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We strive to create an atmosphere that promotes independence and self-determination. Every aspect of instruction is based in research and evidence-based practices. To address students’ challenges in communication, social skills and repetitive behaviors, we ensure that:

  1. Every student has a way to communicate.
  2. Every student has many social opportunities at school and in the community.
  3. We use a comprehensive approach to behavior that supports socially appropriate behavior and for those students that require it, individualized behavior plans that teach appropriate behaviors while addressing maladaptive behaviors.

Communication and social opportunities begin as soon as the student arrives at the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism. We offer fully integrated speech and language services through an on-staff Speech-Language Pathologist. Social interactions are not only available in specific time blocks, but are integrated throughout the day.

Each new student receives a comprehensive assessment across a broad range of skills including: attending, listening, speaking, matching, imitating, reading, writing, math, communication, physical and social. We work with the parents and placing agency to design an individualized academic and behavioral plan. As these plans are implemented we take data on a daily basis and use that information to make decisions as to what beneficial changes may be made to programming.

We believe that every child has hope for a bright future. At the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism, our main goal is to equip students with the skills to lead full and independent lives.

Recent News

You Are Not Alone: WTVR CBS6 features therapeutic Villa Garden

Isabel's son Xavier was thrilled to return to his friends and teachers at the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism earlier this year. “When he saw them, the smile he had

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SJV Center for Autism staff share pivots in education model at state conference

When Governor Northam ordered the physical closing of every school in the Commonwealth due to COVID-19 on March 13th, 2020, the Villa's Sarah Dooley Center for Autism (SDCA) rebooted as

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SDCA Student Transfers From The Villa To Public School

Children with autism experience and interact with the world in unique ways. Sometimes, they display maladaptive behaviors because of communication challenges, social skills deficits, and other related issues. The Sarah

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