The William Center at Austine was established in 2004 to meet the special needs of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children whose success is held back by emotional or behavioral difficulties. Approved and licensed by the State of Vermont, Department of Education, the William Center meets the needs of a very low incidence group of youngsters who are in need of specialized programming and related services.
The William Center uses a firm, caring approach rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy and a 2-1 staff-to-child ratio to help children understand their triggers and learn to make appropriate behavioral choices. The program is guided by a whole-child approach that incorporates mental stimulation, physical activity, and physical or occupational therapy as needed. Our goal is to provide students with the life skills and balance to successfully transition back into traditional education programs at Austine or their home district. Located on the beautiful 174-acre campus of the Austine School for the Deaf in Brattleboro, Vermont, this tranquil environment and caring community have the power to change lives.
William Center students are accepted only after a comprehensive evaluation by clinical staff either at William Center at Austine or at facilities chosen by the Local Education Authority (LEA). Transportation between school and home is provided for 7-day students who live within driving distance of Austine. Special transportation arrangements are made for students who live far distances.
The William Center is approved by the State of New York as a 4402 School placement.
The Behavior Program within the William Center is a residential program that serves emotionally and behaviorally disordered Deaf children and adolescents who need more intense psychological and educational programming than other programs are able to provide. Located on Austine’s campus, the program has its own classrooms, residential unit and dedicated staff.
The program operates 12 months a year, seven days a week, with 40 days of summer school including one week of camp on the Austine campus.
The Behavior Program is 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.
- Full-time counselor who uses a variety of counseling and therapeutic approaches; weekly individual and group therapy.
- 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 mediation management support from health office.
- Regular psychiatric consultations including weekly case conferences and clinical supervision.
- Year-round program
- Emphasis on developing 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 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.
The William Center at Austine Behavior Program serves students who have histories of repeated maladaptive behavior in school, at home, and in the community. These behaviors of concern may include:
- Oppositional Defiant Behavior
- Resistance to authority
- Failure to respond to ordinary social stimuli
- Outbursts of verbal and/or physical aggression
- The absence of rudimentary verbal control
Many students also exhibit language and learning disabilities. However, the program is NOT, as a rule, appropriate for students demonstrating the following behaviors and/or needs:
- Active risk of suicide
- Active risk of serious violence to others
- Primarily medical needs
- Severe or profound retardation
- Long-term custodial care needs
- Need for full-time psychiatric care
Most often, referrals to the William Center are made by the prospective student's Local Education Agency (LEA), although referrals may also be initiated by a student's parent or guardian or by a social service agency. If a referral is not initiated by the LEA, it is strongly recommended that the LEA be included in the referral and evaluation process as soon as possible.
We accept students in the program only after a comprehensive evaluation has been completed by clinical staff either at William Center at Austine or at facilities chosen by the Local Education Authority (LEA).
Following the comprehensive pre-admission evaluation and a decision by the LEA, IEP Team to place the student in the program, students enter for a trial, diagnostic placement. Following this stage, staff members work with the LEA and family to develop and implement an appropriate Individualized Education Plan and/or treatment plan.
We may, at times, delay the admission of accepted students so additional staff can be recruited and trained. Students' performance is monitored closely, and staff issue regular reports to referral agencies, parents and LEAs. We provide formal progress reports and report cards according to the regular Austine School schedule.
Tuition is charged to school districts or other agencies placing students in the program. Fee schedules may be obtained from the program director listed below.
For additional information on admissions please contact: