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Anderson Center Uses Innovative Tool to Measure Quality of Life

Author Kathy Welsh
Date April 3, 2017

STAATSBURG – Anderson Center for Autism has announced the use of a tool that will measure quality of life for those impacted by Autism, a neurological disorder that impairs ability to communicate.

The use of this tool, which is called the San Martin Scale, is expected to empower staff to better customize treatment plans and educational programs based upon specific data gathered about each individual’s experience of his or her environment, thus positioning individuals served for greater success as well.

Says Eliza Bozenski, director, Anderson Foundation for Autism, “For family members, friends, and a professional team, the communication gaps caused by Autism can be devastating. Loved ones are left to wonder: how is my son or daughter doing? Is he happy? Is she comfortable? Does he feel that his rights are protected? Does she feel supported and encouraged to live her best life? Such unresolved questions can add stress to an already painful situation – so we are very pleased to announce our use of this innovative tool, which will help us understand what our students and residents need to live more joyful lives.”

“We have evidence to support the idea that a life with quality is a right, not a privilege, the perception of quality is very fluid and may differ vastly from one person to another, and acquiring and maintaining a life of quality is an unending task and requires strong commitment and resources,” says Dr. Sudi Kash, Chief Clinical Officer at Anderson Center for Autism.

The tool allows Anderson staff to gain a solid understanding of how each individual is experiencing the world in context of 8 domains: Self-Determination: encouraging personal choice and involvement in decision-making and self-expression; Emotional Well-Being: understanding observable behaviors and forms of expression, and taking measures to provide stable and supportive environments and interactions; Physical Well-Being:  helping to provide and manage adequate diet, hygiene, physical activity, and health-related support; Material Well-Being: providing a sense of personal physical space, a comfortable communication system, and a well-adapted environment; Rights: displaying ethics, respect, discretion, and privacy; Personal Development: providing opportunities for enrichment, demonstration of new skills, and stimulation in varied areas; Social Inclusion:  providing opportunities to visit other environments, enjoyment of inclusive environments and events, and participation outside normal program perimeters; and Interpersonal Relations: utilizing best practices in communicating information, encouraging opportunities for personal interactions, celebrating events of personal importance, and providing understanding on an individual level.

Visit andersoncenterforautism.org for more information.