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Students of the Faison Center

About > The Faison Approach

The Faison Approach

At The Faison Center, our mission is to give children and adults with autism and related challenges the best opportunity to improve their life’s journey through evidence-based practice. We provide world-class services and programs through our unique lifespan model, which offers enriching opportunities from early diagnosis to adulthood. No matter when our services are needed, we are committed to improving the lives of the individuals we serve.

Our mission across the lifespan is accomplished through specific programs designed to meet the needs of families at different points in their lives: the Faison School, the Faison Behavioral Health Clinic, and Faison Adult Services.


Evidence-Based Treatment

Only the most effective autism therapies, including scientific teaching practices are used, taught and shared at Faison. Faison’s approach integrates applied behavior analysis (ABA) throughout the entirety of each student’s experience here. In practice, this means that the student’s reading, writing, social, communicative, motor, and self-management “behaviors” are the fundamental units on which we focus. Instructors recognize that often, performance issues result from the child’s previous and current history with the instruction, and how it is selected, designed, presented, and reinforced. In addition, student performance is analyzed on a variety of different levels and on a student-by-student basis. Teachers and behavior analysts use data to evaluate performance. Faison serves a number of individuals that all receive personalized services. If a specific method proves unsuccessful for a given student, it is modified or replaced with another evidence-based approach. Faison’s comprehensive ABA approach also means that the specific procedures we use are based on the science of human behavior and learning, drawn from empirically-based research, and carried out in such a way that they can be described to parents and other important figures in the student’s life. Lastly, our ABA approach actively and continually focuses on pinpointing student strengths and weaknesses, preferences, and long-term goals. We strive to ensure that we and the rest of the student’s IEP team work collaboratively to prepare students for lifelong learning experiences.



Since verified methods are an important part of the educational approach at Faison, a great deal of emphasis is placed on staying up-to-date on research. The Center is affiliated with the Department of Behavioral Psychology at Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and Clemson University. These partnerships afford our staff close access to some of the premier professionals in the country. The Faison Center uses this research to review and evaluate our instructional goals and revise our tools when necessary, making sure students take advantage of only the best methods.

Community Education

In keeping with our holistic approach, Faison serves the Greater Richmond community by developing autism education practices for teachers, medical professionals, school professionals, first responders, families and the general public. Programs are implemented not only in the Richmond area but also throughout Central Virginia, as we consult with local schools districts, train staff to work with individuals with autism spectrum disorder, and assist parents of children with ASD and other developmental disabilities.

All educational services provided by Faison are accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities (VAISEF) and are licensed by the Virginia Department of Education.  Clinical and Adult Services are licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

The Faison Center is VAISEF accredited Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities
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