Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Clinicians Share their Knowledge as Respected Expert Resources, Continue to Build Awareness for Autism

A panel of behavior experts from Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center in Natick and RCS Behavioral and Educational Consulting recently presented at the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT) Conference in Amherst.

Nov. 17, 2017 / PRZen / NATICK, Mass. — RCS Learning Center Executive Director and Chief of Research and Application, Dr. Christina King, PhD, and Colleen Yorlets, RCS Chief Clinical Specialist, co-chaired the panel and led the discussion at the University of Massachusetts on Preparation and Oversight of Early Career BCBAs. Multiple RCS staff served as panelists, including RCS Learning Center Clinical Director Meg Breault, and Lillie Joyce, Clinician. They were accompanied by Dr. Russell Maguire and Dr. Ron Allen of Simmons College, and Dr. Nicole Davis of Northeastern University.

For 30 years, Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT), a respected resource for behavior analysts and others interested in the topic, has hosted an annual conference targeting many professionals, teachers, students, and anyone interested in the areas of behavior analysis, autism, developmental disabilities, ethics, behavioral medicine, staff development and more. The conference draws expert presenters and professionals in the field from across the US.  Throughout the year, BABAT provides advocacy for practice, support for members’ professional development, recognition of significant contributions, and the sharing of research and scholarship.

“University faculty, practitioners, and employers of behavior analysts all share the task of preparing new and future behavior analysts for their roles across various settings and populations,” said Colleen Yorlets, Chief Clinical Specialist for Realizing Children’s Strengths. “Regardless of the quality of graduate programs, practicing behavior analysts acquire and develop additional skills and methods in the field, making oversight beyond graduate school essential. In order to ensure the effectiveness and success of early career BCBAs, adequate ongoing support and feedback is critical.”

In the BABAT presentation titled Preparing and Overseeing Early Career BCBAs, panelists discussed some common development areas for new BCBAs and the challenges to oversight. Additionally, panelists shared models and strategies found to be effective in practice.

Nine BCBAs from RCS Learning Center also attended the conference for ongoing education and insight.

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Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) and Simmons College Collaborate in BCBA Program

** Also featured on Framingham Source**

September 12, 2017., Natick, MA

Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS), which provides behavioral and educational research and education for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other development disabilities, announced a 2017/2018 collaboration with Simmons College that will enable RCS employees to further their education in Behavior Analysis on the RCS Learning Center campus.

Through this year’s agreement, the 5th Cohort to date, twenty-one staff members at RCS who wish to work toward an M.S. in Behavior Analysis have enrolled in the Simmons College Graduate Program, with all the classes being held at the RCS Learning Center in Natick. RCS employees receive a significant reduction in tuition and enjoy all the privileges of an on-campus Simmons student. After completing the 42 credits over five semesters, the RCS M.S. candidates will be eligible to sit for the BCBA exam.

The Simmons College Behavior Analysis program prepares its students for leadership roles in the implementation, evaluation and administration of applied behavioral analytic principles and methods.  The innovative curriculum emphasizes contemporary research and the fusion of applied behavior analysis with other scientific fields. Simmons and RCS have enjoyed a long relationship with Simmons staff also working full-time at RCS and Simmons BCBA students getting hands-on experience working with RCS students.

“Simmons is proud to work with the talented and dedicated staff at RCS and to provide them with the tools to give the children in their care the support they need,” said Professor Russell Maguire, who helped develop the program and serves as chair of the Behavior Analysis Department at Simmons. Adding, “RCS is committed to finding the most effective way to deliver high-quality programs and services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and this valuable collaboration enables RCS employees to study the latest advances in behavior analysis and immediately apply what they have learned in a real-life setting.”

Simmons College (www.simmons.edu) is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston, and is the preeminent authority on women’s leadership. Founded in 1899, Simmons is the only undergraduate women’s college in Boston, and maintains a history of visionary thinking and a focus on social responsibility. The college offers world-class coeducational graduate programs in nursing and health sciences, including physical therapy and nutrition; liberal arts; education; behavior analysis; library and information science; management; and social work.

“We strive to engage our employees with a supportive work environment which facilitates hands-on learning of behavior analytic principles and concepts,” said Dr. Christina King, RCS Learning Center’s Executive Managing Director and Chief of Research and Application for Realizing Children’s Strengths. Adding, “The RCS, Simmons Partnership not only allows our staff to grow in their careers, but most importantly it encourages them to deliver even more intensive behavioral and educational services in order to further our progress of each of the students we service.  This successful partnership has produced over 75 Behavior Analysts with many of the graduates remaining employed at RCS within an advanced role.  It is a great source of pride for RCS to maintain this partnership and add to the advancement of the science and application of Applied Behavior Analysis.”

About Realizing Children’s Strengths (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 research and services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities. Founders Denise Rizzo-Ranieri and Louis Ranieri combined their many years of successful behavioral and educational consulting with a leading team of experts and over a decade-ago developed the Natick school that exceeds the standards for teaching students with autism effectively through intensive, quality 1:1interactive education. The RCS team believes every child has unique skills and they are dedicated to helping each child develop these skills and reach their full potential with an intensive staffing and supervision structure which enables the highest quality of comprehensive and individualized programming and services tailored to meet every student’s needs. Realizing Children’s Strengths, which currently serves 45 RCS Learning Center students and 26 school districts in MA, also provides unique training environments with a continued focus on developing vocational skills training through real-world job training on site and at partner locations. Highly respected industry leaders with award-winning services, RCS Learning Center is based in Natick, MA and is a 501c3b non-profit. More information is available at www.rcslearning.org and http://rcsconsultingne.com/

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RCS Learning Center Receives Eighteen Thousand Dollars from Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation

Natick, Mass., July 18, 2017RCS Learning Center today announced it received a $18,389.00 grant awarded by the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation for the 2018 fiscal year. The support will allow RCS Learning Center to provide 1 to 1 access to technology for each student. Thus, ensuring the appropriate technological advances are available to every student to support their academic, vocational, and daily living needs.

RCS Learning Center will be adding iPads, supporting software programs, educational applications, and protective cases to provide the 1 to 1 access to technology that will allow for an increase in effectiveness of providing the highest quality of individualized programming for each student.

“For individuals with autism, access to technology can improve their communication, assist in the development of social skills, and aid the development of self-help and vocational skills.,” said Dr. Christina King, RCS Learning Center’s Executive Managing Director and Chief of Research and Application for Realizing Children’s Strengths. “Several students within our school are non-verbal with a limited ability to communicate with others. The iPad is an invaluable resource to provide them with an alternative way to communicate.”

RCS Learning Center is a nonprofit organization serving families and 26 school districts within Massachusetts providing the highest quality of individualized behavioral and educational research and services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. RCS Learning Center prides itself in the unique qualities of the educational & behavioral services provided and with a vision to remain the leader with intensive and individualized programming in a 1:1 staff to student ratio.  The implementation of a 1 to 1 technology program supports this goal. Local residents can see how the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation grant and local funds are benefiting the RCS Learning Center by visiting us at www.rcslearning.org.

“Middlesex Savings Bank has always cared deeply about the communities we serve,” said Dana Neshe, president of the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation. “Through the Foundation grants, we are able to provide support to the people and organizations who work the hardest to both solve problems and create opportunities for our neighbors. We are pleased to support RCS Learning Center this year with the awarded grant.”

About the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation

The Foundation was established in 2000 to carry out further the philanthropic mission of Middlesex Savings Bank by supporting the communities served by the Bank. Since its creation, the Foundation has provided more than $4 million in grants to over 400 nonprofit organizations, supporting services, and programs in a wide variety of fields, including education, and basic human services. Since the inception of the Foundation, Middlesex Savings Bank has funded the endowment with over $15 million in contributions. More information available at https://www.middlesexbank.com/community-and-us/community-support/Pages/charitable-foundation.aspx.

About Middlesex Savings Bank

Middlesex Savings Bank, founded in 1835 and headquartered in Natick, Mass., is a mutual savings bank. As one of the largest independent banks in Massachusetts with assets exceeding $4 billion, the bank has been committed to providing outstanding value in consumer banking and business banking products for 180 years. The FDIC and DIF insured bank has 30 branch offices located in 24 communities – Acton, Ashland, Bedford, Bellingham, Boxborough, Concord, Framingham, Franklin, Groton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Littleton, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Natick, Needham, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Walpole, Wayland, Wellesley, an Westford. For more information, please visit www.middlesexbank.com, www.facebook.com/connectwithmsb and www.twitter.com/middlesexbank.

About Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center

Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center is a not-for-profit organization and global leader whose mission is to provide the highest quality of individualized behavioral and educational research and services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. Founders Denise Rizzo-Ranieri and Louis Ranieri combined their many years of successful behavioral and educational consulting with a leading team of experts and over a decade-ago developed the Natick school that exceeds the standards for teaching students with autism effectively through intensive, quality 1:1 interactive education. The RCS team believes every child has unique skills and they are dedicated to helping each child develop these skills and reach their full potential with an intensive staffing and supervision structure which enables the highest quality of comprehensive and individualized programming and services tailored to meet every student’s needs. Realizing Children’s Strengths, which currently serves 45 RCS Learning Center students, also provides unique training environments with a continued focus on developing vocational skills training through real-world job training on site and at partner locations. Highly respected industry leaders with award-winning services, RCS Learning Center is based in Natick, MA and is a 501c3b non-profit. More information is available at www.rcslearning.org, https://www.facebook.com/rcslearningcenter and https://twitter.com/RCSLearnCenter

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

Read the full article on CBS Boston Autism Awareness Month: Natick School Says ‘Children With Autism Are Individuals’

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.

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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.

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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

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