Old Westbury, NY - January 28th, 2013 - SUNY College at Old Westbury has joined a statewide network of colleges and universities by becoming a Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders serving the Long Island region.
“Some estimate that one in every 88 children born has some form of autism,” said College President Calvin O. Butts, III. “This Center enables us to work alongside our Long Island neighbors and educators so that individuals with autism spectrum disorders can achieve their highest potential and live lives of promise and purpose.”
The Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Old Westbury is one of six university-affiliated programs across New York State with an overarching goal of identifying, disseminating, and assisting in the implementation of evidence-based practices to build capacity to improve services and outcomes for children and youth with autism spectrum disorders. The Center offers free workshops and training programs to families and educators of children with autism.
“Our goal is to serve as a resource for children, parents and schools so that we can bring research and practice together for children with autism spectrum disorders on Long Island,” said Sanja Cale, assistant professor in the College’s School of Education and director of the Old Westbury center. “We must ensure these children are impacted by the knowledge and resources that can help them achieve successful outcomes.”
Using a regional model approach, an approach demonstrated to be a successful paradigm around the nation, resources are now available to families and professionals in areas of NYS that have not had access to cost-effective services in the past. Each of the six centers provides high quality programs specific to families, school personnel and community professionals.
The Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Old Westbury operates as a special program of the College’s School of Education. The School of Education has been providing teacher education programs since 1975 and today more than 500 students are pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in education-related disciplines.
The network of Regional Centers across New York State was established in 2007. The administrative unit of the network is the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the State University at Albany, which was founded in 2002 as the pilot for the network.
Located on the historic North Shore of New York’s Long Island, the State University of New York College at Old Westbury is a selective public liberal arts college with more than 4,400 students studying in more than 40 undergraduate degree opportunities in its liberal arts and professional programs and 15 graduate programs in business, education and mental health counseling. On the College’s 604-acre campus, students and faculty participate in an environment that demands academic excellence, fosters intercultural understanding, and endeavors to stimulate a passion for learning and a commitment to building a more just and sustainable world. For more information on the State University of New York College at Old Westbury, visit www.oldwestbury.edu.