One year ago Happiness House – FLCPA received funding from Senator Michael F. Nozzolio through a legislative grant to open the only Autism Diagnostic & Evaluation Clinic in the Finger Lakes region.
For 18 years Happiness House continues to be the premier provider of autism services in Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates counties. We provide education, service coordination, family support, and evaluation services to families in rural communities who are seeking alternative diagnostic locations to eliminate the travel and costs (child care) associated with city based evaluations. Individuals who are suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder will be referred to the diagnostic clinic by service coordinators, parents, physicians or teachers.
Funds received were used towards the development of an on-site Evaluation Clinic in which children will be provided screenings and/or evaluations for those considered on the autism spectrum. The clinic is supervised by Harlene Gilbert, Director of Evaluation Services who has been a Happiness House employee for over 26 years and is part of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities Consumer Advisory Board. Dr. Robert Valenti, licensed Psychologist and Dr. Jane McCaffrey, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician, are consultants to Happiness House and specialize in Autism and related disorders.
Our services separates us from similar programs because our Clinic is unique to the Finger Lakes area, is local, the need has been defined by the families in the four county area, they do not have to wait 6-8 months to be screened, and families will receive a formal report within two weeks of their evaluation. The Autism Diagnostic and Treatment Clinic operates Monday – Friday from 8 am – 4 pm and is located at 731 Pre-Emption Road in Geneva and at our Canandaigua site located at 5415 County Road 30.
In March we invite you to celebrate Autism Awareness with us at Happiness House’s “Hopes & High Expectations” Conference on Autism with keynote speaker, Eustacia Cutler (Temple Grandin’s mother) on Friday, March 25, 2011 from 8 am – 3:30 pm at the Inn on the Lake, 770 S. Main St. in Canandaigua. On Saturday, April 30, 2011, Honorary Chair Officer Anthony DiPonzio will lead Happiness House’s walk to raise awareness during National Autism Awareness month from 7:30 am – 9:00 am at Eastview Mall in Victor at the open court in front of the Bon-Ton entrance.
Happiness House- Finger Lakes Cerebral Palsy Association is a private nonprofit educational, health and human service organization that has been serving communities in the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York since 1969. Today with sites in Canandaigua, Geneva, Gorham, and Waterloo, Happiness House offers an array of educational program, recreational and family support services for children and adults with and without disabilities who reside in Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates counties. On average Happiness House serves 1,000 individuals and their families each year.
Cheryl L. Coppola