The director holds no standards of operation. Standards that are set to be put in place are forged but not implemented. This causes a disservice to the client. Complaints from former employees include :
-Lack of disciplinary action in staff conduct which was unsafe for treatment of children
-misleading client families as to the type of services it can provide
- lack of appropriate training through certified staff to implement job requirements
As with many employers & especially small non-profit organizations, it is not always possible to pay our hard working staff the wages we wish we could afford. Typically, 82-87% of our budget is utilized for staffing. It's not an easy task to teach children with behavioral challenges such as autism & we follow protocols including Applied Behavior Analysis. Some staff have difficulty following these protocols & become frustrated when their skills are deemed ineffective for our students. However, the claims made by the individual here are wholly untrue as we follow the OH Dept. of Education standards & our professional staff consist of licensed teachers, Intervention Specialists, para-professionals & an ABA Specialist. We also contract with a professional speech & language pathologist, an occupational therapist, an equine therapist & a retired art teacher. Our motto is: Sail the SEAS with SCI: Safety, Ethics, Accountability & Standards. Safety is primary in our organization.
I continue to be amazed by the director of Sandy Cay Inc. The birth of her son, who was later diagnosed with both autism and tubular sclerosis, has sparked a passion in her to assist other families with challenges. Both Sandy Cay, INC and The Bryan Center (school) have been meeting the needs of families of autistic children for 10 years as a result of her dedication. With the assistance of many competent and creative women (and men) children are gaining language and social skills to grow and be part of their own families and the larger community.
Through the stories I have heard, the members of Sandy Cay., INC goes above and beyond to empower women as mothers of children with autism. Many of the mothers the charity works to provide services for feel disempowered when faced with the many challenges that can come with raising children wih autism. At times, these women have felt powerless against getting the most appropriate educational services for their children. One service this charity provides is an alternative educational placement for children with autism, through the Bryan Center. This alone has empowered women to say to the public schools, "no I do not have to accept what you offer here for my child" and to know that there are options near by for them. Before Sandy Cay, INC these mothers of children with autism in the counties of Northwest Ohio did not have options. They had to accept the services what were offered by their school district, or move to larger cities where there were more options for children with autism. Other challenges mothers of children with autism face are to feel powerless in their own homes when faced with the challenging behaviors that can often accompany children with autism. Many of the mothers need training on how to handle these challenging behaviors, as well as how to teach their children life skills to gain independence. Through Sandy Cay., INC mothers have access to professionals who have the skills, training, and experience to know how to address these difficult issues. As a mother myself, I know that nothing can compare to the feeling of power a woman has once she learn the skills to regain "control" over her household and her children. This is what Sandy Cay., INC has done been able to do.
Sandy Cay Inc, has been a Godsend to my family. We adopted twins age 4 with fetal alchol and severe behaviors that fall on the autism spectrum. We had an out of control home enviroment Taking the kids in public was a nightmare. The Bryan center gladly accepted my children and from the very first day began teaching them and us how to modify behaviors and to focus on their strengths. My children enjoy going to the Bryan Center and we have peace knowing that while they are there, they are learning how to be safe and to function in our community. The expertise of those who run the Bryan Center is priceless and all those who enter the center will come away with valuable tools to help raise our very challenging children.
Growing up I never imagined myself teaching kids with disabilites. I always pictured myself in an office, working on computers and answering phones but, I got a chance of a lifetime that will forever change my life, teaching children with autism. I am so thankful for having the chance to get to know these kids and their families. Everyday is a new challenge. It's a great feeling knowing at the end of everyday you're helping someone. You grow to love these kids and think of them as one of your own. It's awesome seeing them grow and develope mentally and physically and being apart of their lives. I've worked at "Sandy Cay, Inc." for nearly a year now and over this past year I've not only saw one student improve but several. No matter if the student is 5 or 15, they work hard everyday and has made progress in their work. I wish there was more funding for the children to get them out and about in public. I believe it is very important for these kids to get out and socialize. If there was more funding it would be easier to take them on fieldtrips. For example, this past fall we got to take some of our students to a local fire department and they got to take rides on the fire engines. It was a memory our students will hold with them forever. They still talk about it until this day.
I volunteered with Sandy Cay, Inc.(SCI)and The Bryan Center over the summer my senior year in high school as a part of my requirement for our TRUST Program. It was a good learning environment for the disabled children because they had a 1:1 ratio much of the time and the teachers were patient with the students. When I worked with a student who had tantrums, the situation was resolved using effective strategies such as a reward system using a token board to earn computer time. I liked working with SCI because I saw improvement in the students. I also enjoyed spending time with the older students closer to my age. I will be studying special education in college after I graduate from high school this Spring.