9-22-2017 Press Release

Published: September 27, 2017


 Bridgewell Presents Building Bridges: Autism Journey into Adulthood
Day-long conference to be held at Sheraton Framingham on Friday, September 22

Peabody, Mass. – September 22, 2017 Bridgewell, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Peabody dedicated to supporting and helping individuals with intellectual, developmental and psychiatric disabilities and other life challenges, will host Building Bridges: Autism Journey into Adulthood, a day-long conference at the Sheraton Framingham Conference Center on Friday, Sept. 22.

As a leading organization supporting families of young autistic adults, this is the second conference hosted by Bridgewell focusing on the transition at age 22 from the educational system to adult autism services. The conference will bring together up to 500 human services leaders, professionals and family members.  

“We are thrilled to be hosting our second conference focused on young adults with autism and the ways we can learn to better support this growing population,” said Kelly J. Martin, Bridgewell’s CEO and President. “Bridgewell is dedicated to ensuring that young adults with autism transitioning out of the educational system achieve the highest quality of life and personal success.”

Building Bridges will feature over 20 workshops on a wide variety of topics, as well as keynote speaker Frank Campagna, known as “Autism Daddy.” for his popular blog. Frank is the father to a 13-year-old son with autism and has been part of the Sesame Street creative team for the past 22 years. He worked closely on their recent autism initiative, Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children. Through his blog and Facebook page, he gives people a realistic, non-sugar-coated look at the world inside an autism household.

As more and more young adults with autism are transitioning from the educational system to adult services, families and their service providers have been working more carefully and creatively to develop supports and service models to meet the needs of this population.  Bridgewell operates three day programs supporting young adults with autism, multiple residential homes, as well as employment support programs.

Some of the break-out sessions to be held at the conference include:

  • Packing for the Journey across the Bridge to Adult Services
  • The Newly Eligible: Challenges in Providing Home Supports
  • Let’s Talk about the $$: Planning for Two Generations
  • Medications for the Treatment of Psychiatric and Behavioral Issues in ASD
  • A Person- and Family-Centered Approach to Residential Transition
  • Transitioning from Child to Adult Services – Best Practices for a Smooth Transition
  • Autism: Understanding and Living with Medical Challenges
  • “Navigating the Autism Ocean using a Compass of Mental Health and an Astrolabe of Apps”
  • Empowering Transition-Age Youth to Problem-Solve Barriers to Participation

To learn more about the conference as well as other Autism services Bridgewell has to offer, please visit http://bridgewell.org.   



Bridgewell is a Peabody-based nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and helping individuals with intellectual, developmental and psychiatric disabilities and other life challenges to direct their own lives, achieve personal and professional success, and remain active participants in society. Bridgewell employs nearly 1,400 employees and serves more than 6,250 individuals and their families in Massachusetts, providing residential and day services, affordable housing and homeless services, clinical services, substance use disorder treatment, recreational services, as well as employment training and educational services. It is licensed by the Massachusetts Departments of Developmental Services, Public Health, Mental Health, MassHealth and is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) at the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization. For more information, visit bridgewell.org.

Media Contact:
Karen Laverty
Greenough, on behalf of Bridgewell


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