Eden II welcomed Dr. Christine Cea as Principal for the Day. Dr. Cea, an appointed member of the New York State Board of Regents, is best known on Staten Island as a researcher, educator, and advocate for individuals with disabilities. 

In her work, Dr. Cea has developed techniques to enhance the comprehension of persons with intellectual disabilities to enable participation in the informed consent process for health treatments and to understand their rights as research participants. She has authored articles and chapters concerning the rights and ethical treatment of persons with disabilities. Most recently, she co-developed and published a health promotion program now being used onStaten Islandto encourage adults with intellectual disabilities to lead healthier lifestyles. She is also evaluating an initiative for individuals with autism spectrum disorders who are transitioning from school to work or college.

 “We at Eden II are extremely grateful that Dr. Cea accepted our invitation and got a chance to learn more about the exciting work being done in Eden II’s classrooms,” shares Dr. Joanne Gerenser, Executive Director.

Dr. Cea notes, “Touring the classrooms and observing students busy working at their computers or participating in group activities such as singing and tap dancing, under the guidance of a dedicated staff, was very gratifying. Students at Eden II are learning skills that will help them to become more independent adults and prepare them for life after school. This is a good thing.”

The tour highlighted the daily activities of students at the agency’s Granite Avenue school for children with autism. Among her many stops in classrooms and offices, Dr. Cea was able to learn more about Eden II’s new plans for their buildings on Beach Street, where the agency purchased three properties in Stapleton. Her tour was provided by Billy Irvine, a student at the school who has great affection toward his role of tour guide. “Bill did a remarkable job!,” said Dr. Cea and her research assistant, Michelle Postler.

Eden II Programs has provided services to children and adults with autism since 1976.  Serving over 500 participants yearly in ages ranging from 3 to 60, Eden II offers a wide range of specialized, community-based programs and other opportunities, with the goal of enabling them to achieve the highest possible quality of living across their life spans.  Eden II strives to provide the maximum help possible to the autism community through education, adult day programs, residential care, family support, respite and many other services under the direction of Dr. Joanne Gerenser, Executive Director.