As you all know our son, Dylan, was diagnosed with Autism in 2010. This year we felt so blessed since Dylan and Kyle celebrated their First Holy Communion. It is a milestone that occurs shortly after each child being raised in the Catholic Faith reaches 8 years old. We have been so very blessed indeed to have the support and dedication of the staff of Somerset Hills Learning Institute which enabled us to achieve our goal of Dylan receiving his First Holy Communion alongside his twin brother Kyle and all their peers at our parish.
While a typically developing child only takes weeks for preparation to participate in the rites of receiving this sacrament for the first Communion, a child with Autism, like our son Dylan, takes months to overcome the challenges that prevent them from attending a Holy Mass, let along receive Holy Communion. With the science-based intervention he receives from Somerset Hills Learning Institute, and parent training that we receive concomitantly, Dylan has managed to shed some symptoms of his Autism enough to wake up on April 30th 2016, put on a blue suit and tie, and fully participate at this momentous occasion. He continues receives Holy Communion at every Holy Mass we attend ever since.
Somerset Hills Learning Institute www.somerset-hills.org is a private, non-profit program that has been offering a broad spectrum of services to children, adolescents, and adults with autism for 17 years. The Institute exists to: provide science-based treatment and education to people with autism; prepare professionals as autism intervention resources; and, pioneer comprehensive intervention models through our research that may be used the world over for the benefit of people with autism.
We hope you will be able to support the institute during this holiday season.
Some info about SHLI
EARLY INTERVENTION & EDUCATION PROGRAMS - We have the ability to serve children with autism as young as 18 months. Using the principles and methods of applied behavior analysis as a basis for instruction, we individualize curriculum for each student.
HOME PROGRAM: We provide instruction and support in students’ homes and communities. By teaching parents to become the teachers their children need them to be, we are promoting the generalization of students’ skills to real-world settings and strengthening communication between parent and child.
MENTORING & RESEARCH: The Institute is educating Masters and Ph.D.-level professionals to broaden the reach of effective intervention for children and adults with autism. We continue to publish research that can be used to improve the effectiveness of autism intervention on a global scale.
CENTER FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT: We are in the process of obtaining final state approval to help adults with autism lead fulfilling lives by achieving meaningful employment. We will provide job skills training to support clients’ career development and overall independence using science-based teaching techniques and systems