The Augusta Levy Learning Center is the first intensive autism treatment program in the Ohio Valley. We utilize methods pioneered and proven by Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas of UCLA and his colleagues. Under the guidance of the Lovaas Institute For Early Intervention (LIFE), the Augusta Levy Learning Center aims to enhance the social, academic, communication and independent living skills of its students.
Each student at the Levy Center has his or her own unique curriculum based on the child’s needs and abilities and receives at least 30 hours a week of intensive, one-on-one instruction using Lovaas’s Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a systematic approach to teaching small, measurable units of behavior ranging from relatively simple responses like making eye contact to advanced responses like spontaneous communication and social interaction. Skills are broken down into small steps and taught systematically through one-on-one instruction and positive reinforcement from teachers trained by the Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention (LIFE).
A unique component of the program is parent involvement. Parents are considered the most essential part of the child’s educational team and are trained by Lovaas consultants to work alongside the child’s therapists and to implement programs in the home.
The intervention program is based on extensive clinical experience and more than 40 years of scientific research that yields the best educational results for children with autism.
About Augusta Levy
The Learning Center is named for Augusta K. Levy. Levy, who was known as “Gussie” to her friends and colleagues, was a longtime teacher and lifelong learner who epitomized the skill and commitment needed to teach children that had previously been labeled as unteachable.
Gussie was selfless and unassuming with a brilliant mind. She was tenacious in overcoming the obstacles she faced in educating underserviced children. She taught at public schools in the poorest Brooklyn neighborhoods. She became well-known for guiding particularly challenging students into literacy, and she was appointed to a created position as a specialized reading teacher. Students in any grade who had trouble reading, and who were labeled as failures, were sent to her class.
She developed specific methods of teaching students at various levels of ability and deficiency that included a peer tutoring system which helped to further develop skills, increase self-confidence and improve behavior. She was an early advocate of a multi-sensory approach to teaching as she recognized that each child learns best through different sensory modalities: visual, auditory and tactile-kinesthetic.
After the death of her husband Benjamin, she relocated to Maryland to be near her family. In her 70s’, Gus took courses toward a Master’s degree at the University of Maryland. Her purpose was to gain the accreditation needed to develop programs to help public school teachers succeed in teaching language arts where other systems had failed these children, many of which who had unique challenges. Sadly, illness cut short this goal.
In her late 80s and early 90s she served as a volunteer at the Ivymount School for exceptional children in Rockville, Maryland, where she continued to inspire children and to mentor other teachers.
Augusta Levy passed away in 1998, but not before helping countless children gain the gift of literacy. She showed by her life that everyone can learn if given a real chance.