REED Academy began in 2003 when a small group of parents came together, eager to find the right education for their children with autism. What started in two small rooms in Washington Township, New Jersey, has grown into a leading educational environment. REED Academy now operates from its own state-of-the art school in Oakland, New Jersey, and continues to innovate and expand its programming for individuals with autism, from early childhood through adulthood.
A cornerstone of REED’s success is applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is a scientific approach to understanding why people do what they do, and from there, helping people make meaningful changes in their behavior. At REED, our highly-trained and dedicated instructors break complex materials into smaller and more teachable units, while providing versatile methods of instruction individualized to each student.
“Since opening our doors, our team has witnessed the effects of ABA and the positive impact it can have. Every family has a different set of values and goals that influence their idea of a happy, productive life—and ABA gives our team the flexibility to individualize each goal to meet the child and family’s needs,” says Kelli Fowler, M.A., BCBA, Clinical Director.
Integrating the latest technologies is an important part of our school-wide success. These technologies aid students with communication, help to provide dynamic and engaging instruction, and offer opportunities for leisure activities. They also play an integral role in improving the quality of our educational services. Catalyst, an advanced data collection system, provides sophisticated analysis, progress reporting, and easy access to information for parents and caregivers.
“At REED, we value knowledge, science, and advancing ourselves,” says Joe Novak, EdD, BCBA-D, CCC-SLP, ATP, Director of Curriculum and Technology. “We are never content to remain where we are. We constantly seek to evolve and grow, and I think that’s the piece that is missing in many other places.”
In 15 years, our goal hasn’t changed, just expanded: to give individuals with autism the opportunities they need to learn, grow, and thrive throughout their lifetime. REED’s Early Intervention program serves to improve the capabilities of our youngest learners from diagnosis through age five. Our latest endeavor, REED Next, is designed to support adults with autism ages 21 and older so that they can achieve greater independence and live a meaningful and fulfilling life.
“Good enough is not good enough here,” says Leah Farinola, MA, Principal of REED Academy. “Our bar is set way higher. We aim for excellence.”
To celebrate REED’s 15 years of innovation and success—and looking forward to the next 15 years and beyond—the REED Foundation for Autism will host its fall event at BH Kitchen in NYC, where casino games, auctions, music, and more will be held. Join us in celebrating 15 years of excellence!