Charity Spotlight: Emerald Coast Autism Center

Every person deserves the chance to be the best version of themself that they can be. This is true across age, cultural background, and even individuals with Autism. The Emerald Coast Autism Center (ECAC) is a place where hope exists and this chance can become reality. Every day, children come to the ECAC school and therapy center where they find that they can succeed. This is possible because of the dedicated, certified staff members who create curriculum and activities that are consistent with Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) which reinforces verbal behavior. ABA is a type of behavioral technique that corrects negative behaviors by changing them and reinforcing positive ones. They create learning opportunities in every aspect of every day.

The children who come to ECAC span the Autism spectrum and range in age from 18 months to 16 years old. At the Emerald Coast Autism Center, students receive one-on-one attention in classes that are designated by cognitive, verbal, and behavioral ability to be able to do their best. Currently, ECAC provides services to about 80 children 180-190 days each year with school hours running from 8:30AM-2:30PM Monday through Thursday and part-time programs from 3:00PM-5:00PM. Fridays are reserved for employee training or extra time with students as needed.

In October 2015, the Emerald Coast Autism Center partnered with the Northwest Florida State College to launch their Capital Campaign in an effort to raise $2.5 million to build a new facility. This 14,500 square foot standalone center is expected to open this October, and will allow ECAC to continue expanding their services as they will be able to increase their student capacity, and ensure them the space they need to ultimately attain long-term sustainabiliy for their student population. In addition, the ECAC Scholarship Fund provides funding for tuition and related therapy to families who would otherwise be unable to afford services for their children. With these initiatives, the Emerald Coast Autism Center expects to almost double their outreach to individuals with Autism into 2017.

To learn more about the Emerald Coast Autism Center and all of the amazing work they do in our community, CLICK HERE.



- Melissa Vidaurre 

Published on Wednesday, June 22, 2016