Purposeful Architecture Designs Virginia Institute of Autism Facility for Adolescents and Adults

Building for the Future: The Center for Adolescent and Adult Autism Services Take Shape

By Catherine Purple Cherry, AIA, CAS, LEED, Purposeful Architecture 

When you raise a child with autism, you learn to live in the moment.  You can’t think about the future, especially in the early years.  You find yourself over-whelmed with just trying to figure out the day.  An over time, you might look forward a bit.  Before you worry what will happen when you’re gone.  Literally.  

Every mother or father raising a child worries about their future.  When a child struggles, these worries can be even bigger, if not, simply huge.  I remember my mother worrying about my brother with intellectual disabilities and his future without her.  She worried about her other children too.  And she worried that her other ….

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Purposeful Architecture Part of Award Winning Project


December 19, 2018 – Purposeful Architecture—a studio within Purple Cherry Architects, that designs facilities for individuals with special needs—is pleased to announce that it teamed with Cho Benn Holback + Associates on the Pilot School project in Wilmington, Delaware that was awarded an Excellence in Design Award by AIA Maryland. The AIA Maryland Excellence in Design Award celebrates architects, building owners, contractors, and students for their outstanding achievements in architectural design and who work together to improve the built environment as well as for their role in shaping the quality of life through design excellence. Project photos are available upon request.

Pilot School Project Details
Purposeful Architecture provided special needs design architectural services, hired by the owner and worked with Cho Benn Holback & Associates, ….

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“Navigating the System” Featured in Autism File Magazine

Navigating the System: A broadstroke overview of funding and services for individuals with developmental disabilities from birth forward

By Catherine Purple Cherry, AIA, CAS, LEED, Purposeful Architecture 

During the journey of raising a child with special needs, it’s not unusual for parents to understand only a small segment of the services available to their child and family. It’s also not unusual for the groups

providing services to understand only a different segment of services. Very few truly know the full picture of supporting a child with disabilities throughout life or who to approach and from where the funding comes. The purpose of this article is to provide a broadstroke fundamental overview of this journey.

When children are diagnosed with a developmental or intellectual disability, they may be registered prior to the age of 18 with their ….

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“Ask Cathy” Column December 2017

“Ask Cathy… An Open Dialogue with a Mother and Special Needs Architect”

Q: My daughter continuously picks at her skin. I’ve tried everything from topicals to wrapping areas so that she cannot get to them. This often results in her drawing blood which then seems to trigger another obsession—her interest in blood. I’m at my wit’s end.

A: I’m by no means a medical professional but I do have experience with the exact thing you describe. I believe it’s fundamentally true that it’s hard for our kids to stop anything once they’ve started it. In this case, your daughter starts picking and can’t tell her mind to stop. I don’t specifically relate this to the autism spectrum because the same pattern can be witnessed in individuals with anxiety disorder and likely other diagnoses. ….

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