Center for learning disabilities seeks permit

By Greg Elias
Observer staff

An organization that operates educational centers for children with learning disabilities is seeking to open a Williston facility.

The Augmentative Learning and Movement Center recently filed an application with the town for a conditional-use permit. The facility would open in an existing office building on Wentworth Drive, which is off James Brown Drive and Vermont 2A.

Margaret Novotny, ALMC’s executive director, was traveling outside the country and was unavailable for comment. Other employees referred questions to Novotny.

But the application indicates that the facility, ALMC’s third in Vermont, would provide “therapeutic and education services as well as behavioral medicine for individuals with learning disabilities with a special focus on autism.”

The center will accommodate a maximum of eight children at any given time, according to the application, and employ between six and 10 staff members. Hours of operation will roughly parallel those of public schools, between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The Augmentative Learning and Movement Center works with students with developmental delays and learning disabilities, according to its Web site. It currently operates facilities in Morrisville and Enosburg.

ALMC works with local school districts to provide the wide-ranging services often required by students with learning problems.

The center’s Web site notes that it can help public schools with such students by “integrating educational, therapeutic and medical programs in the school setting and in the community.” The center also offers evaluations, training and workshops for school districts.

Staff members at ALMC facilities include a special educator, a clinical behaviorist, a speech and language pathologist, and an occupational therapist.

ALMC also operates independent schools at its Morrisville and Enosburg locations. The Williston facility, however, will not include an independent school.

The Development Review Board is scheduled to consider the permit application at its Nov. 28 session. ALMC’s Web site indicates it plans to open the Williston facility in January.