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CentraState to Offer Free Program for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

By |2020-03-24T10:31:39-04:00December 23rd, 2016|

The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, recently donated a total of $22,000 to CentraState Healthcare System as part of the foundation’s commitment to giving back to the community.

As a result of this grant, CentraState will offer the free program, SUCCESS (Students Using Communication and Collaboration to Enhance Social Success), to help adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) develop and enhance their social skills.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 68 children is identified as having ASD. In New Jersey, this number is one in 41 children. The number of people with ASD is on the rise, and it is estimated that half of a million children with ASD will become adults over the next decade.

People with ASD are at a high risk for social isolation, which is correlated with negative health outcomes and decreased psychological wellbeing. Social isolation results from the difficulty children and youth with ASD have with making friends and engaging in social activities. This program will support adolescents with ASD as they discuss and practice social skills necessary to reduce social isolation and improve their quality of life as they enter adulthood.

The SUCCESS program is for participants aged 16-19 who meet certain criteria, including a documented ASD diagnosis, an interview with both parent and child to determine willingness to participate and the level of communicative ability, and a review of a current individualized education plan (IEP) through the child’s school or similar documentation.

Participants will attend one session every week for 13 weeks at CentraState’s Star and Barry Tobias Health Awareness Center. This social skills awareness program will provide participants with experiential learning through facilitator-guided interaction with their aged peers, and each participant will work toward the development of a personal “toolkit” for social interactions, and have opportunities to role play and gain confidence. Parents of participants will be invited to meet at CentraState’s medical library during their child’s sessions, in order to explore educational resources available related to parenting an adolescent with ASD, and to informally network with other parents.

For more information about the SUCCESS program, call Christine Forbes, medical librarian, CentraState Medical Center, at (732) 294-2668 or email

About CentraState:

CentraState Healthcare System is a nonprofit community health organization consisting of an acute-care hospital, a health and wellness campus, three senior living communities, a Family Medicine Residency Program, and a charitable foundation. CentraState’s teaching program is sponsored by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

About The TD Charitable Foundation:

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank N.A., which operates as TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, and is one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation’s mission is to serve the individuals, families and businesses in all the communities where TD Bank operates, having made more than $153.6 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The Foundation’s areas of focus are affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and the environment. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available at

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