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Autism Grandparents Academy

in partnership with the Faison Center

The Autism Grandparents Academy is a 12-month, in-person, highly personalized program that strengthens the autism grandparent experience. It takes place in Richmond, Virginia, is limited to 12 participants, and runs each year from July 1 until the following June 30.

The Academy’s GOALS are straightforward:

Help improve each grandparent’s contributions to their grandchild’s mental/physical/emotional abilities.

✔ Give grandparents the tools they need to more positively enhance their grandchild’s quality of life.

Strengthen each grandparent’s relationship with the grandchild’s parents/guardians.


Help grandparents learn, and to be aware of the autism resources available to them.

Enhance each grandparent’s knowledge and involvement regarding planning for the grandchild’s lifetime needs.

Create a support network of autism grandparents who can commiserate and provide friendship and support.

The Academy offers EXTENSIVE INVOLVEMENT and CONSULTATION as follows: 

  • Personal Questionnaire (completed in advance by all participants) 

  • All-day Learning Immersion Session (first meeting of the Academy – entire group)

  • Monthly 2-Hour Group Meeting 
  • Monthly Individual Telephone Meeting with Coordinator

  • Ongoing Individual Meetings/Calls/e-Mails with the Coordinator as requested/needed

  • Half-day Mid-Term Assessment (at 6 months – entire group)
  • Graduation Celebration (entire group)

The Academy has the following distinctive QUALITIES:

  • The Academy is endorsed by, and is in partnership with, the Faison Center — which is recognized as one of the nation’s leading organizations that serve individuals with autism.

  • The Academy is coordinated by an autism grandparent who has had leadership roles with community-serving projects locally and nationally.

  • The Academy has an in-house autism expert who has two decades of nationally important professional experience.

  • The Academy does not pre-set its curriculum, but rather develops the initial curriculum based on the participants’ initial questionnaires, and then shapes ongoing curriculum according to ongoing needs of the participants.

  • The Academy enlists visiting experts who are selected according to the ongoing needs of the participants.

  • The Academy gives participants individual customized “homework” assignments that enhance the participants’ progress towards the Academy’s six goals.

  • The Academy provides ongoing individual consultation and hand-holding.

The Autism Grandparents Academy is a fee-based program, with 100% of the fees donated to the Faison Center. To learn about the fee structure and the application process, please fill out this form.

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