Who We Are
“When we opened the program in 1978, nothing existed that could provide the kind of life we wanted for our sons. Our dream was to create a program that would treat them equally, with respect, meet their needs and allow them to live in a safe environment that would enrich their lives through community involvement. Today, the program is still run with this same philosophy in mind and we are dedicated to continuing to meet their needs as they age.”
Yolanda Anthon Mother, Founder and Board Member of C.P.A. since 1978
California Programs for the Autistic, Inc. (C.P.A.) was founded in 1978 by a group of concerned parents committed to finding an alternative for family members with severe autism. At a time when few people knew or had even heard of autism, our parents and families were in the forefront of the field looking for a better way for their adult children to live happy, successful lives in a home setting.
Through innovative and progressive person-centered strategies developed over the past 35 years, CPA promotes the highest possible degree of independence and community integration for each of our men.
Our reputation for excellence is grounded in the following commitments:
Person Centered Care: An individual lifestyle plan is developed to enrich the lives of our men. Each person-centered strategy is based on input from family members, support staff, our behavior specialist and most importantly the client themselves. Because individual needs evolve, these plans are updated continuously as needed throughout the year. Each plan looks at the things that are important to the guys as individuals as well as what we feel is important in order to keep them healthy and safe. The key to our success has been finding a balance between these two areas.
Community Access: Each house is staffed on a 1:2 staff to client ratio which allows us to provide them with the proper supports both in and out of the home. Each man is provided opportunities to access the community on a regular basis in a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio. They go on 3-5 mile hikes 7 days a week with staff at both state and regional parks. They also participate in other activities such as dining out, bowling, concerts, roller skating, swimming, movies, etc. These activities help keep them in shape not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. While in the community we also work on increasing independence and socially appropriate skills.
Quality Care for Life: Continuity and consistency is vital for people with autism. Because our guys have lived with us for anywhere from 16-35 years, we are able to train each staff member on every detail of what is important to each individual. All staff go through an extensive month long training process specific to the individuals at the home they work in. They start by reading the guys’ person-centered plans, then they observe a senior staff member interact with each individual and once they are comfortable, they step in and we observe them. Our number one goal is to provide the staff with the tools they need to support each resident in any situation that may arise. Learn more about our programs.