Building Bridges to Better Address Neurodevelopment in Virginia
Virginia Institute of Autism and St. Vincent's Home rebrand as VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment, creating a more inclusive future for their clients and families.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., August 22, 2023 (Newswire.com) - The January 2023 merger of Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) and St. Vincent's Home/Blue Ridge Autism Achievement Services (BRAAC) marked a lasting commitment to the sustained excellence of services for those living with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders in central and southwest Virginia.
After working for the first half of the year to align services and administrative procedures, the Virginia Institute of Autism is proud to announce their new brand: VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment.
"We see this name change as positioning for our future," states Dr. Ethan Long, CEO & President of VIA. "Our mission celebrates and supports the individuality of all the people we serve, and we wanted to make that clear in our new name. While many of our students and clients have autism, we also serve those with other neurodevelopmental challenges that need to be represented."
David Gordon, co-founder and board member of VIA, echoes Long's sentiment: "Our new name changes the focus from 'autism' to 'neurodevelopment,' allowing our organization to better speak to the inclusivity that we, as parents, want for our own children in our communities."
As VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment, the organization will continue to offer Day School Services, Adult Services, and Behavioral Health Services with the same commitment to evidence-based practices.
Long notes the impact—or lack thereof—of this change, "Clients and their families may see a new name on the door, but the experience and level of quality will remain the same."
With more than 155,000 people in Virginia coping with neurodevelopmental challenges according to the National Institutes of Health, growth of organizations like VIA is essential.
VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment was formed by parents of children with autism when their children were young and the existing school system was not able to meet their needs.
"We're seeing an increase in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, and we have parents growing older and wondering what the future will look like for their children," states Long. "As a larger nonprofit entity, we have a greater capacity to advocate for all families struggling with the challenges associated with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders, not just those currently enrolled at VIA."
If you, or someone you know, is in need of services or would like to make a donation, please visit viacenters.org to learn more.
At the VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment, we see beyond the neurodevelopmental challenges of the individuals we serve because people are more than just a diagnostic label. VIA employs state-of-the-art, evidence-based approaches tailored for each individual and their family. Through our collaborative partnerships with premier colleges, universities, and institutes of higher education, we develop innovative services that result in meaningful and profound changes in the lives of the people we serve throughout their lifespan