A first home designed for autistic adults

Built at a cost of $ 5 million, the new resource will benefit from the services of the health network to be more than a simple residence.

We have heard of cases of autistic people who end up in CHSLDs. We are completely different, it is a living environment, they will spend their entire lives here. It’s just that they’re going to be mentored, they’re going to be supervised, and they’re going to be stimulated too, says Véronique Cloutier, co-founder of the Véro & Louis Foundation.

Two integrated health and social services centers (cISSIntegrated health and social services center) de la Montérégie will provide support services and finance accommodation, while the Véro & Louis Foundation will take care of the building and its maintenance. It’s the cISSIntegrated health and social services center of the Montérégie-Ouest which selects the residents: a few dozen adults are awaiting accommodation in the region.

It’s not just surveillance. We are really in an educational program that aims to develop their potential and their autonomy […] Despite their condition, they are able to make choices.

A quote from:Katty Taillon, Executive Director of the Véro & Louis Foundation

About twenty employees will revolve around the residents. Researchers from three universities, also: Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières.

The Director of Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Programs at cISSIntegrated health and social services center from Montérégie-Ouest, Jean-Marc Ricard, explains that his organization started with Véronique Cloutier and Louis Morissette’s idea of ​​building a clinical project that meets the immense needs in accommodation for autistic people in Montérégie.

It is quite daring and the research projects will help us demonstrate the innovative aspect. And if it gives the expected results – that’s what we want – it will surely open the door to other hosting models, advances Jean-Marc Ricard.

In the center, Véronique Cloutier and Louis Morissette in front of the first Maison Véro et Louis, intended for adults with autism. It is a living environment for Marie-Christine (on the left) and Alexandra (on the right), surrounded by their family. We also see Dominique Auger and Jean-Marc Ricard, from the CISSS de la Montérégie-Ouest, as well as Guylaine Guay, godmother and board member, Jean-Sébastien Lamoureux, from Lowe’s Canada, and Katty Taillon, general manager of the Véro Foundation & Louis.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Anne-Louise Despatie

Particular attention has been paid to lighting, acoustics and the layout of the premises to create clusters, small houses: for example, by grouping four bedrooms around a small living room.

We’re talking about the need for privacy. All that is respected. We talk about the sensory peculiarities of each. There will be screens with pictograms, the routines that will be displayed. Because these young and old need stability, says Guylaine Guay, mother of two autistic boys aged 18 and 20, who wrote a book that has become the spark for the Véro & Louis Foundation.

Véronique Cloutier, Katty Taillon and Guylaine Guay gathered in one of the five small lounges around which four bedrooms are arranged.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Anne-Louise Despatie

I simply wrote that I dreamed of a house that could accommodate my two autistic sons, says Guylaine Guay. I was thinking more of my son Clovis who is non-verbal and will need supervision all his life. It is important for me that there is joy as much for the people who work at home, for the residents and for the parents to whom it will bring great peace of mind. And I know what I’m talking about.

A furnished bedroom.

A room in the first Maison Louis & Véro

Photo: Radio-Canada / Anne-Louise Despatie

The model chosen by the first Véro & Louis house delighted Marie-Christine’s parents. They feel very lucky that their 25-year-old daughter has been selected.

This is the best we could wish for our daughter Marie-Christine. It is a place where she could continue to be well and to flourish when we are no longer able. My biggest fear was to find myself at 75-80 years old with a child at home who would have been 50 or 60 years old.

A quote from:Guy Drolet, father of Marie-Christine

It took five years to find the funding and the land, a donation from the city of Varennes. The Cloutier-Morissette couple now hope that this model will make children.

The needs are great, which means that today we are opening the first house. But I hope there will be dozens of houses across Quebec, supports Louis Morissette, co-founder of the Véro & Louis Foundation.

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