Ontario ARC differs from many other agencies because of the clinical services we offer. The personal, one-on-one treatment and attention our caring, clinical staff provides to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities promotes self-growth and a positive self-image. Our expert clinical staff are highly trained in the field of developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. Each valuable minute spent helps individuals and their families take another step of confidence in their journey.

We are pleased to partner with Seneca-Cayuga ARC to offer the following services at Ontario ARC for the convenience of our families:

  • autism diagnosis and assessment
  • occupational therapy
  • physical therapy
  • psychiatric services
  • psychology services
  • speech therapy

An assessment is conducted of challenges an individual is facing after which a plan is put together using a variety of techniques and strategies to identify a specific problematic behavior. Our clinical team looks beyond the behavior to identify interventions to directly address “why” behaviors occur. One-on-one time is spent working to change behavior across all environments and situations.

Contact: JoEllen Schaefer at 585.919.2118

A certified dietitian/nutritionist provides individual assessments of dietary intake and works with you to identify areas where change is needed.

Information and educational materials are offered to help:

  • Promote healthier eating
  • Adopt a therapeutic diet
  • Avoid nutrient-drug interactions

The service includes follow-up to help make and maintain the needed dietary changes

Contact: JoEllen Schaefer at 585.919.2118

Occupational therapists work to help individuals meet their therapeutic goals of improving range of motion, improving strength and endurance, increasing visual perceptual skills, improving cognitive skills such as sequencing, recall or memory, problem solving, and much more.

A unique feature of this service is the use of therapy dogs through our Pet Connections™ program. Animal-assisted therapy is overseen by licensed and experienced occupational therapists, who work with people to improve upon cognitive skills, overall range of motion, social skills, fine motor skills and more, while maintaining goals tailored to each person’s specific needs.

In addition, occupational therapists can assist those individuals working on prevocational goals to gain fine motor and cognitive skills to increase success with job tasks. Therapists can also assist with making recommendations to make sure that the work space is ergonomically appropriate for each individual.

Contact: JoEllen Schaefer at 585.919.2118

Our licensed physical therapist team provides full evaluations on children and adults to assess each patient’s condition and then plans and administers treatments to promote optimal health.  The goal of our physical therapist is to relieve pain; improve the body’s movement and function; maintain cardiopulmonary function; restore, maintain and promote optimal physical function and limit disabilities resulting from injury or disease; ultimately assisting each individual to obtain as much independence and mobility as possible.

Treatment may include but is not limited to the following:

  • patient/client education in health, wellness, and safety
  • manual therapy, such as massage and mobilization and manipulation
  • therapeutic exercises to improve strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility
  • management of pain
  • application of therapeutic modalities, such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation
  • training in daily living activities
  • aquatic therapy


Contact: JoEllen Schaefer at 585.919.2118

Play therapy is a creative approach to counseling children who need help identifying their feelings.  The approach helps children express themselves using a variety of toys and games. Benefits include increased self-awareness, enhanced social skills (especially regarding communication about issues and conflicts), and a more positive self-image.

The program is run by clinical staff with extensive training in this approach to therapy.

Clinicians share information and insights with caregivers.

Contact: JoEllen Schaefer at 585.919.2118

With expertise in the field of child and adult psychiatry, our doctors serve those with intellectual disabilities and those with an autism spectrum disorder. They diagnose, assist with management of medication, provide strategies and support, and recommend alternatives so each individual can reach their desired life goals and lead productive lives. Doctors additionally provide evaluations in competency and cognitive function, incorporating the use of proactive treatments for adults and children with behavioral health needs.

Contact: JoEllen Schaefer at 585.919.2118

Psychologists provide treatment to children and adults with autism; developmental delays; dually diagnosed; ADHD; and anxiety, mood and psychiatric disorders.

Services provided include:

  • Psychological assessments
  • Eligibility evaluations for OPWDD services

Contact: JoEllen Schaefer at 585.919.2118

The Autism Center at Ontario ARC offers children, teens, and young adults on the spectrum a variety of group gatherings designed to enhance their social and communication skills while building their self-esteem, confidence, and independence.

Programs include:

  • Empower Yourself: Designed to meet the needs of young adults with autism, this group encourages each individual to build everyday organization and time management skills. Participants will gain experience understanding how to multi-task, increase attention span, and increase memory.
  • Feel the Beat: Ontario ARC’s autism movement therapy program that provides people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to express themselves through movement and dance. The program includes all individuals regardless of diagnosis.  Led by an autism movement therapy instructor, classes combine music, dance patterns and rhythm, promoting cognitive thinking, speech and language skills, academics and positive behavior.
  • Girls Just Want to Have Fun: This health and wellness group uses a holistic approach to support girls ages 10-14 as they grow into young adults. Participants meet once a week under the guidance of a behavioral specialist who incorporates yoga, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques into sessions while exploring deeper topics such as body image and nutrition.
  • NextStep Prep: An innovative communication group for teenagers and young adults ages 14 to 21 with autism spectrum disorders. The group meets once a week in six to eight week sessions. Participants learn to increase their comfort level in social situations and gain a better understanding of the need for communications skills.
  • Out & About: Get Out & About with the Autism Center at Ontario ARC. Each month the group offers different community activities for children with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, including autism.
  • RESPECT – Healthy Love: This group gives young women ages 18-24 a comfortable, relaxed environment to discuss friendships and romantic relationships. Led by behavioral specialist, the group empowers each individual with open conversation, information, and guidance so they can make educated and safe choices.
  • RYUU Game Night: RYUU is a fantasy card game that teaches social and communications skills by combining card collecting and role-playing to make learning fun and meaningful. This interactive format includes four levels of non-competitive and therapeutic games to teach social and emotional skills to children on the autism spectrum.
  • Self Expression: This group gives adults ages 30-50 the opportunity to explore different mediums of self-expression through art, music, dance, journaling, and voice. Led by a social worker, the group will learn problem-solving techniques and strategies for navigating through common life obstacles. Participants must be OPWDD eligible.
  • Teen Wellness: This group provides an opportunity for young women ages 13-16 to openly share their experiences and emotions related to the challenges and changes associated with their teenage years. Led by a social worker, this group will meet weekly to develop healthy coping techniques for dealing with stressful situations and explore yoga and relaxation techniques to increase body, mind, and self awareness. Participants must be OPWDD eligible.

Contact: JoEllen Schaefer at 585.919.2118

Our professional social workers will work with individuals, families, and groups to develop a plan to address behaviors, emotions, attitudes, relationships, and social conditions to restore and enhance the individual’s capacity to meet personal and social needs.

Services include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Expertise in human development and behavior, including the social, economic, and cultural systems in which people function
  • Addressing a variety long and short-term mental, emotional, behavioral, developmental, and environmental conditions including:
    • Mental illnesses and emotional disturbances
    • Family difficulties
    • Adjustment problems related to acute and chronic illnesses
    • Alcohol and substance abuse
    • Behavioral and learning disorders of children and adolescents
    • Community problems and social issues
    • Developmental delays
    • Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • Post-traumatic stress disorders
    • Eating disorders

Contact: JoEllen Schaefer at 585.919.2118

Board-certified speech and language pathologists diagnose and treat children and adults with various speech and/or language disorders including voice production, fluency, cognitive rehabilitation, and feeding/swallowing difficulties.

Contact: JoEllen Schaefer at 585.919.2118