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There are various institutions and agencies that meet the needs of individuals with learning disabilities such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This paper gives a detailed summary of a program evaluation project that was completed to monitor the effectiveness of the interventions offered at First Home Care. This discussion goes further to highlight specific challenges encountered during the study.
Project Evaluation Summary
The completed project was aimed at analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness of different programs implemented at the First Home Care in Portsmouth, Virginia. This agency meets the needs of patients with ASD. Basically, the main objective of the project was to examine if the initiatives and services available in this facility empowered different beneficiaries to deal with anxiety, engage in communal activities, and achieve their potential.
The targeted intervention was that of direct sensory exposure (DSE). According to Tamanaha, Chiari, and Perissinoto (2015), this approach can make it easier for patients with ASD to utilize their senses efficiently, develop superior competencies, and tackle the issues affecting them.
After completing the study, it was observed that most of the involved ASD patients were willing to pursue various assignments and activities in the community. However, a small number of such beneficiaries recorded increased anxiety levels. After making these inferences, it was recommended that experts and psychotherapists must be ready to improve their models. Additionally, members of every community should be willing to guide and empower ASD patients.
Organizations such as First Home Care must also expand their programs to address this obstacle. Although the DSE model is capable of empowering many individuals with learning challenges, it is always necessary to form multidisciplinary teams comprised of counselors, parents, guardians, community members, and practitioners in order to deliver positive results (Wright, Wright, Diener, & Eaton, 2014). The successful completion of the study made it possible for different stakeholders to embrace the presented evidence-based ideas and meet the needs of more individuals.
Although the program evaluation was completed successfully, a number of challenges were encountered during the process. The first one was that the targeted institution (First Home Care) did not offer direct support to make the study successful. However, I was able to liaise with specific professionals and psychotherapists in the institution to design the most appropriate study approach for this project. The second challenge was that it was hard to recruit ASD patients to be involved in the study. It was also challenging to get consent or permission from such individuals or their guardians. This obstacle explains why it took me more than a month to deliver meaningful findings.
Some individuals in the targeted community A were less supportive. This was the case because many people were not willing to interact or engage in community activities with those with learning disabilities. This scenario revealed that many ASD patients were facing discrimination in their communities. It was, therefore, necessary to engage more people and encourage them to be part of the process. Finally, the time allocated for this study was limited. I had to work hard in order to deliver positive results in a timely manner.
Despite the above challenges encountered during the study process, the project was completed successfully within the stipulated period. The findings revealed that most of the interventions offered in the region were appropriate and capable of addressing the needs of ASD patients. However, strategies such as community engagement and expansion of the existing programs can result in reduced anxiety levels.
Tamanaha, A. C., Chiari, B. M., & Perissinoto, J. (2015). The efficacy of the speech and language therapy in autism spectrum disorder. Revista CEFAC, 17(2), 552-558.
Wright, C.A., Wright, S. D., Diener, M. L., & Eaton, J. (2014). Autism spectrum disorder and the applied collaborative approach: A review of community based participatory research and participatory action research. Journal of Autism, 1(1), 1-14. Web.