Category Archives: Developmental Disabilities

Adam Dreyfus, Center for Autism Senior Director, appointed to Virginia Board of Education Special Education Advisory Committee

Posted on June 27, 2022
St. Joseph's Villa congratulates Adam Dreyfus, Senior Director of the Villa's Sarah Dooley Center for Autism, on his appointment to serve on the Board of Education's State Special Education Advisory Committee. Adam has led the Sarah Dooley Center for Autism since 2013, after serving the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Technical Assistance Associate at VCU’s Autism Center for Excellence. He has worked in Region 1 and 8 providing direct services ...Read More

In The News: St. Joseph’s Villa Garden serving as sanctuary, educational space for children, families (WRIC ABC 8News)

Posted on June 22, 2022
Our Villa Garden will celebrate its 10th anniversary in October. Thanks to support from our community partners and volunteers, each season has seen the garden expand as an ever-changing therapeutic and educational resource for all Villa students and clients. On their annual Founder's Day of Caring, volunteers from the ABC 8News team joined us in the garden to install galvanized raised beds and prep them for growing. These sturdy new ...Read More

Navigating the Pandemic for Children with Autism

Posted on March 30, 2022
Column by CEO Kathleen Burke Barrett Published by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 26, 2022 More than two years ago, COVID-19 was declared a national emergency. The prevailing assumption was that U.S. schools would be closed for a week or two before reopening and returning to “normal.” Given the primary challenges for students with autism amid COVID were a lack of structure, social interactions and instruction delivery, our goal at St. ...Read More

Sarah Dooley Center for Autism receives 2021 Design Award from AIA Richmond

Posted on October 8, 2021
When we first began planning our new Sarah Dooley Center for Autism, Odell led a series of charrettes with faculty, parents, and public school partners to make sure we got everything just right for our students. We're thrilled that AIA Richmond has recognized the transformation of our 1931 school building with a 2021 Design Award! Designed by Odell and constructed by Daniel & Company Inc., the Sarah Dooley Center's unique ...Read More

St. Joseph’s Villa Announces Grand Opening of New Autism Center

Posted on August 6, 2021
Historic School Building Repurposed to Serve as National Model for Autism Education and Teacher Training RICHMOND, Va. – Inspired to make a difference by rising autism rates and the demonstrated long-term impact of expert educational intervention, St. Joseph’s Villa unveiled its new Sarah Dooley Center for Autism (SDCA) on Sept. 2, 2021. The school will expand SDCA’s capacity beyond the current 96 students, with the goal of reaching thousands more ...Read More

SJV Center for Autism staff share pivots in education model at state conference

Posted on March 1, 2021
When Governor Northam ordered the physical closing of every school in the Commonwealth due to COVID-19 on March 13th, 2020, the Villa's Sarah Dooley Center for Autism (SDCA) rebooted as a virtual private day school the following Monday. All of our resources pivoted to providing the best online learning experience we could. We knew that many of our students would not be able to simply sit in front of a ...Read More

RiseUP Campaign exceeds $25 million goal to upgrade programs and campus

Posted on February 23, 2021
History has been made at the Villa! We are so grateful for the generous support of our community, and proud to announce that the Villa’s five-year RiseUP Campaign raised over $30.6 million - exceeding our $25 million goal! We thank our donors, volunteers and partners from the bottom of our hearts for helping to create a brighter future for the Villa and the children and families we serve. The RiseUP ...Read More

In The News: Sarah Dooley Center for Autism student returns to public school

Posted on January 4, 2021
Children with autism experience and interact with the world in unique ways. Sometimes, they display maladaptive behaviors because of communication challenges, social skills deficits, and other related issues. "In the case of Ilya, he was your classically presenting child on the autism spectrum," said Adam Dreyfus, senior director of the Villa's Sarah Dooley Center for Autism (SDCA). "He had almost no functional communication skills, he had almost no functional social ...Read More

Celebrating our 2020 Graduates

Posted on June 3, 2020
On Tuesday, June 2nd, a car parade led by our teachers and staff left the Villa campus early in the morning to celebrate our Class of 2020 graduates. Diplomas, caps and gowns, and gift baskets were delivered to happy students and their families from Williamsburg to Louisa. Even though this wasn't the graduation ceremony any of us could have planned for, it was a truly special day for everyone. Congratulations ...Read More

In The News: Jamari’s Language Journey at SJV

Posted on April 14, 2020
April is Autism Awareness Month. While we promote inclusion of the children and adults we serve and celebrate all those who support them, it fills us with joy to share with you the testimonial of a parent whose child's future has changed course at the Villa's Sarah Dooley Center for Autism (SDCA). The Richmond Times-Dispatch recently published an Op-Ed by Missy Jasper, who works as an instructional assistant with Louisa ...Read More

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