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Children's Health Advocate Deirdre Imus Visits Visionary Educational Facility For Children With Autism

autism_develpmental_learning_centerHACKENSACK, NJ, October 1, 2007 - Continuing her commitment to supporting children with autism, honored and nationally recognized children’s environmental health advocate, Deirdre Imus, toured a state-of-the-art educational facility created specifically for the unique needs of students with autism.
 
“The Developmental Learning Center [Warren, N.J.] represents the finest example of what dedicated leaders and collaborative communities are able to accomplish when they make children their highest priority,” said Mrs. Imus.
 
The Developmental Learning Center-Warren is the vision of the Autism Education Foundation of the Morris-Union Jointure Commission (MUJC), a cooperative educational agency providing services and programs to meet the needs of 28 member school districts. The center provides a safe environment where students can work on skill acquisition and generalize their classroom skills to community venues. Teaching students in this type of monitored setting from a very young age develops their independence and self worth, making their transition to the world outside the facility far less intimidating and more productive.
 
“We wanted to introduce a new paradigm to the educational environment for students with autism and related developmental challenges,” said Dr. Kim Coleman, Superintendent of the Morris-Union Jointure Commission, “and we’ve done just that with the Developmental Learning Center.”
 
The public school can serve up to 220 students, ages 3 to 21. Programs include academic instruction, adaptive physical education, art, music, computer skills, daily living activities, job sampling, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapy, play and leisure skills, socialization, and vocational training.
 
“Elected officials, superintendents, anyone interested in helping children with autism reach their potential should visit this school and see the wonderful education they are providing,” recommended Mrs. Imus. “The Developmental Learning Center-Warren serves as a model to other communities and should be replicated in every state.”
 
For more information about The Developmental Learning Center-Warren visit:
http://www.aroundforautism.com/DLC_FINAL8.pdf
 
Deirdre Imus was honored as a “Champion for Autism” by The Autism Education Foundation of MUJC and was named “Person of the Year for 2007”, by Spectrum magazine, a news source for families affected by autism. Mrs. Imus was also presented with the 2007 Rachel Carson Award for her leadership in improving the environment.
 
Deirdre Imus is the founder and President of the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology®, part of Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) in New Jersey, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. The Environmental Center represents one of the first hospital-based programs whose specific mission is to identify, control, and ultimately prevent exposures to environmental factors that may cause adult, and especially pediatric cancer, as well as other health problems with our children.
 
Ms. Imus is also co-founder and co-director with husband, Don Imus, of The Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer, an authentic 4,000 acre working cattle ranch in northern New Mexico, which provides the experience of the American cowboy to children suffering from cancer and various blood diseases, as well as to children who have lost a brother or sister to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). 
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