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Sneak Peek of the Adult Services building

According to Anne Roux, of the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute in Philadelphia, nearly 66 percent of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are unemployed. (2017 National Autism Indicators Report: Transition Into Young Adulthood).  Young adults on the spectrum are eager to live independently and work, however, social services aimed at helping them overcome problems with communication and social skills become less available as they get older.

Els for Autism recognized this growing trend and is ready to break ground on our much-needed Adult Services building.  The Adult Services building will be a place for adults with autism spectrum disorder to call their own. We’d like to share our progress to date and thank our partners in this endeavor.

In partnership with Collins Development and architect Spina O’Rourke, the facility has been specifically designed to meet the needs of autistic adults and to provide specialized supports, activities to develop life and job skills, and opportunities to build social skills through our commitment to inclusion within the greater community.

The Adult Services building will be outfitted with a commercial kitchen, thanks to the design expertise of Cheney Brothers. The kitchen will be at the heart of a full-service café with drive-through service, along with indoor and outdoor seating. The café will be open to the staff, students, families, and visitors at The Els Center of Excellence, along with members of the Palm Beach County community, showcasing the Els for Autism commitment to inclusion and acceptance of neurodiversity. The café will provide program participants with opportunities to learn and practice the job skills needed to work in the foodservice industry. It will also provide employment opportunities for adults with ASD.

We look forward to working with companies interested in partnering with Els for Autism in all aspects of running the café.  If you are interested in a partnership opportunity, please contact Jill Bowen, Grant Writer and Donor Relations Coordinator, at

We are pleased to announce that tours of the grounds will be available with plans to officially break ground on April 4, 2022. To schedule your tour, please contact Dr. Marlene Sotelo, Executive Director, at

Would you or someone you know be interested in making an in-kind donation to our new Adult Services building? View the list of opportunities below and please contact Dr. Marlene Sotelo, Executive Director, at to be a part of this leading-edge facility for adults with ASD.

Please visit our website to become a sponsor, inquire about naming opportunities and donation procedures.



Mistry, P. (2017, April 6). 66% of Adults with Autism are Unemployed. Who is to blame? The HR Digest.