Anova was initially conceived by Andrew Bailey and William Henkel in the summer of 2000 with very few resources beyond their mutual love of children and a desire to help families in need. Together with Mary Beth Ludwig, a CPA and parent of a developmentally disabled child, they combined their inspiration and talent to create a new paradigm in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders and those who learn differently.
Mr. Bailey developed the one-of-a-kind "Multidisciplinary Treatment of Neurodevelopmental Impairments" model that has been pioneered at the Anova Center for Education as the "Anova Method of Education." The ACE School was conceived as a unique environment that would provide high quality academic instruction to emotionally challenged children, using best practices from Positive Behavior Intervention, Sensory Integration, Cognitive Therapy, Speech/Language Therapy, and Theory of Mind. Mr. Bailey was also appointed by former Senator Noreen Evans as Chair of the North Coast Regional Task Force on Autism and Related Disorders, and works closely with local and state officials to address the increasing impact of autism on our nation.
Co-Founder Mary Beth Ludwig has provided significant contributions to the corporate mission. Driven by a desire to give hope to children and families, Ms. Ludwig became Anova’s first CFO and COO. For her work developing and growing Anova’s outstanding programs, Ms. Ludwig was named a Sonoma County Hometown Hero in 2014 and awarded, along with Mr. Bailey, the American Red Cross Real Heroes designation in 2015. She has also received the Diana Nyad "Find a Way" Award in 2015 and the prestigious North Bay Nonprofit Leadership Award in 2018.
Anova has grown from a staff of two clinicians and an accountant, to a thriving team of over 300 dedicated employees providing educational and behavior support services to our local school districts and families. The prevalence of autism in U.S. children increased by 119.4% from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68). This profound rise in autism created a critical need for our specialized services, and in 2003, Anova opened the first Anova School with only 4 children.
Today, Anova serves almost 400 students and over 500 families with two K-12 campuses in Santa Rosa and Concord. In addition to our two non-profit K-12 schools located in Santa Rosa and Concord, Anova provides after-school programs, camps, services in public schools and in-home environments, a treatment clinic, and is an important community resource for local practitioners, families and clients alike.