Autism Awareness Month: Natick School Says ‘Children With Autism Are Individuals’

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NATICK (CBS) – A Natick school says during Autism Awareness Month that children with autism can make progress.

Natick’s RCS Learning Center has been working with children, up to the age of 22, with autism for more than 10 years.

RCS students come to the school because they’ve been unsuccessful in the public schools.

“Our motto at RCS is that we want progress for all children. I think that’s a really important message to communicate,” King said.

“We actually measure that and report back to the families and the school districts in the community on how our students are doing and there’s measurable criteria for that,” King also said. “So all students making progress is really the bottom line.”

Another message the school wants the world to know is that kids with autism are people too.

“The most common impairments are in the area of their social skills. They have problems in presenting with eye contact or if they prefer to be alone,” King said. “Maybe they’re not responding to their name at about a year, year-and-a-half years old. That would be a potential signal.”

King adds that early diagnosis is crucial in helping children with autism.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Tina Gao reports

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News & Events

RCS Learning Center’s “Let’s Get to Work” Vocational Students Volunteer at Putts & More

Natick, MA, June 14, 2016– Realizing Children’s Strengths Learning Center has partnered with Putts & More located in Holliston Ma, as part of our “Let’s Get to Work” vocational program. This program allows students ages 14-22 to explore and develop vocational skills, independence, and job related skills to help with a successful transition to post-secondary employment.

The “Let’s Get to Work” program runs Monday-Friday during school hours (8:30am – 2:30pm). This program also allows our students to do vocational activities within our school; recycling, sorting and returning books to the school library, stocking school supplies and keeping classrooms and the kitchen tidy. In addition to Putts & More, RCS students volunteer at other local companies, a few of these companies are: Meals on Wheels- delivering meals to seniors, Framingham Inspections Office- scanning building plans, and Mini Miracles Child Care- running specific errands, cleaning, snack prep and more! Students that work at multiple vocational sites benefit from being involved in the many different work environments, this helps them choose which career path they would like to take later on. We continue to partner with local businesses in the community to help further extend our students capabilities and job skills.

For the past year select students have worked as volunteers to help Putts & More with seasonal landscaping. This season students have increased from working one day a week to two days a week, as well as increased in volunteer size from two to five student volunteers. Students practice meaningful skills such as, self-sufficiency skills, communication skills and the ability to follow a work schedule. One of the many goals of this program is to help students determine their strengths and preferences in the work force.

“It is so delightful to watch the students from RCS Learning Center come to Putts & More to work.” Said a staff member of Putts & More, “They are enthusiastic and willing to do jobs they are asked to do that day. It is amazing to see someone excited to load crushed stone or mulch into a wheelbarrow- but that’s what I get to witness. They have also raked leaves well into the cold weather last fall. Their contribution to our landscaping projects have helped us get more accomplished than we could do on our own. Thank you!”
Thank you Putts & More for your continuous investment in helping RCS students grow. http://puttsandmore.com/

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About RCS Learning Center
Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide the highest quality of individualized behavioral and educational services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. We believe that every child has unique skills and we are dedicated to helping each child develop these skills and reach their full potential.

News & Events

RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting’s Early Childhood Division is Growing Quickly!

RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting’s Early Childhood Division has recently expanded their office space in Woburn, MA. RCS originally acquired office space in Woburn to accommodate the growing needs of their newest division, the Early Childhood division. Since moving into the office, the division has nearly doubled the number of children and families they support making it necessary to move into a larger space. Thanks to the flexibility of Cummings Property, RCS was able to remain in the same building and relocate to a larger office down the hall.
Founded in 1997 by Louis Ranieri and Denise Rizzo, RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting provides highly individualized educational and behavioral services to children with Autism and other developmental disabilities from birth through the age of 22. The company supports children and youth in their home and school environments to help each child develop important skills to reach their full potential. RCS’ Early Childhood division, founded in June 2014, focuses on delivering services to children from birth through 6 years of age through the Rising Stars Integrated Preschool Program in Natick, Early Intervention services in the North Shore region, and traditional in-home and in-school consulting services through districts and insurance. The Early Childhood Clinical Team is comprised of Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Behavior Therapists with expertise working with young children and is led by Director of Early Childhood Programs, Allison Genovese and Clinical Director, Tiffany Szymanski.
“It has been really rewarding to watch RCS grow as much as we have over the past few years,” said Co-Founder and President, Denise Rizzo. “Upsizing the Woburn office is another step that will allow us to continue to provide the best services possible to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. The new office provides ample space to accommodate our ever growing team of exceptional clinicians and supervisors. This space will be used for weekly staff trainings, offices for our administrative team and planning space for our staff.
RCS’ new office is still located at the Cummings Properties’ 10 Tower Office Park in Woburn. Exponent Engineering and Scientific Consulting, generously donated desks and file cabinets to help fill the new space. Exponent is a leading engineering and scientific consulting firm that provides solutions to complex technical problems. They are located in Natick, MA on Strathmore Road right across from RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting’s sister company RCS Learning Center, a non-profit school for children with Autism. Visit RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting at www.RCSconsultingNE.com or call 508-650-5990 for more information.

School Achievements

RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting Adds New Office Space in Framingham

FRAMINGHAM, MAJune 23, 2015 –RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting is continuing their expansion by adding a new office location in Framingham, MA at 929 Worcester Rd. RCS is thrilled to continue to meet the increasing needs of children with autism. Having just recently added office space in Woburn, MA the acquisition makes this the second facility added in the last 4 months.

“We could not be happier to have another office space for our exceptional team,” said Co-Founder and President Denise Rizzo.  “This addition will not only be a great new space for our growing organization, but will open up even more space at our Learning Center in Natick and our Woburn Offices.  In order to meet the needs of our children it is our responsibility to provide an efficient and capable space in which our staff has the resources to be trained and refined. As we expand we are committed to ensuring the best possible care for children with autism and other developmental disabilities.”

Founded in 1997 by Louis Ranieri and Denise Rizzo, RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting provides highly individualized educational and behavioral services to children with Autism and other developmental disabilities from birth through the age of 22. The company supports children and youth in their home and school environments to help each child develop important skills to reach their full potential. Since 1997 RCS has grown to a multi-faceted organization that has successfully served over 1,000 individuals.

RCS hopes to be fully moved in by the beginning of July.  For more information go to www.RCSconsultingNE.com or call 508-650-5990.

School Achievements

Framingham Union Aid Association Grants $1,500 to RCS Learning Center

NATICK, MA April 15, 2015 – On April 13, 2015, the Framingham Union Aid Association (FUAA) grants $1,500 to RCS Learning Center, for the third year in a row. This year, their donation will help RCS purchase additional supplies needed in the Nurse’s office.

The FUAA was founded in 1892, by a group of individuals who volunteered to perform various tasks at the Framingham Union hospital. Since then, the FUAA has been a Non-Profit Organization that serves the Metrowest towns of Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Marlborough, Medway, Millis, Natick, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, and Wayland. It is the mission of the FUAA to help aid health-related projects in the Metrowest area. Approximately 30 grants are awarded per year, more than $1.25 million dollars. RCS Learning Center happened to be fortunate enough to receive one of these grants.

“We are extremely grateful to have been the recipient of this grant for the third time and that the Framingham Union Aid Association continues to support our mission and be so involved in our community,” said Jennifer Rutland, a member of the Executive Team at RCS Learning Center.

“In addition to Autism, many of our students have a variety of complex diagnoses ranging from diabetes to seizure disorders. This grant has helped RCS purchase an AED as well as additional manikins to be used for our state mandated CPR and First Aid trainings. The safety and health of our students is our highest priority and it brings a great deal of comfort knowing we have the additional resources available to continue to provide high quality trainings to all of our staff, so they have the skills and resources necessary in the event of a medical emergency,” said Jennifer.

Thank you to the FUAA for your continued investment in our organization and our kids.

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About RCS Learning Center
Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide the highest quality of individualized behavioral and educational services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. We believe that every child has unique skills and we are dedicated to helping each child develop these skills and reach their full potential.

News & EventsPosted in %s, School Achievements

RCS LEARNING CENTER RECEIVES COMPUTERS FROM FLUTIE FOUNDATION & LENOVO

NATICK, MA  3/13/15 – On Tuesday, March 10th, representatives from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism delivered 3 brand new Lenovo Horizon computers to RCS Learning Center, a local nonprofit school for children with autism and other developmental disabilities in Natick. The Flutie Foundation’s Program Director, Chris Chirco and Managing Director of Flutie Spectrum Enterprises, Brittany Collins were on hand to present the computers to Co-Founder & President, Denise Rizzo. RCS students, Chris O., Matthew M., William H., and Beni T. in the Day Program helped Rizzo accept the donation and say thanks. The computers, originally a donation to the Flutie Foundation through a partnership with Lenovo USA, will be available to RCS’ 45 students ages 3-22 for educational, vocational, and leisure purposes.

 

“We are thrilled to receive a donation of 3 brand new Lenovo computers from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism,” said Denise Rizzo, President and Founder of RCS Learning Center.  “Technology is so important to students today and their educational success. These computers will help us ensure our students have the access they need to learn important 21st century skills to become positive and productive members of our community.”

 

“It was a great honor to be able to provide such a wonderful local organization with new technology” said Chris Chirco, Program Director of the Flutie Foundation.  “At the Flutie Foundation part of our mission is to assist those with autism in living life to the fullest, and we hope that by providing these computers the students at RCS will take another step to do just that.”

 

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About RCS Learning Center

Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide the highest quality of individualized behavioral and educational services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities.  We believe that every child has unique skills and we are dedicated to helping each child develop these skills and reach their full potential. Started in 2006, the Natick-based Chapter 766 approved private school serves over 40 children ages 3-22 with Autism and other developmental disabilities from over 30 towns and cities in Massachusetts.

 

About the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism

The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism was established by former college and NFL quarterback Doug Flutie and his wife, Laurie, in honor of their son, Doug, Jr. who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three.  The goal of the Flutie Foundation is to help families affected by autism live life to the fullest.  Through our programs and partnerships, we help people with autism get access to care; lead more active lifestyles; and grow toward adult independence.

FundraisingPosted in %s, News & Events

Over $10,000 Raised in RCS’ 2014 Holiday Appeal

RCS Learning Center is proud to announce that our 2014 Holiday Appeal raised $10,020 this year to benefit our organization! Thanks to the support of over 60 donors, we were able to reach and exceed our goal of raising $10,000 to support the “Let’s Get to Work” Vocational Program! Please see below for a list of donors who gave $100 or more to our Holiday Appeal this year.

As we shared throughout the holiday season, an estimated 85% of adults with autism are currently unemployed or underemployed. Even worse, 50% of young adults with autism between the ages of 21 and 26 have never had a paying job outside of their home. We remain committed to ensuring our program changes that for our students and those who follow. Below are some ways your contribution is making a positive and immediate impact here at RCS:

Your donation is helping us purchase a school van to transport students to a variety of job opportunities in our communities.

Your donation is allowing our students to begin earning wages for the great work they do here at RCS and out in the community.

Your donation is supporting RCS’ ability to spread awareness and acceptance in our communities by simply allowing our students to share with everyone how amazing they truly are.

Most importantly, your donation is helping to make sure RCS students don’t become part of the above statistics, but instead create a new trend of having young adults and adults with autism working alongside all of us at our jobs.

We thank you for supporting our organization and we look forward to sharing more ways your donation is making a difference here at RCS during the coming months!

$100+ Donors:

Nazem & Terri Azzi and Family

Gregory Boyle and Family

Elisabeth and Thomas Boyle

Patricia Breault

Alvin & Cecile Lavoie

David & Donna Coye and Family

ERA Key Realty Services, Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor

Kenya & Jen Rutland and Family

MetroWest Subaru, Frank Hanenberger

Hamma HVAC

Sharon Hucul & James Kolton and Family

Steve & Susan George and Family

Doctors Express Natick & Marlborough, Bing Yeo

Atlantic Planning Group

Align Credit Union

1-800-Got-Junk? / Men In Kilts, Judith Briggs

Cliff & Jeannie Meijer and Family

Don Yorlets

Mike Chagnon

Town Planner Calendar, Janet Drummey

Paul Yasi

Jessica Eidinger

June Lee

Jeffrey Eidinger

Susan Gilson

Guy & Pat Hansen

Anonymous

FundraisingPosted in %s, News & EventsPosted in %s, School Achievements

RCS’ 2014 Holiday Appeal

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Dear Friends,

Each day, so many youth and adults across our communities wake up, get ready, and head to a paying job. One’s job – even for just a few hours a day— can provide ongoing education, financial stability, new challenges, and a sense of pride and accomplishment. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, an estimated 85% of adults with autism are currently unemployed or underemployed.  Even worse, 50% of young adults with autism between the ages of 21 and 26 have never had a paying job outside of their home. These statistics are truly frightening, but RCS Learning Center’s “Let’s Get to Work” Vocational Program can help change this for our students and those who follow. So, this holiday season, RCS Learning Center is asking for your help.

 

Your donation will help us purchase and maintain a school van to transport students to a variety of job opportunities in our communities.

Your donation will allow our students to earn wages for the great work they do here at RCS and out in the community.

Your donation will support RCS’ ability to spread awareness and acceptance in our communities by simply allowing our students to share with everyone how amazing they truly are.

Your donation will help to make sure RCS students don’t become part of the above statistics, but instead create a new trend of having young adults and adults with autism working alongside all of us at our jobs.

 

We trust that with your support, we will raise enough funds to greatly benefit our “Let’s Get to Work” Vocational Program this year. Please consider making a gift of any amount to RCS Learning Center and you will have a direct and positive impact in the lives of our students. To make your tax deductible contribution today, please send a check or cash in the enclosed envelope or make a donation online at www.rcslearning.org/donate/.

On behalf of all of us here at RCS Learning Center, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

 

Sincerely,

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Denise Rizzo                                                      Caroline Cooke

Founder & President                                       Development Manager

FundraisingPosted in %s, News & Events

RCS’ Final Report

RCS has received the Final Report from the onsite review that was conducted in April 2014. Please click here to read the report.

You’re Invited! RCS’ 7th Annual Fall Festival

RCS is proud to announce the 7th Annual Fall Festival presented by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. The event will take place on Saturday, September 27th from 12-4pm at RCS Learning Center in Natick (rain date is Saturday, October 4th) . The event is open to the public and admission is $10 per person or $30 per family. Guests will enjoy a variety of activities from arts and crafts and face painting to bouncy houses and animal shows. Families can enjoy food and drinks that will be available for purchase, live music, raffle prizes, and a variety of exhibitors.

Mark your calendars–we look forward to seeing you on September 27th!

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100% of the proceeds will benefit RCS Learning Center to help us continue to pursue our mission of providing exceptional educational and behavioral services to children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.

 

Thank you to our Sponsors: 

Presenting Sponsor

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Friends of RCS

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Exhibitors

  

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