College volunteer helps SDCA students reach goals with music therapy

Research shows that making music can create changes in the human brain, especially strengthening connections between the auditory and motor regions. In addition to the potential benefits music can provide a child with autism in speech and academic learning, Villa volunteer Lydia Heitman shows it’s just plain fun! For three summers, Lydia has brought joy […]

James finds his voices at Sarah Dooley Center for Autism

James has lived all over the country as part of a military family. He also has autism. His family found St. Joseph’s Villa’s Center for Autism when his public school recommended private placement. Find out how life for James and his family has changed for the better in this video with his mother, Alicia.

Fun And Safe Activities For Children With Autism [All Ages]

Every child, regardless of ability, deserves to enjoy a rich, fulfilling and fun life. Numerous safe activities help kids with autism live a normal life as they learn skills, connect with others and discover the world. Provide appropriate supervision as you engage, entertain and teach your child from birth to young adult. Birth to Three […]

Autism-Friendly Events Around Richmond, VA For Winter 2018

Inclusive LEGO® & Game Club – Chester When: Sat, January 6, 2018, 10:00am – 12:00pm This event is for children of all abilities in grades K-8. Read more details & RSVP here. Richmond Area Asperger’s Support Group-Northside When: Thu, January 11, 2018, 7pm – 9pm This Meetup repeats on the 2nd Thursday of every month. […]

2017 Summer Activity Guide For Children With Autism

Children with autism often have special requirements when it comes to summer activities and programs. There are some excellent options available in the Richmond area, including those that focus on music, art, outdoor activities, sports, and more. Keep in mind that these programs may not necessarily fit your needs, so make sure to check out […]

SDCA throws Autism Awareness Month celebration for students and families

As Autism Awareness Month came to a close, Sarah Dooley Center for Autism staff came together to put on a festival celebrating our students and their families.  Programs from across the St. Joseph’s Villa campus were also invited to join the fun.  With music, balloon animals, therapy dogs, an inflatable slide, and food provided by Joey’s Hot Dogs […]

The Joys & Challenges Of Life With An Autistic Sibling

Growing up with a sibling is a wonderful thing. Of course, there are always ups and downs with any sibling relationship, just as there are with most relationships. But for siblings, you’re essentially “stuck” with each other and it can sometimes be challenging to get along. Add the extra challenges of living with autism and […]

SDCA Director Adam Dreyfus presents autism training in Caribbean island of Nevis

Sarah Dooley’s Director Adam Dreyfus and Dr. Ted Hoch of George Mason University were invited to conduct a 3-day workshop on the lovely Caribbean island of Nevis by the Nevisian Island Administration (September 13-15, 2016). This was the second visit to the island nation and marks a deepening of their partnership with the Nevisian Education […]

Trick or Treating for Kids with Autism

Trick or treating is a tradition that many families look forward to each year, Unfortunately, some aspects can be truly frightening and overwhelming for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Unfamiliar faces/costumes and sensory stimuli, such as strobe lights, sound effects and fog machines are some of the common encounters children with autism struggle with on […]

Tips to help kids with ASD avoid bullying

Bullying occurs at an alarming rate and, sadly, kids with Autism and Asperger’s are much more vulnerable targets to bullies. If left unchecked, there can be serious consequences for children that are chronically bullied. These risks include: Withdrawing from school participation, lowered test scores and deteriorating GPA Skipping class or dropping out of school Suffering […]