Our campus is a learning laboratory for integrating skills into life beyond St. Joseph’s Villa. For more than 30 years, we have been making a big difference for kids and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Also, our support services provide care for the whole family, not just kids.

Sarah Dooley Center for Autism

Our Sarah Dooley Center for Autism prepares students with autism for the fullest possible life as adults. Serving children and youth ages 6 to 22, we focus on building real-world skills that lead to self-sufficiency – all in a structured, nurturing environment.

  • We base our instruction on Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), which is widely regarded as the gold standard for autism education.
  • We complement this instruction with individual support and comprehensive programming to address challenging behaviors.
  • We also work with each child’s family to integrate schoolwork into daily life.

Local school systems from across Central Virginia place students in The Sarah Dooley Center. Please click here for current rates. In many cases, these rates are paid by the student’s local school system with no charge to the parent(s).

Learn more about our school on the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism website.

Click here to download a fact sheet about the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism.

Early Intervention

Research shows that the earlier you work with children with autism, the greater the long-term benefits can be as they develop social and communication skills.

Our Early Intervention program is offered in 3-hour morning and afternoon sessions five days a week.  We serve children ages 2 to 5 who are medically diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This program is one of the first of its kind in Central Virginia. We use a 1:1 staff ratio.

A Board Certified Behavior Analyst supervises the program, which is based on best-practice Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) methodology.  Learn more.

Click here to download a fact sheet about Early Autism Services.

Day Support

Our weekday after-school and all-day programs offer recreational services when school is not in session. To best serve children with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, the staff-to-student ratio does not exceed 1:4.

Click here to download a fact sheet about the Villa’s Day Support Services.

In-Home Behavioral Treatment

Our In-Home Behavioral Treatment program allows families to keep their children in their homes and communities.

We help children with behavioral difficulties, communication limitations, developmental delays and intellectual disabilities. Services include:

  • One-on-one therapy with a qualified mental health professional
  • Support and training for families and caregivers
  • Family therapy and training
  • Parent support groups
  • Ongoing support and encouragement

Our goal is to improve each child’s behavior, communication skills and quality of life.

This service operates as part of Medicaid’s Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) program. For more information about this program, click here.

Click here to download a fact sheet about In-Home Behavioral Treatment