Crotched Mountain opens autism center
Monadnock Ledger Transcript - 5/29/2018
Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center in Greenfield has opened a new center to serve children with autism.
David Johnson, vice president of marketing and communication for the Crotched Mountain Foundation, stood in an old multi-purpose room that was once part of its specialty hospital on Thursday afternoon and explained that the newly-renovated room is now one of two classrooms that is part of Ready Set Connect, a new center for children with autism.
The old specialty hospital, which shut its doors last year, is also now home to Wonderworks Learning Center, which serves toddlers 15 months through pre-kindergarten, or up to the age of 5, and was previously held in another building on the Greenfield campus.
“We had to bid farewell to that program (specialty hospital), and we asked, ‘how can we use the space in a programmatic way?’” Johnson said during an open house Thursday afternoon.
The Ready Set Connect program provides Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, therapy in a school-like, group setting, according to a press release posted on the foundation’s website. Under the oversight of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, ABA therapists work one-on-one with children with autism in an attempt to build school and home skills.
Ready Set Connect services are billed to Medicaid or private insurance.
Crotched offers the program in Concord and Manchester, but the implementation in Greenfield is new.
“There’s nothing like that in the area for sure,” Johnson said about Ready Set Connect.
He said the program has a capacity of about 2o students between the two classrooms, although it could end up being more because it offers part-time options with its morning and afternoon programming.
“We’re open now, we’re good to go now,” Johnson said. “Just looking to get kiddos in.”
The Wonderworks Learning Center, which offers child care and early education services, has been in place at Crotched Mountain for years. But recently moved into a newly renovated space in the old specialty hospital building on the Crotched Mountain campus.
“It was time to move,” Johnson said.
Wonderworks is an integrated childcare center, meaning it accepts students with individualized education programs, or IEPs, for children who need special education, Johnson said.
Right now, Wonderworks is operating out of three classrooms in its new facility, although now that it has moved it is planning to open a fourth classroom in the building.