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The Riley Behavioral & Education Center

The Riley Behavioral & Education Center

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve been featuring local private & independent schools through our School Spotlight series for over a year now, but have recently started a new special Preschool Edition! We hope to expand this series to include more state-licensed preschools in Huntsville and Madison County, and are excited to grow our education coverage to include more options for local students & their parents.

Find out more about The Riley Center’s educational program via our Q&A with Susannah Torres, a Day School Behavior Consultant & Case Manager at The Riley Center.

Riley Center Collage

Learn More About The Riley Center

Online: Facebook Page
Location: 4092 Memorial Parkway SW, Ste 105, Huntsville (map)
Phone: 256-882-2457

Ages of Students: Our Day School Program works with students from ages 6 – 19. We also house an early intervention outpatient services program that provides research proven treatment and intervention services to children ages 2 – 6; and, an Early Education Program for children ages 4-6 that is housed in Asbury Methodist Church in Madison.

Religious Affiliation: none

Teacher/Student Ratio: This varies dependent on the needs of the children in each classroom. We have the capability to provide for 1:1 all-day or half-day, and the highest ratio that any classroom has is 1:6. This is largely possible due to our use of certified behavior consultants (Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Board Certified associate Behavior Analysts and behavioral technicians) in every classroom working as a team with every teacher.

The Riley Center

Please describe your school mission:
The Riley Center seeks to provide comprehensive services using a multidisciplinary approach to fulfill the urgent need for earlier diagnosis and treatment for children and their families faced with autism. Our staff implements the most current research-proven treatments and educational practices in a caring and supportive environment.

The Riley Center feels a strong sense of responsibility and commitment to our community to assist in a broader understanding of autism spectrum disorders and the importance of community involvement in the future success of our children as they mature into adulthood.

What is your school’s predominant educational philosophy?
Our educational philosophy at the Riley Center Day School focuses on individualized education with extended standards and behavior modification based on positive reinforcement with a core foundation in the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis.

What sets your school apart from other area programs?
The Riley Center Day School is the only school in the Huntsville City and the surrounding area that offers comprehensive services to include a day school program exclusively for students on the Autism Spectrum. We use a multidisciplinary approach that utilizes the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) to implement individualized educational programs, functional skills training, job training, social skills acquisition as well as addressing maladaptive behavior reduction while increasing pro-social behaviors.

Additional services offered through our contracted providers with in the Day School program are speech therapy and occupational therapy. These services are worked into the children’s school day so that when they leave our campus for the day no one has to worry about making it to those appointments as additional stressors.

As a center we also offer community and in-home consultation, training and therapy, our outpatient early intervention clinic, and our early education program.

Autism Legislative Day
Autism Legislative Day in Montgomery

What extracurricular opportunities exist for your students?
Some programs with in the Day School include: Community outings that include development and generalization of functional and adaptive skills, community interaction, independent living skills and job training.

The Riley Center After School Enrichment Program (ASEP) caters to two age groups in two different locations and focuses on social skills and group processing, in addition to giving extra behavioral supports and individualized skill acquisition dependent on each child’s needs.

Our Summer Enrichment Programs\\ address development and maintenance of academic skills as well as incorporating community outings for acquisition and generalization of both independent living and social skills. These programs, particularly for the younger groups, will have a common theme that projects and special events revolve around while still providing time each day to develop and/or maintain academic skills.

The Riley Center Day School also offers tutoring programs for students who may need more intensive help with their academic work. These services are available during the school year and the summer months.

Riley Center 2What advice do you have for parents looking for a school for their child(ren)?
When you are looking for a school, especially for your special needs child, it is extremely important to look for a program that addresses your child comprehensively. If you are looking for a program for your student on the Autism Spectrum – bring it! We are always excited to see new faces and help them learn about the benefits of our program for students on the Autism Spectrum!

Describe your admissions process:
The first step toward admission to The Riley Center Day School program is to contact our Director of Education, Dr. Cummings. She will set up an intake meeting that will be both informational and contain an assessment.

At that meeting the parent(s)/guardian(s)s and student will meet with Dr. Cummings and the consultant to obtain developmental and educational history, learn more about services offered and how the student’s individual needs can be met. The student will also meet briefly with one of our Day School Consultants for skill and placement assessments.

After these first two steps are completed, Dr. Cummings will make program recommendations, review tuition/fees with parents/guardians and consult with our insurance administrator to determine eligibility for insurance coverage. The parent/guardian will complete the application process and return required documents to the Day School Director. Dr. Cummings and the parent/guardian will determine an appropriate start date and provide guidance for transitioning the student into our program.

Finally the student will be welcomed to The Riley Center with warm smiles and open hearts.

Additional Info:
As a 501(C)3 non-profit organization The Riley Center wants to do all we can to ensure that no child is left un-served due to cost. As a result we do extensive fundraising and are able to provide services at 50% cost. We work with various insurance providers as well with the hope that we can provide services for as many children on the Autism Spectrum as possible.


View Comments (6)
  • Hi, my daughter is a freshman in h.s., she is 14 and autistic.She is having a very difficult time.Her anxiety is worsening she is part of a 1500 high school.I would have a hard time at home school because of my multiple sclerosis. I’m interested in talking with someone.thank you

    • Hi Debra – thanks for reaching out! Please call the Riley Center to request a consult. The are 256-882-2457 and I know they would love to help if they can.

  • Hi, Is there a support group for kids 12 yrs Old, with Aspergers, in Madison area? Thank you.

  • My daughter attended the Riley center for two years and this is her first year homeschooled. She’s fallen apart before my eyes because she misses the Riley center. See she attended two years then the cost a month more then tripled to 900 a month. So as I search anything tonight, crying again I see TRC’s website which states no child is turned away, 50% cost reduced yet they told us well we are sorry you can’t afford the new monthly payment.. we have retired military insurance is also the problem I last heard. I was told we don’t qualify for any help. So if your a parent like me with a child who is autistic, please look at all the details before your child falls in love with the place.

    • At The Riley Center, it breaks our heart when there is any loss of services to our children and families, to include the inability of some to receive needed intervention at all. Unfortunately, though, TRC cannot control funding by Tricare and other insurance agencies. Over the past couple of years, we have sadly seen numerous children and young adults suffer cuts in and loss of services due to Tricare policy changes and restrictions on hours and program allowances. Additionally, both government and insurance policy and regulations, as well as standards for best practice, require ABA to be implemented by only highly qualified and trained staff, all of whom must compensated for their time and skill. At TRC, we are thankful that we are still able to provide therapeutic and educational services at 1/3 of the national averaged cost. We definitely would not be able to do this if it were not for our dedicated staff who work diligently for wages that help absorb part of this lost revenue in order to support the center’s mission to provide hope for families affected by ASD across our community. Again, we hate to see any individual leave our center before he or she is ready; however, with current community support we are grateful for our present ability to fundraise for half of the cost of all programs to families. The more community support we are able to obtain, the greater financial assistance and scholarship opportunities we can provide to our families. Although we cannot control government and insurance regulations, we are hopeful that change will continue to come to Alabama and community support will continue to grow, so all individuals and families can receive the intervention and support they deserve.

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