Grafton in Action – Summer 2018

Many summer blockbusters have heroes with unique origin stories – think of, for example, the Avengers, Black Panther, and Spider Man. I like to think Grafton does as well. The hero of our origin story is Ruth Birch. It was around her kitchen table that Grafton began.

In 1958, Mrs. Birch, frustrated that her son — who struggled with dyslexia — wasn’t being provided an adequate education, began homeschooling him. In a matter of weeks, three other students joined them. The demand by parents and caregivers for their children was enormous. The school quickly outgrew Mrs. Birch’s kitchen.

Fast-forward 60 years. Today, Grafton is well known for providing services to children and adults with complex behavioral health challenges. We may be best known for serving individuals with Autism. And just as Mrs. Birch evolved to meet the demands of her student population, Grafton is evolving to address a rapidly changing environment.

In the last several decades, various factors have impacted the behavioral health landscape. Two issues, in particular — the recent Endrew Supreme Court ruling and a lack of options for young people with Autism who are in crisis — are leaving already vulnerable individuals at even greater risk. Though Grafton is based in Virginia, we are working hard to determine ways to support these individuals, who reside all across the country.

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