IEA was founded in 1995 by a group of families seeking appropriate treatment for their children with autism. Determined to help not only their children, but others who desperately needed these critical services, the families had a vision of starting an educational program based on sound scientific principles. In addition, they wanted to initiate a program that would be known for its ethical integrity and be committed to excellence. They envisioned a place where their children, and other children, could learn vital skills in a caring environment.
Through the leadership of the IEA Board of Trustees, the Executive Director, Dawn Buffington Townsend, Ph.D., BCBA-D, and a collaboration with the Princeton Child Development Institute, that vision became a reality in September 1996. With a student enrollment of six, IEA began to deliver effective intervention services to students with autism. Over the years, IEA has increased its enrollment to its current program size and has remained committed to providing state-of-the-art educational services to students with autism. With the help of those individuals mentioned above, IEA has become one of the premier autism treatment programs in the country.
Initially, IEA was housed in a rented space from 1996-2000. With the expanded enrollment and limitations within the rented space evident, IEA was faced with a critical decision. After investigating long-term facility needs and assessing available alternatives, IEA undertook the project of building a new, permanent facility for its educational program. In September 2001, the new facility was completed and IEA’s educational program was relocated to 381 Madison Avenue in New Milford, NJ. The new 14,000 square foot facility was specifically designed to offer the most conducive environment for IEA’s students to learn the variety of skills they need to live independent lives.