Anova co-founder Andrew Bailey and ACE parent Pam Wittenberg spoke with Press Democrat reporter Derek Moore about the debunking of Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 assertion that immunizations are the cause of autism. You can read the full article here.
"Anova expects bumps in the road and finds out what makes these kids tick, what engages them, and what their strengths are. They focus on the positive attributes of each child, and by doing so undesirable traits fade away. Whereas others saw nothing but challenging behaviors, Anova sees an academically gifted, polite and sociable young person with great potential for success."
"At Anova, my son is taught by people who understand his needs, and respect and care about him. He is now a totally different child; he's a confident, happy, and funny boy with friends,good grades, and in an environment allowing him to reach his full potential...and he achieved it all because of Anova."
"Before Anova our family seemed caught in a web of confusion, of unanswered questions, of unsolved dilemmas, of anger and fear. At Anova we've been met with caring , compassion, competence, and most importantly, with people who truly have their hearts into helping these kids. I can't say enough about the integrity and mission of Anova, and for the quality and professionalism of the administrative as well as the teaching staff. For the first time I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that my son is being taught to live in the world and to grow to the best of his ability by loving, professional people I trust and have faith in."
"Anova saved my son from being institutionalized. Prior to Anova, he was failing miserably and we were losing control of him...In all my years as a public school teacher and parent, I have never seen a more dedicated staff. They are working as hard as I am to make sure my child succeeds. Anova has not only given my son an opportunity at a rich and fulfilling life, they have given me my life back as well."
"The four months since our daughter began attending ACE have been the calmest in our family's life for the past 16 years. Rosie is happy and safe at ACE and, not incidentally, she is easier to live with. Prior to Anova, our daughter's teachers didn't understand her perspective or needs. As parents, we didn't fully understand her either. Anova faculty and staff value how she experiences the world and have a plan to meet her needs. Before attending Anova, never did Rosie get up willingly to go to school. Today, she is eager and independent, looking forward to the arrival of the bus each morning. What has Anova done for us? ...transformed our family life."
"Our son comes home each day with a smile on his face and stories to tell. He has friends, a teacher and staff who know what he needs and provide it to him. Anova has given my son a chance to be a student, a friend, and most importantly, a sense of belonging to something 'normal'."
"Anova Education listens. They listen to students. They listen to parents. They listen to our community. So many of us in the autism community feel that no one listens; that no one cares. I know I felt that way. I know my son felt that way. We don't feel that way any longer...thanks to Anova."
"Finding and nurturing students' strengths is what ACE is all about. All the teachers at ACE have made Nate a happier person, our lives richer and more peaceful, and the future so much brighter than we ever could have imagined."
"There are no words that could express how much we love our ACE teachers and staff. They took a boy that was damaged and molded him into a confident young man. They also took me, a cynical and distrustful parent, and showed me that there really are people that care. They are remembered in our prayers every day. We love you."
"Our son has ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome. Changes in school environments had been very painful and affected his self-esteem. Within 8 weeks after starting at Anova, he told me on the car trip to school that he really loved going to Anova. I replied, "that's great! Why do you like Anova so much?" His response was telling: "because they get me and I feel like I'm somewhere I can finally grow."
"Anova has changed our world. The opportunities that my son has at this school are so many. I have watched him gain confidence, make friends and keep them, and have a staff that creates an education plan meeting and fulfilling his needs. I really can't say enough about this school that is more than a school."
– Anova Parent
"I had a district representative tell me recently that in her 27 years of education, she thinks we are by far one of the most exceptional programs she has ever seen. She is new to the area and had never been to ACE. Heidi said, "After tours and IEP meetings, people are always telling me what a talented staff we have and it is so very true. I am grateful every day to have the opportunity to work with each and every one of them! They never cease to amaze me with their talent, dedication and passion for what they do. They change lives every day."
"We experienced an immediate, dramatic, and lasting improvement in our daughter's (and her family's) situation upon transferring her from her public high school to ACE. Other families at the school report similar experiences. "
"Our Asperger's child won his elementary school's spelling championship, won a regional spelling competition, and went on to compete in a county-level spelling contest before losing interest. Without his perfectly-trained Anova assistant and the individualized behavior plan developed by Andrew Bailey, this child would not have been able to tolerate the social aspects involved in competition and recognition."
"When you are the parent of a child with special needs, there is no mountain you will not try to move. When our son was overwhelmed and frustrated by high school we sought help through Anova. Anova found the perfect behavioral aide to stand shoulder to shoulder with our son, someone with strength and character who spoke to our son the way we wish every teacher could. Anova has this family's gratitude"
"Since starting my child at the ACE School, I have had the delight of watching my son blossom both behaviorally and academically. What's more, his teacher has helped me with a system that applies the social skills he is learning at school to our home environment. I am amazed at the changes I have seen."
"My son has been at Anova for over four years now and I can't believe he is the same child or young man. He is happy...happy with who he is...and he has friends! He has come so far. I will never be able to thank Anova enough for helping him find happiness again. My son will become an Eagle Scout this year. I never thought that would happen. The staff at ACE is so outstanding; words just don't say enough. They realize each and every child has different needs and try to meet them one way or another. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!"