During this Covid-19 Pandemic, Shire House is an ideal alternative to a closed college campus – a college student would be able to do their online courses and still receive academic support while experiencing a college dorm setting.
Shire House offers several residential programs and independent living options plus community activities and services.
Our Shire House Vision is a community with friendships, supports, and services that
will be available for the Autism Spectrum and Neurodiverse adult population long into
their adult lives.
Our Shire House Mission is to create a community of and for Autism Spectrum and
Neurodiverse adults where friendships and supports will be forged as our young adults
begin their journey into self-management and independent living.
Our Shire House Philosophy is that with appropriate interventions, methods,
techniques and supports, our clients will learn to better gauge and manage behaviors
that will lead our clients to their level of self-management and independent living.
Our Shire House Residential Programs and Shared Housing Program are specifically for Nurodiverse, Asperger, and high-functioning Autism adults.
Our Community Activities are open to the adult Autism Spectrum and Neurodiverse community.
Liz Kane founded Shire House when she became aware of the need for post-education college living support services and transition to independent living support services needed for her son. Liz had been involved in the management of her son’s special needs since his Autism diagnosis in 1999, therefore, giving her the confidence to undertake a project such as Shire House. Liz’s previous work experience had been in business management and Alzheimer’s patient care. Currently, Liz serves as the Executive Director of the Shire House non-profit organization and as the Shire House Residential Programs & Services Director.
Board Chair, Jeanne Swenson has been and is involved in education- related programs throughout the upbringing of her now adult children. Jeanne is a Shire House parent having had one of her adult children as a client in a Shire House program. Jeanne earned her degree in education from Indiana University.
Valerie Plummer uses her experience as a parent, individual, and family life coach and Love and Logic facilitator to empower individuals and families to find personal fulfillment and build healthy relationships. Valerie encourages and guides conversations which empower people to create awareness, find answers, challenge obstacles and discover choices that lead to transformation. Valerie earned a BA in psychology from San Jose State and a master’s in education from Stanford University and a Certificate in Transformational Coaching from Western Seminary.
Cindy Fahrner is a parent of a young adult on the autism spectrum. Shire House positively influenced her son’s quality of life through improved social interactions. Now, Cindy wants to help ensure that other neuro-diverse young adults can benefit as her son did. Cindy brings over 25 years of experience in building and managing sales teams. She hopes to transition those skills to assist these young adults find meaningful employment.
Damien Liggs is a Supervisor of Community Services for a Wraparound program servicing Santa Clara County families. He holds a dual B.S. Degree in Bible Theology & Christian Leadership, a certified personal trainer and is a certified Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist (through Santa Clara County). Damien has twenty years experience working with special needs families, helping them to develop healthy mind, body and spirit. Damien works with Shire House clients as a personal trainer and is the Activity Director of our Shared Housing.
Frances has worked for Shire House since 2013, and has more than six years of experience working with children and adults with autism. She started as a Social Mentor for Shire House while she was pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science. Upon graduating from San Jose State University in 2015, Frances was promoted to Program Director. Frances' primary role is as the client's advocate: to guide them on their path toward their particular level of independence and to bridge communication between the client and their peers, parents and employers.
Laura Beth DeHority is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern at
Christian Counseling Center (IMF 96095, supervisor Julie Nasser, MFC 41524) who
completed her M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy at Western Seminary, San Jose, in
2016. She is currently pursuing the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) from California
Laura Beth’s greatest area of interest is working with families who are touched by
special needs. Her work provides support to those who are siblings and long-term
caregivers, giving them the opportunity to explore solutions that will bring them hope
and joy in their circumstances.
Click here to join our parent support group. Click here to visit her website.
Dr. Tasha Oswald has specialized training in developmental and clinical psychology, and cognitive neuroscience, with over 13 years’ experience working with teens and adults on the autism spectrum. Dr. Tasha Oswald is a Licensed Psychologist and the Founder and Director of Open Doors Therapy . She graduated with a PhD in Psychology from the University of Oregon, and went on to work for 5 years at the UC Davis MIND Institute, a world renowned research and treatment center for neuro developmental disabilities. Dr. Oswald specializes in group therapy and other approaches for teens and adults on the autism spectrum. Open Doors Therapy also provides Monthly Workshops (in-person or online), Individual/Group Therapy, and Neurodiverse Adult Groups.