What is Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability that appears in the first few years of a child’s life. While people with ASD don’t look different, they often communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are very different from most people.

ASD is a spectrum disorder, so the type and severity of symptoms people experience varies widely. Some people with ASD are intellectually gifted while others struggle with the basics. Some people with ASD need constant supervision while others live independently.

To better understand ASD, watch this helpful video from Amazing Things Happen.

Knowing early can make a significant difference.

Do you suspect your child has autism or another developmental disorder?

Find out for sure.

Preschool Inclusion Program

We partner with inclusive preschools to provide a full-day program for children ages two to six in early childhood centers throughout Virginia. This program is licensed by the Virginia Department of Education and provides individualized intervention in a preschool setting.

Our Approach

We provide support to preschool centers located in Virginia. Our goal is for kids with autism to learn alongside typically developing children. Children, with support from preschool staff, participate alongside their peers in the classroom. We provide opportunities for:

  • Inclusion: Children with autism learn alongside neuro-typical friends.
  • Fun: Children participate in play-centered activities in a social environment.
  • Development: Parents and students work with highly trained specialists.
  • Community: Families connect with others with similar challenges.

State law mandates coverage of ABA services in most insurance policies regardless of age. The preschools we partner with accept various forms of insurance.

We have partnered with:

  • Precious Time Child Development Center in Midlothian – 13711 Village Mill Drive
  • Huguenot UMC Preschool in Richmond – 10661 Duryea Drive
  • Nature’s Path Academy in Virginia Beach – 815 Baker Rd #2

Complete the intake form below for more information and to apply.

As the Preschool Inclusion Program gains traction across the Commonwealth, we’ll come back to update this page. You can also contact us or search our Resource Directory for locations in your area or other resources you may need.

CA Adolescent and Adult Programs


  • We offer transition support programs aimed at bolstering young adults with autism as they embrace growth and change.
  • We envision a future where all individuals have the opportunity to pursue their ideal living situation.
  • We support independent living skills development through direct teaching, modeling, and shared problem-solving.
  • We harness both intrinsic motivation and natural community supports to help individuals build sustainable solutions.

Readiness Program

Our readiness program supports young adults who live at home with a parent or a supportive party, who have the capacity and want to live independently. This program focuses on building life skills and encourages your adult to take ownership of personal responsibilities in preparation for their transition out of the home.

Participants are paired with a counselor and will meet weekly to work on skills such as:

  • Household cleanliness
  • Personal finances and budgeting
  • Careers and employment
  • Transportation
  • Personal safety
  • Fitness and wellness
  • Time management
  • Cooking, meal prep and nutrition
  • Medical care management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication and self advocacy
  • Social skills and relationships


A multidisciplinary team supports our Adolescent and Adult Programs.

Employment Services

We help clients to conduct job searches, practice interview skills and connect them with local employment services.


We provide training for clients to plan for and provide their own transportation. They do this by:

  • Walking (we teach clients about pedestrian safety)
  • Public transportation
  • Riding the Carevan (the local paratransit service offered are ADA compliant)
  • Driving their own vehicle

Social Opportunities

We encourage clients to volunteer and attend social groups and community events. We can help them identify these opportunities. CA Adolescent and Adult Programs also offers monthly opportunities for clients to socialize!

Location & Accomodations

CA Adolescent and Adult Programs counselors and team members meet with clients both in-person and virtually. We are able to support individuals across the Commonwealth through telehealth services.

Eligibility & Enrollment

To be eligible, adolescent and adults must be:

  • Age 16 + with ASD or similar developmental disability
  • Motivated to live independently
  • Employed full or part time, Actively seeking employment, Volunteering, or Enrolled in post-secondary education


CA Adolescent and Adult Programs coaching supports are offered on an hourly fee. Each individual’s situation is unique, so we’re here to help you navigate the payment process.

There are several ways to pay for our adult programs:


We offer two types of scholarships for our Adult Programs. Both are based on financial need for those who qualify for our programs.
  • The DBHDS scholarship offers qualified applicants 50% off hourly program costs

For more information or to get started with our programs, give us a call at 804-355-0300 or contact us through the email button below:

[Our daughter’s coach] is doing an excellent job identifying goals with her and helping her meet them. This is a great stepping stone to independence.

Parent of Participant

young adults at tables

Be the change you want to see.

Developmental Disabilities Action Groups

We encourage your desire to get involved and make a difference. By supporting regional action groups that advocate on behalf of people with autism and other developmental disabilities, we enable clients, their parents and others to create change themselves.

The members of regional Developmental Disabilities Action Groups—many of whom are parents preparing for a day when they will no longer be able to care for their children—focus on advocacy by:

  • Supporting each other
  • Lobbying legislators
  • Partnering with allies in other organizations
  • Interacting with the media

Although many of these groups’ members are parents of people with autism and other developmental disabilities, they welcome self advocates, educators, professionals and service providers. We don’t manage these groups, but we support their work. They team up to support each other while championing causes important to their community. They focus their efforts on:

  • Supported housing
  • Qualified services
  • Socialization opportunities
  • Meaningful employment
  • Transition support
  • Advocacy and awareness

Charlottesville Region Autism Action Group (CRAAG)

The Charlottesville Region Autism Action Group (CRAAG) serves: Charlottesville, Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson.

Interested in learning more about CRAAG?

Want to start your own developmental disabilities action group?

Autism Resource Database

Our resource directory includes everything from camps for children with autism and preschools with behavioral supports, to training opportunities for ABAs.

  • Click on the “Search by category” drop down menu to see the various categories and subcategories you can use to search.
  • You can also search by geographic region (e.g., Hampton Roads or Central Virginia) or by age group (note: “child” resources may serve individuals through age 21, particularly if they are education-based resources).
  • Alternatively, use keywords (e.g., after-school activities, college prep, or newly diagnosed) to find the resources you are looking for.

Having trouble finding the resource(s) you’re looking for? Would you prefer speaking directly with someone on our team?

Suggest a Database Resource

Are we missing a resource we should include in our database? Do you have a correction or additional information to share?

Learn more about individual and family services.

Our ongoing blog series keeps readers like you informed.

Topics range from behavior health, development, groundbreaking studies, and research to guest writers, inclusion and safety practices, and internal CA developments.

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