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How a Rhythm-Based Music Game is Teaching Students Essential Social Skills

One of the biggest challenges in educating students diagnosed with autism is encouraging them to try new things and explore new ways to engage with the world. At the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism (SDCA), we focus on utilizing their ‘affinities’ (things they like to do) not only to improve their communication skills, but also […]

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Join our Inaugural Sarah Dooley Center for Autism Conference

Announcing our 1st annual conference for our public school partners! Thursday, November 28:00am-3:30pm | $120Sarah Dooley Center for Autism at St. Joseph’s Villa Lunch will be provided. REGISTER HERE  Designed to share our pioneering model in a collegial and collaborative environment, this event will be ideal for special education teachers, administrators who supervise special education […]

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One of the biggest misconceptions about people diagnosed with autism

By Adam Dreyfus, MA, BCBA, LBA – Senior Director, Sarah Dooley Center for Autism I’ve been fortunate to work with individuals diagnosed with autism and their families for almost two decades now, nearly half of that at the Villa. In that time, I have seen amazing growth in the general public’s awareness and understanding of […]

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SDCA Senior Director Adam Dreyfus appointed to Virginia Board of Education Special Education Advisory Committee

Adam Dreyfus, Senior Director of the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism at St. Joseph’s Villa, has been appointed to serve on the Board of Education’s State Special Education Advisory Committee. Adam has led the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism since 2013, after serving the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Technical Assistance Associate at VCU’s Autism Center for […]

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Life Skills: A Vital Part of Autism Education

All children, including children with autism, can develop the essential life skills that equip them to live happy and fulfilled lives. With life skills, children learn how to care for themselves, interact with the world, and succeed at school, at home, and in the community.  At the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism, we believe that […]

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St. Joseph’s Villa Announces Grand Opening of New Autism Center

Historic School Building Repurposed to Serve as National Model for Autism Education and Teacher Training RICHMOND, Va. – Inspired to make a difference by rising autism rates and the demonstrated long-term impact of expert educational intervention, St. Joseph’s Villa unveiled its new Sarah Dooley Center for Autism (SDCA) on Sept. 2, 2021. The school will […]

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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 on his face. He remembered everybody at the school. He was where he was supposed to be.” Throughout the pandemic, staff from all programs have […]

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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 a virtual private day school the following Monday. All of our resources pivoted to providing the best online learning experience we could. We knew that […]

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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 Dooley Center for Autism (SDCA) specializes in supporting children with autism. We use applied behavior analysis (ABA) to target and lessen maladaptive behaviors and to […]

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Educating Students With Autism In The Classroom

A school designed specifically for children with autism can make a significant difference in your child’s life. A specialty school like the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism specializes in meeting your child’s unique academic, social, behavioral, and emotional needs. We provide a well-rounded education and tools that unlock your child’s full potential.  Continue reading to […]

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