Last Saturday, I attended Hacienda Oaks Estates’ second annual Harvest Wine Festival. Hacienda Oaks Estates is a non-profit corporation that is raising money to buy land and create an organic farm where adults with autism can live and work. This is a great cause since many parents of children with autism fear what will happen to their child once he or she enters adulthood.
The event was truly spectacular. It included live music, wine tasting, an amazing assortment of hors d’oeuvres, as well as an incredible Italian buffet. I had the pleasure of speaking with many parent volunteers as well as Cynthia Conway, the President of Hacienda Oaks Estates. Cynthia is a registered and licensed occupational therapist who has been working in the field of autism for over 15 years. Cynthia was inspired to set up Hacienda Oaks Estates after watching her clients grow up and approach adulthood.
Adults with autism are a population that has been, for the most part, ignored. The majority of autism services, funding, and research has been focused solely on children with autism. I applaud Hacienda Oaks Estates, and similar organizations, for helping to plan for the future of individuals with autism.
If you would like to learn more about Hacienda Oaks Estates, click here.