Autism Awareness

April 14, 2011 Updated Apr 16, 2011 at 10:12 AM EDT

By WKBW Programming

April 14, 2011 Updated Apr 16, 2011 at 10:12 AM EDT

Dr. Steve Anderson from Summit Educational Resources stopped by the Channel 7 studios to share important information with Jon Summers.

In addition to gathering support for the upcoming April 30th "Walk For Autism," Dr. Anderson talked with Jon about what parents should know when it comes to Autism.

Here is more information from the Summit Educational Services website, which you can link to on the "news links" section of

A Brief Summary of Our History

Summit is a private, not-for-profit organization located in Western New York in the suburb of Amherst, NY, just outside of Buffalo. We are approved by the New York State Education Department, New York State Department of Health and New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities to provide educational and therapeutic services to children with learning, communication and behavioral challenges.

In 1973, Nancy Harris, founder of Summit, was interested in expanding the speech and language skills of her son who was born with a severe hearing loss. She believed strongly that children with communication disorders could best develop meaningful speech and language during their everyday experiences, and developed a program for four children in the kitchen of her Williamsville home.

After moves to several different locations in the Tonawanda area, Summit Educational Resources (originally called Language Development Program or LDP) leased space in the former Brighton Elementary School Building on Fries Road in the Town of Tonawanda. In 1977, Summit was incorporated as a not-for-profit agency and was approved by the New York State Education Department to provide special services to preschool children with communication disorders.

Summit developed a bilingual education program in 1988, and in 1990 expanded to include infants and toddlers and their families through the Department of Health's Early Intervention Program. Nancy Harris retired in 1995 and, following a nationwide search, was succeeded by Dr. Stephen R. Anderson who brought a wealth of experience in evidence-based treatment of children with autism.

In 1998, Summit was approved by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilties to provide a range of Medicaid waiver services including service coordination, respite, and family support. In 2000, Summit was approved to serve students through age 21 and established a Vocational Training Program.

In 2005, Summit opened a $7.5 million, state-of-the-art school in Amherst, New York. In September 2009, Summit opened the new Paddock Vocational Training Center on Creekside Drive to serve the needs of students ages 17 - 21.

From its humble beginnings in 1973, Summit has grown to a staff of nearly 500 full time, part-time and contractual employees dedicated to serving more than 1700 Western New York children each year with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Every child with a disability will achieve a full and productive life.

To prepare children and young adults with developmental disabilities for life success.

Collaboration: Achieving goals and outcomes through the cooperative and collaborative efforts of staff, families, volunteers and others.

Optimism: Expecting the best of each other and of our consumers. Believing that our efforts will be successful. Consistently presenting a positive and confident attitude.

Adaptability: Responding appropria
tely and flexibly to different situations and change.

Accountability: Acting responsibly, making moral or rational decisions based on quantifiable information, consistently displaying wise judgment and sound thinking.

Respect: Conduct toward others that reflects a spirit of consideration, thoughtfulness and appreciation of differing experiences and points of view