On Wednesday, May 29, The Autism Treatment Center (ATC) hosted a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of its 20,000 sq. ft. new Learning and Opportunity Center for children and adults with autism.
With this new facility, ATC is able to expand the capacity of its specialized education and vocational programs and add new services that address unmet needs for families of children and adults with autism in the San Antonio area. U.S. Representative Will Hurd (TX-23), ATC Board Member Ron Botello and Tracy Garcia, parent of an ATC student were there to make brief remarks.
Garcia’s son Thomas, a student with autism spectrum disorder, was 13 years old when he enrolled in ATC’s education program. Now 19, he will be one of the first students to transition into the expanded adult services at the new center. Thomas and other graduating students with autism will have access to vocational training in culinary arts and food service, horticulture and retail sales in real world settings that improve their opportunities for community employment.
According to the Education Service Center for Region 20 that serves public schools in Bexar and surrounding counties, the number of students diagnosed with autism in local public schools increased 49% from 3.777 students in 2013 to 5,607 in 2016.
The new learning center is located on the North East side of San Antonio and compliments the nearby treatment facility.