About AJF

About AJF

About The AJ Foundation (AJF)

The AJ Foundation was born out of a mother's love for her son, and her refusal to accept the fact that his ability to enjoy the riches of human life would be severely limited because of autism.

That mother is Joanne Corless, a registered nurse and mother of three, who lives in Wycombe, PA with her husband, Allan. And that child is AJ Corless; today a handsome and talented young man who enjoys athletics, music (he is a self-taught pianist), cooking and maps. After AJ was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a toddler, Joanne and Allan were determined to find a way for him to learn and develop life skills that could help him experience as full and satisfying a life as possible. Unfortunately, they quickly realized that there were few if any local resources available to assist children with autism. What followed was a 20 year quest to create a place where children like AJ could learn and grow. This remarkable story is chronicled in a 2012 feature story in Family Circle magazine (Read Full Story.)

From its humble start as a single family's personal journey to help their son, The AJ Foundation has now grown into a highly respected organization which serves as a beacon of hope for many families. Our mission is to implement and support quality educational services dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism and their families within their communities. These services are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, which have been scientifically proven to be the most effective method of teaching individuals with autism.

To date, our greatest accomplishment has been the opening of one of Pennsylvania's first highly specialized private schools for children with autism, called The Comprehensive Learning Center (CLC). Students attending CLC are provided with intensive and comprehensive educational and behavioral services, which allow them to function and integrate into the home environment and into the communities in which they live, work and play. All CLC teachers hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree in Special Education, Psychology or related fields and receive additional training in the principles of ABA. All Trainers must be enrolled in or have a Master’s Degree in Special Education or Applied Behavior Analysis. In addition, they must hold a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification or be enrolled in coursework towards this certification.

AJF Mission

The AJ Foundation For Children With Autism (AJF) is a non-profit organization formed by parents, family members, and friends of children with autism. Our mission is to support quality educational programs that are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and are dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism and their families within their communities.

AJF Timeline

September, 1997

The AJ Foundation initiates the opening of The Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22's first public ABA program for elementary aged students with autism.

April 1998

The AJ Foundation assists the Council Rock School District in pioneering its first public ABA program for elementary aged students with autism. Prior to The AJ Foundation's involvement with both the Bucks County Intermediate Unit and the Council Rock School District, there were no specialized public elementary level services available for children in this area based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis.

September, 2000

The AJ Foundation opens Pennsylvania's first licensed private school for children with autism between the ages of 5 through 14, called the The Comprehensive Learning Center.

January 2002

AJF holds its first 2 day conference at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, PA to educate parents and professionals about the success of using evidenced-based techniques (ABA) in teaching individuals with autism, particularly in promoting independence. The conference is offered periodically to disseminate the most recent research and advances using the principles of ABA for teaching students with autism.

November 2008

AJF assists CLC embark on its expansion, as the foundation is laid for a new building adjacent to CLC's existing facility which will house the Upper Elementary, Secondary and future adult programs.

January 2009

AJF collaborates with CLC in hosting its 4th conference entitled Evidenced Based Interventions for Individuals with Autism at Bucks County Community College.

August 6, 2009

AJF attends CLC's ribbon cutting ceremony on the new 6,000 sq. foot building (Building B) constructed adjacent to the existing building (Building A) at CLC's current location. Building B houses the Upper Elementary and Secondary modules. It provides significantly improved life and vocational skills training areas, a gym, conference room and space for the future adult program.

February 24, 2012

Once again AJF collaborates with CLC in hosting its 5th Educational Conference entitled Challenging Topics in Autism: Evidence-Based Procedures and Interventions. Conferences host experts in the field of autism treatment to share current research and best practices with the general public.

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