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Construction begins on new Sarah Dooley Center home

St. Joseph’s Villa began a new chapter in its 185-year history as we launched construction on the home of our new Sarah Dooley Center for Autism. With the help of Odell architects and contractor Daniel & Company, the 24,000 sq. ft. Dooley School building will be transformed into a state-of-the-art facility that combines pioneering education, […]

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Defeating the isolation of autism – one proven method at a time

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial by Adam Dreyfus, Senior Director, Sarah Dooley Center for Autism at St. Joseph’s Villa April is National Autism Awareness Month, and while science still has unanswered questions around what causes autism, there is much we do understand. We know what autism is; we know how to treat it; and we can celebrate how […]

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Living With A Severe Case Of Autism

The spectrum disorder known as autism includes three levels – mild, moderate, and severe. Every child with autism requires care, support, and supervision, but a child with severe autism has extensive needs. What To Expect When Raising Child With A Severe Case Of Autism Parenting a child with a severe case of autism includes a […]

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The Difference Between Moderate To Severe Autism

Every person with autism will face social, communication, and behavior challenges, and they will need ongoing assistance and support. However, autism is a developmental disorder that’s a spectrum, meaning children with autism may experience mild, moderate, or severe symptoms and impairments. Understanding Differences In Moderate To Severe Autism As the parent of a child with […]

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What Is Severe Autism? [Guide To Identifying Severe Autism]

Autism is a spectrum that includes mild, moderate, and severe symptoms. In general, a person’s level of autism is determined by his or her level of functioning and the level of support required for the individual to remain safe. What Is Severe Autism? Severe autism, also known as low-functioning autism or profound autism, is the […]

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NBC12 awards teacher Michelle Hughey for Excellence in Education

Teacher Michelle Hughey has changed hundreds of lives at our Sarah Dooley Center for Autism over the past 13 years. For her unrelenting dedication and compassion, NBC12 surprised her with their Excellence in Education Award. Michelle gives her all to every student and makes the most of every teachable moment. She works with some of […]

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Severe Autism Symptoms, Diagnosis & Management

As a parent, you monitor your child’s development very closely. So when you start to notice unusual behavior, you may worry that he or she has autism. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects as many as one in 59 kids. It includes high, moderate, and severe levels of need. Children with severe autism require […]

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Director Adam Dreyfus presents innovative mobile resource to MIT

  Adam Dreyfus aspires to help parents of children with autism outside of his role as our Autism Center Director. In 2016, he co-founded AnswersNow as an online platform that provides parents instant digital access to counseling from licensed clinicians. After participating in the MetLife Digital Accelerator program, Dreyfus and the AnswersNow team were invited […]

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Resource Guide For Severe Autism Information And Education

Children and young adults with low-functioning or severe autism experience intense challenges. Many individuals with severe autism suffer from the following: Cognitive impairment Sensory sensitivities Social challenges Communication difficulties Behaviors such as self-injury, aggression, spinning, rocking, or flapping Successfully care for your loved one with severe autism, and improve his or her quality of life […]

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Teaching Students With All Levels of Autism

“How will my child learn?” “Will I have to send her to a special school?” “His situation is so different from everyone else’s; how will anyone accommodate him?” These are common concerns of parents with an autistic child. Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), describes children with difficulties communicating, engaging in social situations or responding […]

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