Rivers Bend Academy (VA)

156 & 154 Burnetts Way 
Suffolk, VA 23434
Phone: 757-934-6470
Fax: 757-934-6471

Director
Wendy Fitch

Associate Director
Corey Holmes

Assistant Director
Stephanie Hadley

Rivers Bend Academy was founded in 2007 as an extension of the programming of Step by Step Consulting, which specializes in teaching students who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Rivers Bend Academy believes in a child-centered approach that fosters positive emotional growth; addresses specific academic, language, and behavioral needs; and builds on each child’s unique strengths. We offer year-round programming (September–August), Monday through Friday.

Rivers Bend Academy utilizes the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in teaching students with autism, with an emphasis on verbal behavior.  This teaching methodology focuses on systematic instruction of skills and emphasizes functions of behavior and of language. It encompasses use of reinforcement, motivation, extinction, and task analyzing skills. Data is collected and analyzed to make programmatic/instructional decisions.

The goal at Rivers Bend is for the students to become independent people with the ability to interact in a variety of settings and situations. This is accomplished by creating a structured teaching environment that incorporates the following:            

  • Organized physical environment
  • Well-defined schedules and workstations (to be changed frequently for generalization)
  • Clear goals, objectives, and expectations
  • Use of multimodal instruction and materials
  • Systematic instruction