Autism. It’s a familiar word to some, brand new to others, and mind-boggling to all. Children are challenging enough when they are what society considers normal. So what’s a parent to do when faced with the obstacle that is autism? You have to educate yourself on options. Look no further than our very own community.

I visited a facility right here in Danville, Virginia one morning to take a look around. I was quite impressed by the warm and inviting feeling I felt when I arrived. No one is an outsider here, even me, who clearly didn’t belong.

I was spotted instantly by a curious little red-haired fellow named James. I got a super-friendly greeting from him, but he was eager to get back to Calendar Time, which was a small group interacting together along with a time-sequenced story on an iPad. I watched the children move to their respective stations as they began their lessons for the day. Timers sounded for each transition. The pace and stimulation level had been mastered for each child. What I was witnessing could only be provided with love and dedication to these children. It was very touching to see.

The Center for Pediatric Therapies and Building Blocks Center for Children with Autism offers extensive services for nearly every autism-related urgency your child may have. Established in 2001, Center for Pediatric Therapies (CPT) has upheld a strong and positive relationship with families throughout the Danville community by providing school-based and early intervention therapies. CPT offers specialized assistance in areas of fine motor and gross motor delays which include, but are not limited to, language delays, feeding difficulties, and sensory integration disorder. The facility is also equipped with an on-site indoor pool for aquatic therapy and an on-site gym with vestibular equipment for sensory integration treatment.

In 2004, while offering occupational therapy to those in need at public schools, Kristen Houser and her partner Tommy Mathena opened Building Blocks to cater to the children in need. They created a center specifically designed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder that provides an educational requisite to children from two years of age to fourteen years of age. Their private day school is equipped with a fully licensed and VAISEF accredited staff and promises to be motivating, reassuring, and guided every step of the way. In one-on-one interaction, or part of a small group, children will learn from a special education teacher or a general education teacher, depending on the individual’s needs and capabilities. These settings are stimulating and very much time-managed, and most of all, designed for each child in ordinance with his or her Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Houser says they have big plans for the future and hope to offer a behavioral health department, employing licensed practical counselors to further encompass the many elements of autism. For Houser and her staff, the honor of helping families by offering their children the utmost in education, therapies, and lifelong goals is more rewarding than anything.

Currently the CPT and Building Blocks staff list is quite decorated with a collage of degrees and areas of expertise. Please visit their website for an extensive look at each member.

The registration process for Center for Pediatric Therapies and Building Blocks can begin when you call an office in your area — Danville, Martinsville, Lynchburg, or South Boston, Virginia. Medical insurance is accepted, and funding is available. If your child is on the autism spectrum, do not hesitate to call or visit Building Blocks and let one of their knowledgeable staff members guide you in the right direction.

What Parents are Saying

“The staff at Building Blocks is very dedicated to our children. They are like an extension of our family. Andrew has been attending Building Blocks since he was four-years-old. He is eleven now and I can’t imagine how things would be without the help and intense intervention that they offer.” -The Paxton Family

“Davis absolutely loves Building Blocks!! The one-on-one attention he gets there is wonderful. Davis is excited to come to school every day. He has learned so much there and has come so far. He gets speech therapy, OT, and ABA all in one place. The staff is awesome, and we are all like family.” -Catherine Wilkins Shelton

“Building Blocks and staff have helped my autistic son tremendously. They have been so patient when my son has rough days. Shannon Phelps and Courtney Adams are like family to my son Michael. They are truly teaching my son the building blocks to growing into an educated young man. My son has been going to Building Blocks since he was six-years-old, and is now 12.” – a parent whose child attends Building Blocks

“We first came into contact with Building Blocks in the summer of 2011. Our oldest son was having some behavior issues and newly diagnosed with Asperger’s. After the summer at Building Blocks we saw much improvement in his behavior. During the first grade there were some behavior issues that could not be resolved in public schools. I called Courtney Adams who was immediately there to assist my family. She made the transition happen for my son within two days. Since then I never have to worry. They have been a life saver for our family and we are grateful for each and every staff member.” -Jennifer Pittman


About The Author

Misty Brooks

The mother to five children, Misty is forever forgetting where her cell phone may be or maybe never was. She loves the beach, animals, thrift shopping, and discovering new paths.

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