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Anderson Center for Autism Anticipating Final Approval to Launch Preschool Program

Author Marybeth Cale
Date November 18, 2020


Staatsburg, New York…Anderson Center for Autism announced today that it soon anticipates final approval to open a preschool program for students ages 3-5 with behavioral characteristics of autism and related disorders. The new preschool, which could open as early as January 2021, will be housed at Seymour Smith Elementary School in Pine Plains, New York, and will support eligible students from districts throughout Dutchess and surrounding counties.

Patrick Paul, CEO/Executive Director of Anderson Center for Autism, said of the announcement: “We all know that early childhood is a critical time in human development. By providing children with autism and their families the opportunity to access evidence-based education, therapies, and services, we can help position these kids for greater success throughout their entire lives. It’s such an exciting initiative, and we cannot wait to see the stories of these students take shape after having had this robust preschool experience.”

Rooted in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, Anderson Center for Autism’s preschool program will incorporate occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy, along with special education. Families of enrollees will have a chance to participate in regular team meetings and will also have opportunities for in-home education and support to ensure that the skills being taught in the school program can be generalized to each student’s home environment.

Reflected Dr. Tina Marie Covington, Chief Operating Officer at Anderson Center for Autism, “My very first teaching experiences were in preschools and with preschool students with autism and related disabilities. I saw firsthand the positive impact those services had, not only for the children, but for the families. You know you have made a difference in a child’s quality of life when you hear from their parent, years later, who tells you that their now-high school student is independent, thriving, and happy – and that it all started with the education that had been provided in preschool. There is nothing more powerful or fulfilling than that. I expect our team at Anderson will likewise have the same kind of positive impact on the lives of families and their children.”

Anderson Center for Autism is a nonprofit organization based in Staatsburg that provides educational, vocational, and residential services to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. According to the Centers for Disease Control (2020), 1 in 54 people are diagnosed with the neurological disorder, which presents with communication, social, and sensory processing challenges.

Noted Paul, “A goal of ours for over the past 20 years now has been to provide services across an individual’s life span. Assuming formal approval of this preschool program, we can offer the support, education, and therapies to children from a very young age, when there is so much potential for more favorable outcomes. It’s truly great news for all of us who work to optimize the quality of life for people with autism, and we’re thankful to our entire community for its support of all that we do.”

For more information on the organization or to schedule a tour of Anderson, call 845.889.9208 or visit www.AndersonCenterForAutism.org.

About Anderson Center for Autism

Our mission at Anderson Center for Autism is to optimize the quality of life for people with autism.