VCDHH’s ground-breaking Deaf-Autism program is an educational residential program that serves autistic children ages 8-22 who are physically or functionally deaf. These are students who need more intense clinical and educational programming than other programs are able to provide.
Using a specialized curriculum designed at VCDHH, Masters-level staff specialists assess the unique needs of each child and develop individualized education plans and goals. Our unique expertise in alternative communication methods, 1:1 staff-to-child ratio, and a facility specifically created to soothe and support autistic children all contribute to creating a safe, supportive environment conducive to learning.
The program is located on the Austine campus, but has its own classrooms, residential unit and dedicated staff. Our original Independent Living Skills program guides students toward both independence and interdependence through consistent modeling, encouragement, use of alternative communication technologies, and supported community interaction—helping each child to reach his or her highest potential.
The Autism Program operates 12 months a year, seven days a week, and accepts single day, 5-day and 7-day students. Students have 40 days of summer school including one week of camp located on the campus of Austine. All students are provided 1:1 assistance in the classroom managed by a full-time teacher and 1:1 supervision and assistance in the residential program.
William Center Deaf-Autism Program is a New York State 4402 Placement.
The Autism Program services are designed to serve all areas of a student's life:
- Small, individualized academic classes
- Pre-vocational training including assessment, job training, work experience and job placement services.
- Counselors who use a variety of counseling and therapeutic approaches; individual and group therapy, if appropriate.
- Access to Austine's comprehensive services for speech and audiology, psychological testing and evaluation, medical and health-related services, interpreter services for deaf or Spanish-speaking parents.
- Daily medication management support from health office.
- Regular psychiatric consultations including case conferences and clinical supervision.
- Intensive support from occupational physical and speech and language therapists.
- The use of technology to enhance behavioral interventions and communication options.
- Year-round program
- Emphasis on improving social interaction, pragmatic language, independent living skills, problem solving skills, appropriate use of leisure time, and socially-appropriate behaviors.
- Social and recreational after-school activities, including sports, student work programs and supervised community field trips. Access to Austine School activities will be encouraged and dependent upon student behavior performance.
Behavior Management Services
- Individual, structured behavior management programs, developed to meet each student's needs
- Telephone conferences with families by counseling and administrative staff.
- Support for students returning to regular academic and pre-vocational programming
- Access to consultants in psychiatry, neurology, occupational and physical therapy, and behavior management.
Students served by the Autism Program have a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum.
For additional information contact: