An enduring, evolving story…Impact OASIS, now OASIS tlc, was a sister organization to I.M.P.A.C.T. (Improving Middletown’s Program for Autistic Children Together). IMPACT was formed as a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization in the year 2000. The purpose of incorporating was to be able to raise money to assist the public school system with the development of an appropriate educational program for the increasing autistic population. Besides lending funds, IMPACT members worked tirelessly to increase awareness and educate the public about autism and how it affects children. Annual autism assemblies were presented at the seventeen public schools in our district. District-wide essay contests were also orchestrated annually. The last, but equally important area of our work was advocacy. IMPACT officers took an active role at school board meetings and joined numerous important committees to learn how to skillfully encourage people to accept the challenge of educating children with autism.
As programs were being developed in the eleventh hour, the realization of adulthood and end of educational entitlement loomed closer and closer. It had always been a dream of the founding members to create farmstead communities for autistic adults to live and work on. It was time to refocus on this project.
Impact OASIS, now OASIS tlc, (Ongoing Autistic Success in Society) was born. OASIS tlc is a 501 (c)(3) public charity and was incorporated in September 2007. We worked closely with the local government, a county agency and the state of New Jersey to put funds together to purchase our first farm. We also leased 7 acres of farmland and began a horticultural program. Many young volunteers, community members and autistic individuals took part in this (see Stevenson’s Tract).
Members of the Middletown Township Committee, the Mayor, Monmouth Conservation Foundation, NJDEP Green Acres, and NY/NJ Baykeeper have been completely supportive and helpful to us in our endeavor. With the help of our first capital campaign, we were able to close on our first farm in 2011. The facility is surrounded by land purchased by the state, county and Middletown Township for public use. The portion afforded to OASIS tlc is central to this land. It is here that we are operating the first step of our farmstead model and manage the transitional program for young adults with autism (see the T.R.A.I.L. Project). Our next step will be to purchase another farm that can serve as a more permanent adult residence.
We believe, as parents of autistic individuals, that the peaceful setting of a farm and the closeness to nature will be a truly rewarding and therapeutic work environment for these challenged individuals. We also feel strongly that there is a need for the public as a whole to begin to think about how we treat our environment. We look forward to having our children and their peers teach others the importance of conservation, good nutrition, the humane treatment of animals and the benefits of good outdoor physical labor.
Thank you in advance for your interest.