LATHAM — Anderson Center for Autism, based in Staatsburg, has announced plans to open a Community Center in Latham that will support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.
Through both in-person and telehealth options, the program will incorporate offerings such as one-to-one applied behavior analysis services, early childhood education, social skills groups, and instruction; services will be made available to those with autism from preschool age right through the lifespan.
Last week, Anderson Center for Autism team members hosted 35 stakeholders (including family members, legislators, and representatives from various prospective community partners) for an event at The Century House, where they explained the organization’s vision for the Community Center, facilitated discussion on the needs of the area, and responded to questions.
Said Dr. Tina Covington, Chief Operating Officer at Anderson Center of Autism, “The event solidified what we’ve known for a long time: just as is the case in communities throughout the country and beyond, people with autism in the Capital region have long been underserved — and it’s time for Anderson to expand our footprint and help address the needs.
“And we’ve got so many willing partners, such as school districts and universities, who are really enthusiastic about helping us carry out Anderson’s mission. We’re ready, they’re ready, and the community is ready for this. We really look forward to opening our doors in Latham and doing what we can to optimize the quality of life for people with autism in this area.”
Covington and colleagues from Anderson reported that broadening an existing relationship with SUNY Empire State College is part of the plan for the new site.
For local students seeking to obtain degrees and develop careers in the autism field, Anderson’s Community Center in Latham will provide hands-on learning experiences.
Covington continued: “The program will employ behavior analysts and serve as a site to help educate students through local university partnerships, providing structured, evidence-based training while these individuals work toward their degrees in behavioral analysis.”
Additionally, Anderson plans to build relationships with Albany Medical Center and local school districts.
Added Covington, “A cornerstone of our success in the past, whether at our Staatsburg center or through Anderson Center International (a training program that attracts fellows from all corners of the globe), is our commitment to collaboration.
“Partnerships with entities such as SUNY Empire State College and Albany Medical Center, as well as with interested community leaders and elected officials, will go a long way in helping us deliver top-notch preschool programming, clinical services, and other much-needed opportunities for the 1 in 54 who are diagnosed with autism.”
Patrick Paul, CEO/Executive Director of Anderson Center for Autism noted: “We’ve long talked about the importance of offering a continuum of care across the life span.
“From early identification and intervention to education, housing, and medical care — from vocational opportunities to geriatric services - our overarching goal, as an organization, is to develop lifelong relationships that support peace of mind and lead to better outcomes. We hope to bring that vision to reality, in part, through this new Community Center in Latham.”
For more information regarding Anderson’s expansion into the Capital Region with this Community Center, visit www.AndersonCenterforAutism.org/CapitalRegion.