IEA was founded in 1995 by the Brady, Fisher, and Lento families, who aspired to find the best possible education for their children and others affected by autism. They recruited Dr. Dawn Buffington Townsend to direct, and lead, the program. IEA opened its Education Program in 1996 and grew over the years, providing much needed educational services to children and adolescents in a local church school facility. In 2001, IEA successfully completed a $3 million capital campaign and opened the present facility at 381 Madison Avenue, New Milford.
Under the leadership of the Board of Trustees, IEA’s Founding Executive Director, and IEA’s current Directors Dr. Eric Rozenblat and Ms. Donna DeFeo, IEA quickly became well known for its outstanding educational program based on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis. In 2012, IEA had achieved its mission of providing a complete and comprehensive education to students between the ages of 3 and 21 and proudly celebrated the graduation of its first adult. At that time, IEA expanded our service delivery model and opened the Adult Life Skills Program for those in need of continued support beyond age 21.
IEA’s mission is to enable individuals with autism to live the happiest and most productive lives possible. We are dedicated to using the science of Applied Behavior Analysis to develop the most current, and effective, teaching practices possible that will allow for the strongest outcomes for the individuals we serve.
Overall, our main goal is to ensure that individuals with autism are able to fully participate in their families and communities. To that end, our teaching focuses on the development of functional, useful skills, including a wide variety of life and leisure skills that allow our students to integrate into community settings, succeed at work, and ultimately function to the highest level of independence in their own families, homes and communities.
In addition, IEA is committed to preparing professionals to better serve the autism community. We are dedicated to advocating for, and disseminating information about, effective science-based intervention to parents, professionals, and community members. To that end, IEA is committed to conducting ongoing research and sharing information with the autism community at large through research publications, presentations at local, national, and international events, and assorted community outreach efforts.