Celebrating 60 Years of Innovation in Behavioral Health and Education Solutions

October 14, 2019

Sixty years ago, Ruth Birch, a concerned mother whose child was turned away by the public school system due to a learning disability, founded Grafton. She began by teaching her son at her kitchen table. As word got out, other parents in the community began asking if she could educate their children with special needs as well. When there was no space left in her kitchen, Mrs. Birch was undeterred. And Grafton was created.

A lot has changed since 1959. Grafton has grown to serve more than 700 infants, children, adolescents, adults with complex behavioral health challenges and intellectual disabilities. Our footprint has expanded from a small church in Berryville to include locations in Front Royal, Loudoun County, Richmond, and Winchester, Virginia.

As Grafton evolved, so did the country. Laws were adopted to protect children’s rights to education. Autism diagnoses increased exponentially. Public schools still struggle to meet the needs of students with significant behavioral health challenges. But Grafton proved over and over again that we can serve – and successfully treat – these individuals.

In the spirit of Mrs. Birch’s determination, Grafton continues to help those individuals who often can’t be served elsewhere.

This summer, we invited past and present CEOs and long-time employees to reflect on their time at Grafton. The final result of these conversations is a short film that tells the story of our organization over the past 60 years. We hope you learn a bit about our history and enjoy what each of these individuals – each of whom has played a critical role in Grafton’s journey – has to say.

As we celebrate Grafton’s 60th anniversary, we take pride in how far we’ve come. From the day Ruth Birch committed to meeting an unmet need in the community, to the creation of Ukeru®, to establishing a new clinical model, our legacy is one of innovation and progress. With your continued support, our future will be just as bright. Thank you for being part of our story. We look forward to working with you as we write the next chapter.