Q. I just received an autism diagnosis for my child and I’m looking for additional resources. Can you help me?
A. We recommend that you contact our Information & Resource specialists at Commonwealth Autism [804-355-0300]. There are also resources available on the Commonwealth Autism website.
Q. The Founders Center looks like a great place to work. Are you hiring?
A. Our staffing needs change regularly. You can read more about our staffing needs and internship opportunities on our Commonwealth Autism page.
Educational & Behavioral Services
Q. What do your ABA services look like?
A. Our educational and behavioral services programs utilize the Competent Learner Model, which is an ABA based curriculum. We utilize the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in our approach with learners. This includes some Discrete Trial Teaching but also includes precision teaching, shaping, and other elements of ABA. Each program is overseen by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and/or a Licensed Teacher. Services are customized based on whether they are Behavioral Services or Educational Services. This can impact the staffing ratios and service delivery (frequency, etc.) for each child.
Q. What are your staff-participant ratios? Is your program 1:1?
A. For every 8 children, we have one lead teacher and 5-6 instructional assistants. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA or BCaBA) oversees each program.
While the ratios are very dense (see above) we do not staff our programs 1:1 nor do we offer individual 1:1 attendants for specific participants. Children receive frequent individualized instruction that is often delivered in a 1:1 setting but also participate in small group or dyad instruction
Q. Does my child need an Autism diagnosis to attend The Founders Center?
A. We primarily serve individuals with autism. This diagnosis is a requirement if we are billing insurance. We do serve individuals with other developmental disabilities if the placement seems appropriate. For more information about how your insurance might cover the cost of program fees at The Founders Center you can check here.
Q. How do I get my child enrolled at The Founders Center?
A. There is more information about our admissions process HERE.
Q. What does inclusion look like at The Founders Center?
A. Our early childhood programs are located within preschools with typically developing children. Participants start and end their day in our “home base” classroom. Based on the child’s needs and abilities, however, s/he may participate in the inclusion class with support from our staff throughout the course of the day. This is highly individualized and determined by the program team.
Our school age students also participate in the community as they are able and as we are able to carve out opportunities. This may include both participation with typical peers and community based instruction.
Q. Do you have a waiting list?
A. This is dependent on the program. Admissions are accepted on a rolling basis and our census can fluctuate throughout the year. If a program is full, we do start a waiting list.
Q. Do you offer any scholarships or financial assistance for children who are placed privately or with insurance?
A. We do have an Autism Grant that can provide some assistance to families attending our program. The purpose is to assist with out of pocket costs for families with dire financial need. Applications are typically distributed on a semi-annual basis. Grants are made based on funds available as well as the financial need of the family and typically range between $2000-$6000 per child. Admission to the school is required before an application for financial assistance may be submitted.
Residential and Community Support Services
Q. What forms of payment does Richmond House accept?
A. Currently, Richmond House only accepts private forms of payment.
Q. Is Richmond House co-ed?
A. Yes, Richmond House is co-ed. However, each resident does have his/her own private room. Romantic relationships between residents are prohibited.
Q. Is there a waiting list for residency?
If there are no current vacancies, it is possible to be placed on our waiting list.
Q. What is a typical length of stay?
A. Although Richmond House offers transitional housing, length of stay is individualized to accommodate each resident’s needs.
Q. What ages does Richmond House serve?
Q. Does Richmond House provide transitional or permanent housing?
A. Our residential program offers transitional housing for those interested in garnering the life skills necessary for living independently.
Q. What transition services do you offer?
A. We offer Community Support Services for those transitioning into independent living settings.
Q. Do you offer employment assistance?
A. Yes. We support adults by assisting them in setting up connections with local employment services, practicing interview skills, and conducting job searches.
Q. What forms of transportation are available?
Richmond House has a six passenger van that is used to transport residents to work and activities. We also teach and encourage our residents to utilize alternative transportation options such as: learning to walk safely to nearby locations, using the bus stop conveniently located in our front yard, and riding the CAREvan (our local Americans with Disabilities Act paratransit service).
Community Support Services clients are responsible for their own transportation. Our staff can assist the client in mastering the appropriate skills needed to successfully plan and arrange transportation needs.
Q. What opportunities do you offer for community engagement?
A. Our Richmond House residents are encouraged to volunteer, attend social groups, community events, and are offered ample opportunities for outings to local businesses and attractions.
Q. Is Richmond House staffed 24/7?
Yes, our residential program has staff on duty 24 hours a day.
Q. I still have other questions! I want to schedule a tour! Who do I call?
A. Contact us. We will be happy to answer any further questions you might have.