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Charlottesville, VA: Autism school serves "increased need"

Aug 25, 2023, CBS19, Charlottesville, VA: Changes mean new name but services will stay the same

There have been some big changes at the Virginia Institute of Autism.

VIA has joined forces with St. Vincent’s Home/Blue Ridge Autism Achievement Services and rebranded as the VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment.

According to a release, this process began in January with work to align the services and administrative procedures of the organizations.

"We see this name change as positioning for our future," said Dr. Ethan Long, the CEO and 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."

The rebranded organization will continue to offer day school services, adult services, and behavioral health services.

In fact, the VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment says there will be few impacts caused by 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,” added Long.

Parents of children with autism originally founded VIA when the existing school system could not meet the needs of these students.

Long says that an increase in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders has increased the need, which a larger nonprofit entity will have greater capacity to meet.

It will also have more ability to advocate for all families that struggle with the challenges associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.

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