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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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The Autism Puzzle Piece Design

When you visit the new building at the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism, you’ll walk into a place that’s designed specifically to provide autism therapy and conduct research. Every inch of space benefits our students. In addition to the expansive, well-lit, and welcoming areas throughout, you’ll see colorful autism puzzle piece designs that are displayed […]

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Sarah Dooley Center for Autism receives 2021 Design Award from AIA Richmond

When we first began planning our new Sarah Dooley Center for Autism, Odell led a series of charrettes with faculty, parents, and public school partners to make sure we got everything just right for our students. We’re thrilled that AIA Richmond has recognized the transformation of our 1931 school building with a 2021 Design Award! […]

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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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COVID-19 Response Plan at SDCA

UPDATE (Monday, March 23): In compliance with Governor Northam’s decision, Sarah Dooley Center for Autism will be closed for the remainder for the 2019-2020 school year. We will communicate more information in the days to come. UPDATE (Monday, March 16): As we continue to take every measure to protect the health and well-being of our […]

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Joey expanded his horizons at SDCA

Every school day used to be the same for Joey. He would come to school with a very fixed set of interests, and when those were taken away, he would respond with severe, aggressive behaviors. Trusting relationships weren’t part of his experience. Then Joey began at the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism at St. Joseph’s […]

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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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