Autism Services expands to Western New York
Autism Services Inc., the only regional agency whose primary mission is to provide personalized services to people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, announced today that the N.Y.S. Education Department has approved expansion of their current facilities. This was accomplished through the invaluable efforts of Lisa Kowal, a concerned parent of a child with autism, and retiring NY State Senator Mary Lou Rath. Additional support came from various supportive school districts, local social services districts and developmental disabilities services offices. Support was also provided by coordinated children’s service initiative committees in and around Western New York. Senator Rath brought the parties together to work toward a common goal: helping those children with disabilities.
For young children through adulthood, Autism Services functions as a school with a specialized curriculum with staff members who are trained to work with this special needs population. Once graduated from the school program, the student may continue in the adult program, which involves continued support in self-care and integration with the community. Prior to approval of the expansion, Autism Services’ waiting list included 29 children for entry into the school program and 30 adults for Day Program services.
The expansion project will see two new facilities developed; one in Williamsville and another on Hertel Ave. in Buffalo. This includes the addition of five new classrooms to Autism Services’ current facilities, which will increase the school to seventy-two students. Expansion is already underway. The agency hopes to have both new facilities completed by the end of 2008.
“This is huge, not only for us, but for the Autism community and the parents who want their children to receive schooling and services tailored specifically for people on the Autism Spectrum,” said Veronica Federiconi, Autism Services’ Executive Director.
Autism Services is located at 4444 Bryant Stratton Way in Williamsville, NY. The agency began with a twelve-month education program in 1989 and has since extended its services to include residential, habilitation, vocational, and cultural programs.
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“This is huge, not only for us, but for the autism community and the parents who want their children to receive schooling.”
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