About The AJ Foundation (AJF)
The AJ Foundation was born out of a mother’s love for her son, and her refusal to accept the fact that his ability to enjoy the riches of human life would be severely limited because of autism.
That mother is Joanne Corless, a registered nurse and mother of three, who lives in Wycombe, PA with her husband, Allan. And that child is AJ Corless; today a handsome and talented young man who enjoys athletics, music (he is a self-taught pianist), cooking and maps. After AJ was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a toddler, Joanne and Allan were determined to find a way for him to learn and develop life skills that could help him experience as full and satisfying a life as possible. Unfortunately, they quickly realized that there were few if any local resources available to assist children with autism. What followed was a 20 year quest to create a place where children like AJ could learn and grow. This remarkable story is chronicled in a 2012 feature story in Family Circle magazine (Read Full Story.)
From its humble start as a single family’s personal journey to help their son, The AJ Foundation has now grown into a highly respected organization which serves as a beacon of hope for many families. Our mission is to implement and support quality educational services dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism and their families within their communities. These services are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, which have been scientifically proven to be the most effective method of teaching individuals with autism.
To date, our greatest accomplishment has been the opening of one of Pennsylvania’s first highly specialized private schools for children with autism, called The Comprehensive Learning Center (CLC). Students attending CLC are provided with intensive and comprehensive educational and behavioral services, which allow them to function and integrate into the home environment and into the communities in which they live, work and play. All CLC teachers hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Special Education, Psychology or related fields and receive additional training in the principles of ABA. All Trainers must be enrolled in or have a Master’s Degree in Special Education or Applied Behavior Analysis. In addition, they must hold a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification or be enrolled in coursework towards this certification.