April 19, 2016, by Josh Kovner- "Matthew Baker was tolerating, as well as anyone would, the group of visitors shuffling over the hardwood floors of his tidy condo and breathing on the gleaming coffee table. When someone wanted to look at his bedroom, he flicked the light on – and then off. "Have to save electricity. I pay the electric bill,'' said Baker, 25. That made Michael Storz smile. Storz is president of Chapel Haven, the 45-year-old New Haven mainstay and nationally known special-education center for adults with autism and intellectual disabilities. Baker came to Chapel Haven at 19 from Cheshire High School. He was comfortable at school—in fact, he was embraced as "the mayor" of the student body. But he would seal himself off from strangers, and he had a long way to go if he was ever going to live by himself. And he dearly did not want to go to Chapel Haven. He wanted to stay at home with his parents. But he went. Six years later – two years in Chapel Haven's main special-education and social-communication curriculum, two years in a program that reinforces everything that was taught, and two years on his own, working on the Yale-New Haven Hospital loading docks and living in a condo at the edge of Chapel Haven's campus in Westville – Matt Baker is what his parents outwardly hoped and silently prayed he would become – a self-sufficient man. Chapel Haven maintains strong ties with its graduates, many of whom live independently in and around Westville. Most require only about four hours per week of continued support from Chapel Haven staff members – who help with physical fitness, budgeting (hence Matt's quick finger on the light switch), cooking and any issues that may come up along the way..." 


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