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Making a place for disabled young adults to live, learn
(The Boston Globe)

Boston GlobeJanuary 31. 2015

Families of students with developmental disabilities often face a crisis when they turn 22 and age out of services provided through their local school districts. "Many are ill-prepared to live independently or hold a job. It is a problem that is expected to mushroom along with the growing number of children diagnosed with the disorder," writes Bella English in her piece about 3LPlace's efforts to bridge that gap.

English goes on to tell the story of how one family met the challenge, for their own son and other young adults like him.

"Deborah Flaschen, a former Wall Street investment banker, was 16 when she enrolled at Tufts University and 20 when she graduated magna cum laude," she writes. "When her son D.J., who has autism, turned 17, she started looking around at his options, but they were alarmingly limited.

"Lacking an option she felt comfortable with, Flaschen decided to create her own. The result: 3LPlace Life College near Tufts in Somerville for young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. Experts in the field say that the Life College is the only one of its kind in Massachusetts, combining a residential and day program under one roof for young adults. With its ability to offer more comprehensive life-skills training, the new project underscores both how significant the need is for the students and how little is generally available."

Read the full story, published 1/31/15 by The Boston Globe.