Northeast Arc, a Danvers-based not-for-profit organization that helps children and adults with disabilities become full participants in the community, has turned a space that it has been using as a day care center into a first of its kind learning center for children on the autism spectrum.
“The Northeast Arc has a history of innovation in supporting people with disabilities and we are at it again by creating a place designed specifically for children with autism and related disorders,” says Jo Ann Simons, president and CEO of Northeast Arc. “We have been planning to convert our day care into a center focused on children with autism for quite a while, but COVID-19 has accelerated our plans as we have seen parents of children on the spectrum struggle with teaching their children at home and have asked us to help find a solution.”
The Learning Center at Northeast Arc, located in Danvers, offers Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in a specialty child care setting. It is an alternative clinical delivery model for ABA therapy to that of the home setting, allowing children (infant to age 5) with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or behavioral diagnosis to access services in a classroom, large outdoor play areas, and community setting.
ABA is the science of learning and behavior, and the Learning Center incorporates this science into a structured learning environment in all classrooms. Children of varying abilities will learn important developmental skills in an individualized way.
The Learning Center, which opened in July, will offer insurance-based and private pay ABA services, behavioral assessments, 1:1 and group ABA therapy. Full-time and part-time placements are available based on a child’s number of authorized service hours and needs of the family. After school programs are also available for children ages 6-7.
“The Learning Center at Northeast Arc is another way in which we are focusing on our mission of changing lives for people with disabilities every day,” said Simons.
Staff in the center consist of qualified teachers, behavior technicians, Board Certified and Licensed Behavior Analysts (BCBA/LABA), a program administrator (Department of Early Education and Care, Director 1), as well as a Clinical Program Director. To find out if your child qualifies, contact Jill McEntee, Clinical Program Director of the Northeast Arc’s Learning Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-219-5830.