Effecting Change for Autism

A local foundation celebrates ten years committed to the cause.

One in 100 children is affected with autism while 67 kids are diagnosed with the disorder every day. The McCarton Foundation is committed to educating children and families in Manhattan dealing with the ongoing challenges associated with this prevalent condition.

Founded in 2002 by Cecelia McCarton, M.D., The McCarton Foundation is dedicated to increasing educational opportunities for children with autism, determining the most effective teaching techniques and training professionals how to teach children with autism.

The McCarton Foundation actively supports three key programs: The McCarton Foundation Center for Research, The McCarton Training Institute and The McCarton School.

The McCarton Foundation Center for Research continually studies and publishes the best practices on evidence-based educational methods to address learning deficits in children with autism. The McCarton Training Institute supports the initial and ongoing training of teachers, therapists and specialists in the most advanced and effective methods to help children with autism learn. And The McCarton School is a unique school housed in a 30,000-square-foot facility in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. The McCarton School currently educates more than 40 students ages 3-18, and the population is scheduled to expand to more than 60 students.

The recently founded Upper School of The McCarton School is implementing a new curriculum to address the many demands of adolescents and adults with autism. The school’s goal is to effectively prepare adolescents for successful daily living in society. An afterschool outreach program began to support families’ needs for therapeutic, behavioral and respite resources in their homes and communities.

In addition to making a dramatic difference in the lives of children and their families, the school serves as an international model of the effective methods and practices developed at the Center for Research and refined at the Training Institute. The McCarton Foundation continues to push the frontiers of state-of-the-art learning technology while broadening the possibilities for children with autism.

The foundation also celebrates the talents of individuals with autism along the way. This past January, The McCarton Foundation premiered the first annual Genius of Autism ceremony at Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall. The event honored 16 enormously skilled autistic youths for their accomplishments in the fields of music, visual arts, poetry and athletics. The motivating force behind the event was that of Dr. Cece McCarton. “Often talents are not discovered in autistic individuals because so many people have stereotyped or limited expectations of their abilities,” Dr. McCarton says. “The line between ability and disability is a very thin one that often goes undetected.”
To pay homage to the organization’s ten-year anniversary, a gala is planned for The McCarton Foundation on May 16 at Pier Sixty of Chelsea Piers. Proceeds from the evening benefit The McCarton Foundation’s ongoing effort to educate our city’s children and young adults with autism.

For more information on The McCarton Foundation, contact Suzanne Rubin at srubin@mccartonfoundation.org. Visit the foundation on Facebook or at www.mccartonfoundation.org.