation to Utah.”

For more information regarding Lexington Services Utah, please contact utahinfo@lexingtonservices.com or visit www.lexingtonservices.com/utah.

Lexington is very excited about this expansion and the services that are to come in Utah! Stay up to date on our social media for more updates as we grow and expand. 

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HELP and VEST Programs at Lexington

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My child is in their senior year of high school and the district wants them to graduate, but they are not ready and require additional learning programs. 

As a parent, finding the right resources for your child can be difficult. If your child is clearly not ready to graduate, there are other options for them to achieve their goals and success. The main option Lexington can provide for you is to enroll your child at a Lexington campus that provides the HELP and VEST programs, such as the Lexington South Mountain and Maryvale campuses.

What are the HELP and VEST programs and how can I get my student into them?

HELP (Home Enrichment Life Program)

Students in the HELP Program are instructed in practical and functional living skills to prepare them to function appropriately in the community, workplace, and home. 

This program includes a multitude of areas such as:

  • Self-care
    • Our schools encourage each student to be as independent as possible, beginning with students caring for their personal needs. Depending on students’ ability and age levels, they can practice self-care skills such as brushing their teeth, grooming, and basic hygiene practices.
  • Pre-vocational skills
    • Pre-vocational skills are a large part of the occupational therapy-related services curriculum. Students experience a wide range of pre-vocational tasks encompassing beginner, intermediate, and advanced level tasks. As students advance in the program, they learn about various occupations and necessary job skills.
  • Daily living skills
    • Students are encouraged to learn various activities that they will encounter in their everyday lives. This alternative classroom offers students the opportunity to make a bed, vacuum, set the table, and other skills needed to live in a home or apartment environment. Students get to practice these skills in Lexington’s ADL room. The goal is to help foster a greater level of independence in the home and the community.
  • Community-based instruction
    • Lexington brings the community into the classroom and the classroom into the community. Students participate in various activities within the community to help promote community awareness and independence. Lexington teachers also plan visits to local businesses to learn onsite what has been discussed in the classroom. 
  • Cooking skills
    • Each classroom provides an opportunity for students to practice their cooking skills. Through a collaborative approach with the classroom and therapy staff, students are instructed on various cooking skills that they will need to be successful in their independent lives. Students learn how to make simple recipes with a few ingredients to full-fledged meals as they progress through their day. 
  • Functional reading skills
    • Leisure skills are an integral part of Lexington’s curriculum. Students can discover things they enjoy during their free time. As a part of their everyday lives, students can socialize with friends, play games, surf the web (on safe and appropriate sites) and play video games with one another. 
  • Functional math skills
    • Lexington students learn functional math skills throughout the school day and through Lexington’s many different classroom businesses. Students practice working with money using real-life experiences within the school building (i.e., school store) and apply those skills when students go to locations on class trips. Students visit local stores and restaurants to make selections, calculate the cost, exchange money for goods and collect change.

Other HELP Program areas of learning include:

  • Service Learning
  • Community Participation
  • Shopping Skills
  • Laundry Skills
  • Leisure and Recreational Skills

Students who would like more of an employment-based approach after high school would enter the VEST program.

VEST (Vocational Education and Supported Training)

The VEST Program offers students who have completed traditional high school courses but require further instruction invocation and supported training. This program solely focuses on your young adult’s vocational education. 

Traditional academic courses should have already been explored/completed before entering this program. A young adult can be in this program until 22, exiting when the team determines that exit criteria have been met. During this program, students will explore:

  • Career Exploration
    • Our students are encouraged to explore a wide variety of careers. Instruction and experiences designed to make students aware of the broad range of available employment, teach them general job preparatory skills, and offer them courses of study that allow them to develop skills needed for specific careers: retail, clerical, food service, etc.
  • Supported Employment
    • Lexington offers a unique way for employers and their students to come together in an employment setting. We pre-screen potential candidates for employment and match the needs of an employer in the community. Once the match is made and a person is hired, a job coach will train and assist both the person hired and the new employer.
  • Work-Related Behaviors
    • As students transition into adulthood, they encounter various job scenarios and work experiences. We expect students to uphold Lexington’s expectations for behavior and its work expectations while attending job sites and work sites. Classroom assistants and a job coach guided by the transition coordinator direct students while they work alongside them.

Students will also learn:

  • Job Readiness
  • Community-Based Instruction
  • Job Seeking
  • Job Shadowing
  • Real World Numeracy
  • Real-World Literacy

Lexington can never guarantee employment to graduates of our program. However, Lexington makes every effort to select training partners that offer results-oriented job readiness services. Lexington will help graduates prepare for interviews and connect with potential employers in their areas of interest. 

Traditional High School Programming

Lexington also offers high school students a traditional academic and transitional focus program that is highly individualized and tailored to their child’s specific needs. We provide curriculum modifications to help your child access the curriculum and create, develop and implement transition plans and graduation requirements. This program explores some of the realms of HELP and VEST but offers a more traditional approach to learning standard-based academic programming that our parents have come to know and love. Students enrolled in this program typically seek college or trade school admittance. 

I am Interested, How can I enroll my Student?

As the parent, you can choose to dis-enroll your child from the public school and enroll your child into Lexington’s autism high school program, VEST program, or HELP program, depending on their educational track. You will have to meet with our tuition specialist to ensure your child meets the Empowerment Scholarship Program‘s qualifications (ESA) before acceptance into the program

Empowerment Scholarship Program Funding

Students who participate in these programs can receive funding through the Empowerment Scholarship Program if they have not graduated from an Arizona public or Charter school. 

For more information regarding the HELP and VEST programs, please visit our FAQ Page or contact Principal Hermosillo at daniel@lexingtonlifeacademy.com.

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What is Autism Awareness Day?

The 14th annual World Autism Awareness Day is here! All over the world, people are showing love and support towards those with autism. The theme this year is Inclusion in the Workplace: Challenges & Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World

New normals are coming into place with the world entering a post-pandemic state, and many things have been highlighted. The most prominent challenge people have noticed is inequality, especially in

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the workplace concerning wealth and health distribution. Those with autism especially experience these levels of inequality. 

For this year’s virtual event, participants can hear two different panels about this topic from individuals with autism who have experienced these challenges and have found opportunities in employment.

History Behind World Autism Day

World Autism Awareness Day began when the United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared April 2nd as World Autism Day (A/RES/62/139). This day was proclaimed in hopes of “highlighting the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.”

The United Nations has always celebrated diversity and promoted the rights of persons with disabilities.” In 2008, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force, reaffirming the fundamental principle of universal human rights for all. Its purpose is to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities and promote respect for their inherent dignity. It is a vital tool to foster an inclusive and caring society for all and to ensure that all children and adults with autism can lead full and meaningful lives.”

Themes in Past Years

Each year the UN gives a theme for World Autism Awareness Day to educate and reflect on how everyone can love and support the members of the autism community. The theme is typically centered around recently highlighted issues people with autism are facing. Autism-friendly events and seminars also become available for those who wish to attend. Last year, the theme was “the Transition to Adulthood.”

World Autism Awareness Day themes began in 2012 with the “Launch of Official UN Awareness of Rising Stamp” and have covered subjects such as education, employment, inclusion, and girls with autism.

How Lexington Incorporates Workplace Opportunities

Growing up with a sister who has severe autism and who struggled in formal education herself, Harrison Rogers, Lexington Services Founder, and CEO, always wanted to find a solution for what he believed was broken informal education, thus founding and building what Lexington is today.

Today, Lexington is proud to offer Transition to Employment and new programs, Vocational Education and Supported Training (VEST), and Home Enrichment Life Program (HELP) programs to help members with autism become independent. These programs each provide members with a practical set of skills to live a full, meaningful life.

Transition to Employment

Transition to Employment or TTE is a service that teaches individuals with disabilities that qualify for employment the “meaning, value and demands of work and in the development of positive attitudes toward work.” This program is related to several employment initiatives designed to provide training and support to promote integrated and competitive employment skills.

The overall goal of the program is to help members transition to a more independent employment setting. This program can also guide individuals through unpaid shadowing experiences to engage with their interests and current skill set. 

This summer, the Transition to Employment program is offering a summer program! Participants will spend 11 weeks developing the skills necessary for integrated and competitive employment. They will be guided through unpaid shadowing experiences to engage with their interest and current talent set to work toward a career. 

For more information or to register, contact tte@lexingtonservices.com.

Lexington also provides programs within the schools to help develop skills. VEST and HELP are perfect examples of in-school programs, each with a specific focus for the future. For more information on the following programs, please contact the specific school as these programs may live under different names.

VEST (Vocational Education and Supported Training)

Lexington Life Academy’s VEST Program, a new program being offered this fall, offers students who have completed traditional high school courses but require further instruction invocation and supported training. This program solely focuses on a young adult’s vocational education and leads to competitive employment and or work experience. 

HELP (Home Enrichment Life Program)

In addition to the academic programs at Lexington Life Academy, students can enter into the HELP Program, a new program launching this fall. In the HELP Program, students learn practical and functional living skills to prepare them to function appropriately in the community, workplace, and at home. These programs include a multitude of areas such as:

  • Self-care
  • Pre-vocational skills
  • Daily living skills
  • Community-based instruction
  • Cooking skills
  • Functional reading and math skills

While World Autism Awareness Day is April 2nd, the month of April is National Autism Awareness Month. Take the time to learn about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and how to support loved ones who have autism. Lexington blogs are a great place to start!

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Transition to Employment Programs at Lexington

Lexington Services is proud to announce that our Transition to Employment program is accepting members! 

What is Transition to Employment?

Transition to Employment or TTE is a service that teaches individuals with disabilities that qualify for employment the “meaning, value and demands of work and in the development of positive attitudes toward work.” This program is related to several employment initiatives designed to provide training and support to promote integrated and competitive employment skills.

This TTE is integrated directly into a Person-Centered Service Plan with the planning team, similar to the IEP plan that many individuals use while in school. This service is designed to help individuals realize their employment and vocational goals while supporting their skill development and pursuing their passions. 

The overall goal of the program is to help members transition to a more independent employme

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nt setting. This program can also guide individuals through unpaid shadowing experiences to engage with their interests and current skill set. 

TTE services ensure that individuals have mentor guidance and supervision from Lexington experts to have the most favorable employment experience possible. Through a Transition to Employment program, an individual with autism can expand their employment horizons and work toward a career that incorporates their interests and unique skill sets.

Why Are Programs Like TTE important?

With an alarming number of adults with autism living unemployed, some studies suggest at least 27%, the need for services that help people with ASD find meaningful employment is striking. 

There are several things that parents and guardians can do to help their loved ones prepare to join the workforce. Even with a perfect interview and a qualified skill set, some employment venues aren’t fit to deal with the unique needs of individuals with autism and other disabilities. This is where programs like Transition to Employment can significantly improve the outcomes for these individuals. 

TTE provides a route for individuals to find honest work for actual pay, rather than sheltered workshops, which significantly bolsters an individual’s perception of themselves and their independence. 

With some reports indicating that only 26% of youth with disabilities are employed, it’s essential to support our youth through these programs “So They Can” thrive as they transition to adulthood. With proper guidance, there are many employment paths that young people can excel at, and programs like Transition to Employment at Lexington will help them on that path to success

TTE at Lexington

“We primarily prepare our members to join the workforce,” explained Frances Oder, the TTE Director at Lexington. “We start by finding out their learning styles, likes, dislikes, and interests and build on what each individual needs to acquire their first job and enjoy it.”

TTE also teaches the basics that every employer wants their employees to know, such as soft skills, following the rules, dressing for success, and getting along with supervisors and peers. Members are taught essential independent skills such as knowing how to read a pay stub, how to get to work, and budgeting, among other things. 

Our members all have individual skills they need to build on, and right now, our focus is on learning the value of money. We have some members that know of it but don’t understand the worth of a dollar or understand change (coins). Other members do, and they are encouraged to help with teaching those who don’t, so in essence, just about everyone here has the opportunity to teach one another. 

“It is a program and job that I love,” said Oder. “Every member brings a unique talent to our team. We all learn and grow together as we prepare our unique individuals to enter the workforce and share their talents with the world.” 

The TTE program at Lexington is aimed at young adults who are preparing for employment and are exploring their career paths. Members practice interviewing, learn how to find and apply for jobs and sometimes get the opportunity to practice the jobs they want in a Lexington environment. 

For those seeking to join the Transition to Employment program at Lexington, or if you would like more information, contact us at TTE@lexingtonservices.com.

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Benefits of Using Autism Schools

If your child has been diagnosed with autism, your first response may be to find the right services to set your child up for success. Autism presents learning difficulties that will require extra attention and support to help children in school.

Children with autism can attend a traditional school and receive services du

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ring the day. Depending on where the child is on the spectrum, the child may spend half or even a full day in a special needs classroom. Children with autism will also receive services such as speech therapy if needed, but those sessions will take place once or twice a week, if available.

What about sending my child to a special school for autism?

An autism school could be an excellent choice for a child with autism for many reasons.

An autism school provides:

  • Smaller classrooms
  • A better teacher to student ratio
  • Trained staff
  • Carefully monitored and tracked progress
  • Tailored curriculum
  • More frequent therapy sessions

Students may also feel more comfortable because they are surrounded by other students who are like them. They are given the opportunity to be themselves and learn how they need to live to their highest potential.

Smaller Classrooms

By arranging smaller classroom sizes, children can receive more individualized attention during class. When children are given individual attention and instruction, they can then retain information better, develop new skills and live a well-rounded life. 

Teacher to Student Ratio

Smaller classrooms mean a better teacher to student ratio. Schools for autism are excellent at providing students the resources they need because they make sure enough teachers give students the attention needed to understand a task or assignment.  

Trained Staff

Having trained staff on campus can make all the difference when teaching or dealing with behavioral issues. If a teacher or staff member is not qualified, teaching a class can become complicated, and other students may become distracted by another student’s behavioral issues. The student displaying the problems can then become frustrated because their teacher does not understand them. This can become a cycle that needs to be addressed.

Trained staff will know when to intervene and how to bring the child back into focus. They will also learn the best ways to teach them not to become frustrated and succeed in the classroom environment.

Progress is Monitored and Tracked

Every child progresses differently. Both traditional schools and schools for autism provide children with autism IEPs or Individualized Education Plans. An IEP is “a written document outlining how to tailor an educational program to a child with special needs. It is usually created as a cooperative effort between parents, teachers, and educational specialists.” 

Throughout the school year, teachers and educational specialists will monitor their progress and adjust when necessary. The parents also review adjustments. The goal is to have accomplished specific goals within the IEP. 

Tailored Curriculum

Children with autism have unique learning disabilities that may hinder them from understanding an assignment or lesson plan in a traditional classroom. Autism schools will provide them with a tailored curriculum. A tailored curriculum should fall in line with their IEP and provide them with the resources and tools they need to achieve their goals.

Frequent Therapy Sessions

Therapy sessions may be needed to help with speech or behavior difficulties. Depending on where the student is on the spectrum, therapy sessions may be required more frequently. Autism schools know this is important for children with autism and provide more frequent therapy sessions. Lexington Services provides a separate therapy services center for sessions, if needed. 

Traditional schools may have therapy for autistic students, but those sessions may be limited to only once or twice a week on campus, depending on availability.

Overall, it is the child’s and parents’ choice to attend a special school for autism or a traditional school. Carefully consider your child’s experience at the school they attend now, any frustrations they may be encountering, and any services they are not receiving. Also, consider the benefits of attending a special school for autism for not only them but for yourself.

Lexington Services provides more than just therapy services. We provide students with these benefits for children with autism, plus much more. Lexington administers Pre K-12 education and the crucial elements for every student to develop their academic, behavioral, and social skills in the classroom and during after-school programs. We are unique in giving students the same opportunities as traditional schools while also catering to their individual learning styles.

We have multiple school locations for children with autism, providing various life skills that are accomplished through evidence-based practices, structured learning, standards-based curriculum, sensory integration, and behavior modification.

 Check us out and schedule a tour with us today. See if Lexington is the right place for your child to thrive!

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Disclaimer: This post attempts to publicize ideas and comments that we find would be useful for our community to know. Our post is by no means intended to prompt you to handle your challenges in any specific way. We desire to bring helpful information to all our audiences and shine a light on popular topics.

Helping People With Disabilities Decide On A Career Path

Choosing a career is one of the most exciting times of an individual’s life, full of apprehension and the promise of the future. For people with disabilities, it can be a uniquely overwhelming and challenging experience. There are a number of factors that must be taken into account including experience, required skills and education based on industry, job availability and salary requirements. Part of the Lexington Services Transition To Employment (TTE) program is to help members that are interested in joining the workforce or deciding on their educational pathway to pick a career path that is perfect for them. How do students with disabilities decide on a career path? Generally, the best way to move forward is to follow these steps.

Compile A List Of Interests

Everyone wants a job that stokes their interests and gives them the opportunity to work in a field where they are called. Many people spend a lot of needless effort telling people with disabilities what they cannot do or accomplish, limiting their interests in many fields. As technology advances, many fields are much more accessible and many employers are working to create employment programs aimed at employing more people with disabilities. Telling people with disabilities that they need to decide on a career path based on limitations doesn’t take into account their passions or creative solutions that already exist. In order to decide on a career path, the first step should always be to compile a list of career interests and passions that could be turned into a career. At first, remember that nothing is too silly or impossible. Take the time to really get everything out on the list. Then decide on which paths employ interest with the most practical accessibility options. From this list, students with disabilities and can start to formulate a path and their direction going forward.

Assess Work Experience

When thinking about the type of career individuals want, people should be mindful of their work experience and how that will translate in the career field. Have they ever had a job before? Is their experience in a radically different field than their interests? Have they developed the necessary social and workplace skills to join a team? These are all questions that should be asked. In many cases, the skills or experience a person needs to pursue their dream career can be developed through school and collegiate problems, or through specifically designed programs created to help them find independent employment, like TTE at Lexington Services.

Make A Goal

Once a path has been chosen and work experience has been determined, the next step has to be to set a number of goals to accomplish. These benchmarks will act as a transitional plan to help a person with disabilities pursue their career interests. Goals are important for anyone’s career path, but accomplishing a list of goals in pursuit of their career desires will ultimately give people with disabilities the confidence they need to join a workforce that’s still behind on disability hiring, but rapidly changing.

Find A Mentor

One of the last and best things to do to determine the best path forward in a career is to find a mentor. An experienced person with advice and the willingness to help can make all the difference in any career path. At Lexington, we’re happy to mentor young people with disabilities as they moved forward in their career. Contact Lexington now to learn more about TTE and what Lexington can do for you or a loved one just starting their career.