5 Tips For Choosing the Right School for Your Child with Autism

For parents of children with autism, finding the best school for their child can feel overwhelming. They are faced with having to consider a wide range of different options for their child’s educational future that likely were not on their radar before such as school location, staff to student ratios,

teaching methodologies, peer groups and so much more. Luckily, throughout Massachusetts, there are many different programs and options available for children across the spectrum.

As the former Admissions Director for RCS Learning Center, I have had the opportunity to meet with many parents and experience different initial school tours and parent meetings. I always found it helpful when families came to the initial school visits with checklists, which included predetermined questions that they wanted to get answers to from the meeting. This allowed for more productive conversation and focus on their child’s specific needs and how they could be met within our school.

The statewide association for special needs schools, the Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools (maaps), has a wonderful checklist to use when collecting information about each school you visit. You can download the Special Education Program Checklist for Parents here. Use that list, along with these five tips to help choose the right school for your child with autism:

Personalize the form for you and your child. Before you even start to schedule school visits, go through the form highlight and detail any areas in which you know your child’s specific needs. For instance, if your child requires a full year program, highlight this area; if they require ABA therapy, indicate it in the Program Specifics section. If your child has any physical limitations make sure to indicate what environmental accommodations must be available to allow your child to be successful.

Determine your needs around school visits, observations, and other progress updates. The form does a nice job covering communication from the school to the parents and for good reason. While the focus is often on a child’s needs, a successful placement is also based on the program being able to meet the parent’s needs. Make sure you have a clear understanding of how the school will share information with you and vice versa. Also determine what type of training you may require as a parent to help your child generalize skills from school to home.

Conduct some initial online research. maaps has an online directory where you can search for schools and programs that are tailored to different student populations, including across the autism spectrum. You can narrow results by program type (residential, day, or summer), age range served, and geographic location. Visit the websites of each school and compare it to your form’s highlighted areas, which are your “must-haves,” to help you weed out programs that will not meet your child’s needs.

Tour several different schools. I always recommend having the first meeting to be with the school and the parents only as it is often a lot of information gathering to start. Once you have narrowed down your list, most schools are happy to accommodate a second tour or meeting, at which time it may be more appropriate to include your child. Take note of the children and staff within this environment. How do they interact, appear, engage? The form has ample space for you to jot down notes of cleanliness, space size, materials, etc. Be sure to tell your tour guide if there are times you would like to slow down or observe something more closely. Ask questions as you go or write them down for oneon-one discussions later.

Make sure you understand the program interventions and associated terminology. Following the tour, you will likely have a time to meet with the school staff. In addition to any “must haves” on the checklist, be sure to ask questions regarding any terms and policies the school staff use that you are not familiar with. There are many different types of interventions available for children with Autism but only a few that are established and supported by research. The National Autism Center released a report detailing the 14 established interventions for children with autism. This is a great resource to use to get familiar with the different types of interventions and understand which will be best for your child.

No matter which school you choose, with this preparation you can be confident your child with autism will get the excellent education that they deserve.

RCS Professionals Present at January ABAI Conference

Natick, MA., January 28, 2019 – Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Behavioral & Educational Consulting in Natick, MA was well-represented at this month’s Association for Behavior Analysis International Conference (ABAI) in San Francisco with poster presentations by Dr. Christina King, BCBA, LABA; Megan Breault, M.S., BCBA, LABA; and Colleen Yorlets, M.A., M.S., BCBA, LABA.

The trio offered insight on three topics:
 Stimulus Generalization and Equivalence-Based Instruction
 Stimulus Equivalence and Emergent Verbal Behavior
 Methodologies to Establish Conditioned Reinforcers

While the three posters examine different conceptual areas within behavior analysis, all focus on efficiency of instruction for learners with autism and other developmental disabilities. Efficiency of instruction is a common theme in RCS’ ongoing lines of research, with findings disseminated in the larger behavior analytic community and then translated into practical applications for RCS students.

About RCS Learning Center
Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center is a leading not-for-profit, chapter 766 approved private special educational school that provides the highest quality individualized behavioral and educational services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities. For over a decade RCS Learning Center has exceeded the standards for teaching students with Autism through the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment methodology with an emphasis on Verbal Behavioral Model for teaching communication and language skills. Individualized curriculum, programming, and 1:1 support is tailored to meet the needs of each student that includes specialized vocational program for students 14 years and older. Our highly respected leaders in the field of ABA conduct cutting edge research, present at national and local conferences and provide intensive training for individuals in the field of Behavioral Analysis and ABA. RCS Learning Center is based in Natick, MA and is a 501c3 non-profit. More information is available at www.rcslearning.org.

RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting Presents At Regional Conference

Natick, MA., OCTOBER 16 – A panel of experts in behavior analysis from Realizing Children’s
Strengths (RCS) Learning Center in Natick and RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting recently presented at the 39th Annual Berkshire
Association for Behavior Analysis and therapy (BABAT) Conference in Amherst, MA, the largest
and longest-running conference in the country for behavior analysts.
RCS presented a symposium titled Utilizing Equivalence-Based Instruction to Teach Academic
Skills to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Members of the RCS Research Team
presented three studies demonstrating the effectiveness of specific types of instruction. Team
members presenting were Christina King, PhD., BCBA, LABA, Executive Managing Director of
RCS Learning Center, Megan Breault, M.S., BCBA, LABA, Clinical Director of RCS Learning Center,
and Colleen Yorlets, M.A., M.S., BCBA, LABA, Chief Clinical Specialist.

BABAT, a highly respected professional organization for behavior analysts, hosted the annual
conference targeting professionals, teachers, students, and anyone interested in the areas of
behavior analysis, autism, developmental disabilities, ethics, behavioral medicine,
organizational behavior management and more. The conference draws expert presenters and
professionals in the field from across the US. Throughout the year, BABAT provides practice
resources, support for members’ professional development, recognition of significant
contributions, and the sharing of research and scholarship. This year the conference was able to
live-stream some of the discussions for the first time.

About Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center
Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center is a leading not-for-profit, chapter 766
approved private special educational school that provides the highest quality individualized
behavioral and educational services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other
developmental disabilities. For over a decade, RCS Learning Center has exceeded the standards
for teaching students with Autism through the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
treatment methodology with an emphasis on Verbal Behavioral Model for teaching
communication and language skills. Individualized curriculum, programming, and 1:1 support is
tailored to meet the needs of each student that includes specialized vocational program for
students 14 years and older. Our highly respected leaders in the field of ABA conduct cutting
edge research, present at national and local conferences and provide intensive training for
individuals in the field of Behavioral Analytics and ABA. RCS Learning Center is based in Natick,
MA and is a 501c3b non-profit. More information is available at www.rcslearning.org

RCS and Mini-Miracles Form Partnership with Fisher College

RCS and MINI MIRACLES FORM PARTNERSHIP WITH FISHER COLLEGE

 

Natick, MA., September 10, 2018 — Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Behavioral & Educational Consulting and Mini-Miracles Early Education & Child Care Center have partnered with Fisher College to offer its staff college-level education at a reduced cost.

The Fisher College partnership gives employees at RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting and Mini-Miracles Early Education & Childcare Center an opportunity to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Human Services with a concentration in Early Intervention or an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education, both with a significant discount on their tuition. The partnership, through the Division of Accelerated and Professional Studies at Fisher College, is an exciting opportunity for the employees to gain hands-on career experience as they work to further their education in the same field.

“We are thrilled with this new partnership with Fisher College,” said RCS Chief Clinical Specialist, Colleen Yorlets, M.A., M.S., BCBA, LABA. “The quality and convenience of this program makes it ideal for anyone looking to further their education in these areas,” said Yorlets.

RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting is the leading provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment services for children and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities. Specializing in services that span across a child’s lifetime and various developmental stages, RCS prides itself in ensuring each child reaches his/her potential. The spectrum of services include the state contract as a Specialty Provider for Early Intervention, Early Childhood services, including an innovative Integrated Preschool Program, social skills groups, Clinic-based sessions, and direct ABA, in-home services. Other Exceptional services for children, individuals, families and school districts include; direct ABA, in-home and school based services, transitional support, IEP development, district wide educational and behavioral design, classroom consultation and training. Operating for more than 20 years, RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting has provided the highest quality services through highly trained and educated providers in the field of ABA and Early Childhood, supporting over a 1000 children and individuals along the North Shore and throughout Massachusetts. General Consulting offices are located in Natick and Framingham. The Early Childhood Office and Clinic is located in Woburn, MA. More information is available at www.rcsconsultingne.com/

Mini-Miracles Early Education and Child Care Center students come from many communities within the Metrowest region, allowing the center to offer a diverse learning environment for all children (from infants to pre-k). In collaboration with highly-skilled clinical executives from parent organization, Realizing Children’s Strengths, Mini-Miracles’ curriculum is unique and multi-sensory with the goal of connecting children to new concepts using the four main modalities of learning; visual, auditory, movement and touch. For more information, to enroll in Mini-Miracles Early Education & Child Care, please visit www.minimiracleschildcare.com

Behavior Analysts from RCS Learning Center Present at MassABA Annual Conference

Three professionals from RCS Learning Center in Natick presented at the Massachusetts Association for Applied Behavioral Analysis (MassABA) Annual Conference

NATICK, MA, USA, August 9, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — For Immediate Release Contact: Claire Burgess, 339-788-7476

BEHAVIOR ANALYSTS FROM RCS LEARNING CENTER PRESENT
AT MassABA ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Natick, MA., August 8, 2018 – With a focus on consultative services relating to evidence-based supervision practices, three professionals from RCS Learning Center in Natick recently presented at the Massachusetts Association for Applied Behavioral Analysis (MassABA) Annual Conference in Marlboro, MA.

 

Read more…

Behavior Analysts from RCS Learning Center Present at MassABA Annual Conference

 

Natick, MA., August 2, 2018 – With a focus on consultative services relating to evidence-based supervision practices, three professionals from RCS Learning Center in Natick recently presented at the Massachusetts Association for Applied Behavioral Analysis (MassABA) Annual Conference in Marlboro, MA.

RCS Learning Center Executive Managing Director Christina King, Ph.D, BCBA, LABA; Clinical Director Megan Breault M.S., BCBA, LABA; and Chief Clinical Specialist Colleen Yorlets, M.A., M.S., BCBA, LABA, presented on Providing Effective Consultative Services: A Review of Evidence Based Supervision Practices.  Topics discussed included Behavioral Skills Training and Competency Based Training, Performance Feedback, and Procedural Integrity.  

The tutorial for the conference, designed by the team of experts from RCS Learning Center, provided a review of recent literature covering evidence-based training and, the characteristics, types and effects of performance feedback. Strategies for overcoming barriers that professionals often face in training protocols were also discussed. King explained that the majority of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) serve in consultative roles and therefore, the responsibility is to train those who are implementing the protocol to competency. Effective training of direct staff is critical and ethically necessary, said King, and better procedural application and maintenance of treatment integrity is needed.

The Massachusetts Association for Applied Behavioral Analysis (MassABA) is a trade organization that represents the interests of behavior analysts in the state. Massachusetts has more BCBAs per capita than anywhere in America. As of January 2018, the Commonwealth has more than 2000 BACB certificants. MassABA is dedicated to providing educational opportunities and advocacy for all professionals who provide behavior analytic services in any capacity. The signature connection between the organization and its more than 1,100 members is the annual conference that takes place each spring. MassABA is an affiliated chapter of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

About Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center
Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center is a leading not-for-profit, chapter 766 approved private special educational school that provides the highest quality individualized behavioral and educational services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities.  For over a decade RCS Learning Center has exceeded the standards for teaching students with Autism through the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment methodology with an emphasis on Verbal Behavioral Model for teaching communication and language skills. Individualized curriculum, programming, and 1:1 support is tailored to meet the needs of each student that includes specialized vocational program for students 14 years and older.  Our highly respected leaders in the field of ABA conduct cutting edge research, present at national and local conferences and provide intensive training for individuals in the field of Behavioral Analytics and ABA. RCS Learning Center is based in Natick, MA and is a 501c3b non-profit. More information is available at www.rcslearning.org

RCS LEARNING CENTER RECEIVES EIGHTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM MIDDLESEX SAVINGS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

Natick, Mass., July 18, 2017 – RCS Learning Center today announced it received a $18,389.00 grant awarded by the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation for the 2018 fiscal year. The support will allow RCS Learning Center to provide 1 to 1 access to technology for each student. Thus, ensuring the appropriate technological advances are available to every student to support their academic, vocational, and daily living needs.

RCS Learning Center will be adding iPads, supporting software programs, educational applications, and protective cases to provide the 1 to 1 access to technology that will allow for an increase in effectiveness of providing the highest quality of individualized programming for each student.

“For individuals with autism, access to technology can improve their communication, assist in the development of social skills, and aid the development of self-help and vocational skills.,” said Dr. Christina King, RCS Learning Center’s Executive Managing Director and Chief of Research and Application for Realizing Children’s Strengths. “Several students within our school are non-verbal with a limited ability to communicate with others. The iPad is an invaluable resource to provide them with an alternative way to communicate.”

RCS Learning Center is a nonprofit organization serving families and 26 school districts within Massachusetts providing the highest quality of individualized behavioral and educational research and services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. RCS Learning Center prides itself in the unique qualities of the educational & behavioral services provided and with a vision to remain the leader with intensive and individualized programming in a 1:1 staff to student ratio.  The implementation of a 1 to 1 technology program supports this goal. Local residents can see how the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation grant and local funds are benefiting the RCS Learning Center by visiting us at www.rcslearning.org.

“Middlesex Savings Bank has always cared deeply about the communities we serve,” said Dana Neshe, president of the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation. “Through the Foundation grants, we are able to provide support to the people and organizations who work the hardest to both solve problems and create opportunities for our neighbors. We are pleased to support RCS Learning Center this year with the awarded grant.”

About the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation

The Foundation was established in 2000 to carry out further the philanthropic mission of Middlesex Savings Bank by supporting the communities served by the Bank. Since its creation, the Foundation has provided more than $4 million in grants to over 400 nonprofit organizations, supporting services, and programs in a wide variety of fields, including education, and basic human services. Since the inception of the Foundation, Middlesex Savings Bank has funded the endowment with over $15 million in contributions. More information available at https://www.middlesexbank.com/community-and-us/community-support/Pages/charitable-foundation.aspx.

About Middlesex Savings Bank

Middlesex Savings Bank, founded in 1835 and headquartered in Natick, Mass., is a mutual savings bank. As one of the largest independent banks in Massachusetts with assets exceeding $4 billion, the bank has been committed to providing outstanding value in consumer banking and business banking products for 180 years. The FDIC and DIF insured bank has 30 branch offices located in 24 communities – Acton, Ashland, Bedford, Bellingham, Boxborough, Concord, Framingham, Franklin, Groton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Littleton, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Natick, Needham, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Walpole, Wayland, Wellesley, an Westford. For more information, please visit www.middlesexbank.comwww.facebook.com/connectwithmsb and www.twitter.com/middlesexbank.

About Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center

Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center is a not-for-profit organization and global leader whose mission is to provide the highest quality of individualized behavioral and educational research and services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. Founders Denise Rizzo-Ranieri and Louis Ranieri combined their many years of successful behavioral and educational consulting with a leading team of experts and over a decade-ago developed the Natick school that exceeds the standards for teaching students with autism effectively through intensive, quality 1:1 interactive education. The RCS team believes every child has unique skills and they are dedicated to helping each child develop these skills and reach their full potential with an intensive staffing and supervision structure which enables the highest quality of comprehensive and individualized programming and services tailored to meet every student’s needs. Realizing Children’s Strengths, which currently serves 45 RCS Learning Center students, also provides unique training environments with a continued focus on developing vocational skills training through real-world job training on site and at partner locations. Highly respected industry leaders with award-winning services, RCS Learning Center is based in Natick, MA and is a 501c3b non-profit. More information is available at www.rcslearning.orghttps://www.facebook.com/rcslearningcenter and https://twitter.com/RCSLearnCenter

RCS LEARNING CENTER EXHIBITS AND PRESENTS AT ABAI CONFERENCE

Natick, MA., June 27, 2018 – Realizing Children’s Strengths Learning Center (RCS) in Natick, MA exhibited and presented at the recent Association for Behavior Analysis International 44th Annual Convention in San Diego, CA. Representatives and presenters included, RCS Chief Clinical Specialist, Colleen Yorlets, M.A., M.S., BCBA, LABA, Executive Managing Director Christina King, Ph.D, BCBA, LABA, and Clinical Director Megan Breault, M.S., BCBA, LABA.

The symposium, “Analyses of Equivalence-based Instruction Using Three Different Training Structures”, was chaired by Colleen Yorlets and included three studies presenting data from interventions on how to efficiently develop concepts in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  The first study, presented by Megan Breault, focused on a teaching procedure which resulted in a participant sorting multiple school store items into categories having only been taught to sort one example item. Christina King, presented the second study which focused on designing language-based interventions that resulted in untaught verbal behavior representative of concept formation.  Lastly, Colleen Yorlets presented data suggesting that learners emitted substantially more errors and formed fewer classes amongst stimuli with a trial-and-error protocol compared to an errorless learning protocol.

Since 1974, the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has been the primary membership organization for those interested in the philosophy, science, application, and teaching of behavior analysis. ABAI provides many services to its members and the field including events, careers, journals, affiliated chapters, special interest groups, and an online newsletter.

About Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center
Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center is a leading not-for-profit, chapter 766 approved private special educational school that provides the highest quality individualized behavioral and educational services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities.  For over a decade RCS Learning Center has exceeded the standards for teaching students with Autism through the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment methodology with an emphasis on Verbal Behavioral Model for teaching communication and language skills.  Individualized curriculum, programming, and 1:1 support is tailored to meet the needs of each student that includes specialized vocational program for students 14 years and older.  Our highly respected leaders in the field of ABA conduct cutting edge research, present at national and local conferences and provide intensive training for individuals in the field of Behavioral Analysis and ABA. RCS Learning Center is based in Natick, MA and is a 501c3b non-profit. More information is available at www.rcslearning.org

 

About Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Behavioral and Educational Consulting

RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting is the leading provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment services for children and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities.  Specializing in services that span across a child’s lifetime and various developmental stages, RCS prides itself in ensuring each child reaches his/her potential.  The spectrum of services include the state contract as a Specialty Provider for Early Intervention,  Early Childhood services, including an innovative Integrated Preschool Program, social skills groups, Clinic-based sessions, and direct ABA, in-home services.  Other Exceptional services for children, individuals, families and school districts include; direct ABA, in-home and school based services, transitional support, IEP development, district wide educational and behavioral design, classroom consultation and training.  Operating for more than 20 years, RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting has provided the highest quality services through highly trained and educated providers in the field of ABA and Early Childhood, supporting over a 1000 children and individuals along the North Shore and throughout Massachusetts.  General Consulting offices are located in Natick and Framingham.  The Early Childhood Office and Clinic is located in Woburn, MA.  More information is available at http://rcsconsultingne.com/          

Movers & Shakers – Metro West Daily News

RCS Chief Clinical Specialist Recognized for Volunteerism by Industry Organization

Natick, MA, June 3, 2018…Colleen Yorlets, Chief Clinical Specialist at Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Behavioral and Educational Consulting and RCS Learning Center, was recognized for her volunteer work by the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT) earlier this month, with a Volunteer Spotlight.

Yorlets, who has been with RCS since 2007, began her volunteer work with BABAT after attending a business meeting at the 2016 annual conference. She joined the Professional Practice Committee, collaborating with fellow members on projects including developing survey questions to improve support for members in the area of practice; compiling resources and content for the BABAT website; and proposing topics and speakers for the 2018 Professional Practice series. She also served as a volunteer Student Representative for the Association for Behavioral Analysis International (ABAI) in 2014/2015.

Other RCS executive team members who volunteer for BABAT include Christina King, Ph.D, BCBA, LABA, who serves on the membership committee, and Allison Genovese, ABA, BCBA, LABA, a member of the Editorial and Social Media committee.

A PhD candidate in the Simmons College Behavior Analysis program and a member of BABAT for 6 years, Yorlets said volunteering at a local chapter is just one way to contribute and give back to the industry to which she has committed her career.  Yorlets has a BA and MA in psychology, and an MS in Behavior Education. She is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Behavior Analyst.

About Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Behavioral and Educational Consulting

RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting is the leading provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment services for children and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities.  Specializing in services that span across a child’s lifetime and various developmental stages, RCS prides itself in ensuring each child reaches his/her potential.  The spectrum of services include the state contract as a Specialty Provider for Early Intervention,  Early Childhood services, including an innovative Integrated Preschool Program, social skills groups, Clinic-based sessions, and direct ABA, in-home services.  Other Exceptional services for children, individuals, families and school districts include; direct ABA, in-home and school based services, transitional support, IEP development, district wide educational and behavioral design, classroom consultation and training.  Operating for more than 20 years, RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting has provided the highest quality services through highly trained and educated providers in the field of ABA and Early Childhood, supporting over a 1000 children and individuals along the North Shore and throughout Massachusetts.  General Consulting offices are located in Natick and Framingham.  The Early Childhood Office and Clinic is located in Woburn, MA.  More information is available at rcsconsultingne.com

BOSTON GLOBE – NATICK NONPROFIT TAILORS SERVICES TO CHILDREN’S INDIVIDUAL NEEDS

Natick nonprofit tailors services to children’s individual needs

 

Realizing Children’s Strengths Learning Center provides individualized behavioral and educational services for children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. The Natick-based nonprofit organization was founded in 2006 by chief executive officer Louis Ranieri and president Denise Rizzo-Ranieri, who is also chief of design and innovation. Rizzo-Ranieri had this to say:

Q. What services does the center provide?

A. We recognize that each child has individual needs, so we offer a spectrum of services to fill every gap from age 0 to 22. You can’t just say we’re putting you in this round hole and you have to fit.

Q. How have those services evolved?

A. When we opened our doors, we focused on ages 3 to 10 because we wanted time to build a vocational program for our kids to utilize the skills they work so hard to develop. We’re very proud of our Let’s Get to Work program, which supports students 14 and older in job training at the center and partner sites such as CVS and a local hotel management company. Our kids have great skills to offer, and we’d love to have more corporate partnerships in order to provide an array of experiences for them.

Q. Are any new services on the horizon?

A. We’re in the process of building a 5,000-square-foot expansion onto our current building, and part of the design is a vocational mall so students can get experience working at a restaurant, copy center, laundromat, and other businesses. This builds on the skills our younger students develop as volunteers who stock shelves and scan bar codes at a food pantry, help with Meals on Wheels, get snacks and lunches ready at a child care center, and as cashiers and landscapers at a golf course. Our goal is for students to not only go to work after graduation, but in their area of interest.

Q. How can the public help?

A. Donations are important so we can continue to expand our partnerships and increase staffing to offer the best services for our kids. The rate of autism continues to increase, and we’re doing our best to keep up with demand because with the right teaching, they make incredible gains. Every student deserves to reach their full potential, and no one should accept less.

Realizing Children’s Strengths Learning Center is located at 6 Strathmore Rd. in Natick. For more information, call 508-650-5940 or visit rcslearning.org.

Cindy Cantrell can be reached at cindycantrell20@gmail.com.

© 2019 RCS Consulting  All Rights Reserved.