About a decade ago, a mother waiting to pick up her young kids from an afternoon respite program shared her wish for more classes for her children with autism, and more spaces that were safe and inviting for these programs to take place, revealing a gap in services and opportunities for kids with autism and their families – a gap that our trained experts and dedicated supporters were ready, willing and able to fill.
A vision quickly emerged, and a plan was put into action. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the late Rick DelMastro, former Board Chair, over a million dollars were secured to create the Family Center for Autism, which opened its doors on April 15, 2015.
The Family Center quickly became a welcome retreat for children and adults with autism and their families. Offering classes and programs for all ages – from toddlers to adults – and other services and supports ranging from sibling support groups and birthday parties to summer camps and clinical services, the center truly became a go-to resource for local families.
Since its inception the center has been able to help hundreds of children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families and friends to learn critical life skills, make friends, explore their interests, and feel welcome and comfortable.
Most importantly, the Family Center for Autism offers support and assistance for people with developmental disabilities and autism as well as their loved ones. In addition, the center is open to the community, welcoming people from the surrounding neighborhoods to participate in its programs and events.
In 2023, in order to be more inclusive and accurately represent the offerings available to the community at large, the Family Center for Autism was renamed to the Family Center for Achievement. This change highlights the fact that expertise is not limited to autism but extends to support other disabilities, and our engaging programs are open to those without disabilities as well. As the Family Center for Achievement we can continue our mission and maintain our position as an expert in helping those with varying abilities while further expanding our reach to friends and neighbors.
A nonprofit serving the Long Island and Queens community, the Family Center for Achievement is truly “A Place for All.”