S.A.F.E., Inc. was founded in 1995 by George R. Shadie, CLU, AEP, and the late Clare T. Shadie. For over 17 years S.A.F.E., Inc. has united concerned families, caretakers, professionals and community leaders with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). S.A.F.E., Inc. is a 501c3 not-for-profit EOE grassroots organization focusing on providing support to the autism community in a variety of ways, including:
- Monthly support group meetings in Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton locations.
- PALS, a social skills/activity program for children age 6-12.
- Teen Club, a social skills/support group for teens age 13-18.
- Autism Musical Experience, a program that provides individualized free 1:1 weekly musical lessons on the instrument of the student’s choice.
- Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Study Groups using Wrightslaw materials, a training program offered regularly designed to meet the needs of parents, educators, health care providers, advocates and attorneys who represent children with disabilities regarding special education.
- Conferences and trainings providing timely and pertinent information with an emphasis on education, interventions, educational practices and therapies.
- Outings, field trips and special events (such as family camping, holiday parties, summer camp, local musical or sporting events), providing safe opportunities for individuals and their families to practice natural environment transitioning, overcoming social barriers and enjoying group leisure activities in the community.
- Two part-time administrative staff dedicated to (i) identifying ASD community special needs and developing programs to meet those needs; (ii) providing time, resources, support and information to members; and (iii) organizing occasions for families to unite, build confidence and receive encouragement.
S.A.F.E., Inc. worked to develop effective and meaningful programs for individuals with ASD in Pennsylvania. We have a strong track record of identifying and advocating for research-based programs to assist individuals with ASD both in the community and in public systems and agencies. Where there weren’t services, we collaborated with agencies to establish recuperative and beneficial services to serve the special needs community, including:
The Coalition on Autism in 1995.
Type 50 wrap-around services, providing applied behavior analysis therapy and behavioral intervention.
Verbal Behavior Classrooms (the project started with two classrooms in 2002. In 2005 the State assumed the project and there are now nearly 200 Verbal Behavior classrooms throughout the state of PA).
New Hope Farm, a residential home for adults with an emphasis on a behavioral approach to teaching life skills and improving independence. Currently a second home is being established.
Successfully lobbied for Act 62 Health Insurance Coverage for individuals with ASD.
S.A.F.E. has a solid track record in securing grants and complying with all requirements for audits, and will continue to do so.
Over $4 million in Federal and State grants
Worked with Senator Specter’s office to secure a grant for $1 million for Geisinger’s autism program under the auspices of Scott Matthew Myers, MD, FAAP and Thomas Donovan Challman, MD.