The Phoenix Center is an accredited, not-for-profit school serving the educational, behavioral and therapeutic needs of students ages 5-21 with autism, multiple disabilities, behavioral and intellectual disabilities. Our customized evidence-based programs—developed for each student—are anchored by a hands-on, real-life, community-based instruction model.
Our accredited classroom and community-based instructional programs are built around the “whole child.” Our NJ Dept. of Education-approved school works closely with districts, professionals, and parents to develop programs (communication, behavioral and social) tailored to meet the specific academic and functional needs of each child. Our teachers and related service providers are highly qualified, certified and/or licensed. We employ a range of educational and therapeutic methods to meet each child at his/her particular stage of development and help students prepare for life beyond The Phoenix Center, which is at the core of our mission.
By pulling from each child’s innate gifts, we help them rise, like the ancient phoenix, above their challenges to build confidence and achieve greater fulfillment and success in the world.
The Phoenix Center was founded in 1991 by Dr. Geraldine A. Gibbia, Ph.D. and Dr. Douglas Berrian, Ed.D. with 16 students and 12 staff. Today, under the leadership of Executive Director Julie Mower, M.A. Ed., The Phoenix Center employs 196 staff that serves 145 students with autism and multiple disabilities, from 62 districts and 10 New Jersey counties. This growth showcases the outstanding reputation we have earned among parents, school districts and professionals. With the increase in national autism diagnoses and the number of students that now require one-to-one paraprofessional aides, our school is poised and well-equipped for even greater future growth, and for the educational and therapeutic needs of our special needs students and their families.