The Center for Autism Team


Beginning in the 1980s,Center for Autism’s caring TEAM members have provided high quality instruction in a POSITIVE and supportive educational environment to meet the unique needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

We work with students referred by our member school divisions whose IEP team has determined that the nature or severity of student’s disability required more intensive educational services than can currently be provided within their home school division.

Our multidisciplinary team COLLABORATES to provide appropriate research-based programming that will result in achieving the best individual student outcomes. We all work together: students, staff, school divisions, community agencies, and families!


Who’s on our team?

Our Paraprofessionals, also called Teaching Assistants (TAs), help teachers develop instructional materials, help maintain structure in the classroom environment, provide extra support during  teacher instruction, help differentiate instruction to meet each student’s needs, and work one-on-one with students to practice skills and drills. They also assist students with positive behavioral supports and activities of daily living.

Our Teachers are licensed special educators who work collaboratively with parents, students, related service staff, school divisions, community agencies, and the classroom team to assess and develop individualized education plans for each student. They are also responsible for lesson planning, differentiated instruction, developing and implementing positive behavioral supports, and providing a structured, welcoming learning environment.

Our Behavior Specialists are Licensed Special Educators and Board Certified Behavior Analysts (or in the process of becoming Board Certified). They work closely with teachers to develop and implement individualized Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP). Interventions are data driven and focus on positive behavioral interventions and supports.

Our Speech/Language Pathologists are licensed by the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP). They provide individual and group speech/language therapy using evidence-based practices as determined by each student’s IEP.  Evidence-based practices include, but are not limited to, picture exchange systems for communication, visual supports, social thinking, modeling, functional communication training, video self-modeling, social stories, and reverse mainstreaming.

Speech assessment and therapy addresses all areas of communication development including articulation, voice, fluency, literacy, and language.

Our Speech Therapists also use and provide support for a wide range of communication systems including various picture systems and speech generating devices as determined by each student’s IEP.

Our School Psychologists are licensed and certified through the National Association of School Psychologists (NCSP). They promote positive behavior and mental health for all students by assisting the team with social skills programming, providing crisis intervention and short-term student counseling if the need arises, and linking students/parents to community resources. They also collaborate with instructional staff and the IEP team on student assessment, emotional/behavioral functioning and instructional strategies.

Our Administrators are licensed in Special Education and Education Administration and Supervision and hold a Master’s Degree or higher. Our Director and Coordinators work collaboratively with our six member school divisions, oversee instruction and programming, interact with staff and students daily, manage budgets and facilities, and provide supervision and support for instructional and related services staff.

Our School Nurses focus on health and wellness and create a safe and positive clinic environment for our students. They provide students with required health screenings, sick child and first aid care, medication administration, and special care plans. They communicate with parents and guardians related to student illness, injury, and medication needs. Our nurses also provide training and support for staff related to health matters that impact our students.

Our Occupational Therapist holds National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and is licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine to practice as a licensed occupational therapist (OTR/L). Our OT provides direct and consultative services for students as indicated by the Individualized Education Plan.