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Founded in 1979 through the vision of four families in Montgomery County, Maryland, Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children (CSAAC) is a private, non-profit agency which provides direct services to children and adults with autism across the lifespan. CSAAC's mission is "to enable individuals with autism to reach their highest potential and contribute as confident individuals to their community." CSAAC's founders saw a future where adults with autism lived and worked in the community and not in institutions, and they were the pioneers of this effort. Today, CSAAC is the largest provider in the nation to serve individuals with autism exclusively with comprehensive programs from early childhood through retirement.
CSAAC is a nationally recognized leader in developing state-of-the-art services for people with autism and serves as a model for other agencies developing community based housing, employment, and other related services. CSAAC's Supported Employment program was the first of its kind in the United States and, today, enables many CSAAC individuals to perform jobs within the community and at over 40 different employment locations, including The Gazette Newspapers, TJ Maxx, Todd Allen Printing, Shoppers Food Warehouse, and The Home Depot. CSAAC currently operates 52 community living residences for 130 residents around Montgomery County (April, 2009), The Community School of Maryland (a non public K-12 program), an after-school program, an early intervention home-based program and classroom-based preschool program. Across all programs, CSAAC serves nearly 300 families impacted by autism.