St. Gerard House opened its doors in 2010 and since then has been a center of hope for individuals with autism and their families.
Today, St. Gerard House is providing ABA therapy, prevocational training, social skills classes, and a wide array of other services for individuals with autism and their families.
St. Gerard House opened its doors in 2010 and since then has been a center of hope
for individuals with autism and their families. Although this is when St. Gerard House
began serving the autism community, the story begins many years before that.
In the year 2000, against all odds, Caroline Long had a son named Liam Patrick Gerard
Blackwell. Liam was a beautiful and happy baby, but Caroline began noticing things
about him that were unexpected. Although Liam was a joy to be around, he
demonstrated very repetitive behaviors, severe gut issues and developmentally,
seemed to be falling behind other children his age. In the meantime, her daughter,
Bridget was born and had her own set of complications. At three, Liam was diagnosed
with autism and shortly after Bridget was diagnosed at age two.
Now, with two children that needed help and little understanding of what autism was, Caroline went to work. For months, she spent long nights studying. She wanted to
understand autism from a fundamental level in order to make the right choices for her
children. After a year of effective dietary interventions, she had a conversation with a
local mom who introduced her to Applied Behavior Analysis therapy.
Caroline found a therapist offering ABA and was astounded by the progress her children made with the therapy. That local mom had a daughter named Rachael Cushing Cook, who was one of Liam’s first therapists and very gifted with connecting with children. At this point, Caroline was fully aware of the lack of service providers offering ABA for children with autism in Western North Carolina. In the wonderful way that God works, Caroline knew that one day she and Rachael would work together in some capacity helping other families. Here they are, over a decade later, changing the landscape for WNC families with autism.
Meet Our Team
St Gerard House employees are a hard-working, positive and enthusiastic team dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the clients we serve. We are called to this life changing work of helping individuals with autism find more joy and achieve meaningful life outcomes.
Each year St. Gerard House produces an annual report to share with our community the mission we live out each day. Please take a moment to review our latest annual report.