What We Do
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Click, tap, or swipe the dates or slides below to view the progression of Gersh throughout the years – from 1954 to today.
Kevin Gersh’s father, Ed Gersh, opens West Hills Day Camp in Long Island, New York. His years growing up at the camp and under his father’s teachings would light the spark that began Kevin Gersh’s lifelong journey to help children succeed.
West Hills Montessori
In 1991, Mr. Gersh founded West Hills Montessori School. Among the children enrolled in the program was one child with special needs. The lack of diagnosis’ and adequate services designed to assist such children came as a shock to Mr. Gersh and inspired him to redirect his energy toward children with special needs.
As a result of his experiences with children with special needs in his schools, Mr. Gersh founded Gersh Academy. This very successful and much-needed program for children ages 5-21 focuses its educational efforts on students on the autism spectrum. Today there are locations in New York, Washington State, and Puerto Rico serving over 500 children on the spectrum.
Over the years, Mr. Gersh recognized the need for a similar program for emerging adults on the autism spectrum. In 2007, he opened Gersh Experience. This post-secondary residential supported living program for students on the spectrum was designed to assist emerging adults struggling with the skills needed to navigate college life and/or independent living.
Gersh Academy at West Hills Day Camp
In 2009, Mr. Gersh joined forces with his father in running West Hills Day Camp. That summer, Mr. Gersh expanded Gersh Academy to include a traditional summer camp program currently located on the grounds of West Hills Day Camp. This dynamic program allows children on the autism spectrum to engage in a traditional summer camp experience while receiving the support necessary to succeed in a mainstream setting. This program has grown in size every year since 2009.
Gersh Academy International
Upon learning that 1 in 68 children in Puerto Rico are on the autism spectrum, Mr. Gersh saw the pressing need to open their first international Gersh Academy in San Juan. Gersh Academy International is currently the largest and only bilingual school for children with autism in Puerto Rico, and will be opening two additional locations across the island soon.
Mr. Gersh recognized that the educational path of a child on the autism spectrum involves more than just academics. To ensure children who needed critical therapy services were getting the best quality service they could, Mr. Gersh created Therapy Solutions. Therapy Solutions provides occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and behavioral support for children on the autism spectrum.
Gersh Driver Education
In 2014, Mr. Gersh created the Gersh Driver Education program; currently the largest driving program in Suffolk County, NY. The Gersh Driver Education program serves over 1,400 students of all abilities each year, and includes a structured program that allows children with special needs to better master the material.
West Hills Academy
Mr. Gersh recognized that it wasn’t only children on the autism spectrum that needed the customized education and individual attention that Gersh programs provide. As such, he created West Hills Academy, a private alternative school that specializes in meeting the needs of students for whom the traditional classroom is not working. This program serves children of all abilities, and is structured to support the individual needs of the students – emotionally, socially, and academically.
Lending a Helping Hand
Each year, Mr. Gersh participates and contributes to various charitable organizations. In 2016, the Gersh organization helped to raise funds for Sunrise Day Camp, a camp for children with cancer and their siblings. Most recently, Mr. Gersh headed up a uniform drive and mentor program for the Wyandanch High School on Long Island. His efforts and personal contributions provided uniforms for hundreds of students in need.
Gersh Academy at Cougar Mountain
Mr. Gersh is proud to bring Gersh Academy’s unique, student-focused approach to the greater Seattle area as an invaluable resource to the many children and young adults in the region who are living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This unique campus is the first school for children with autism in the country that has a zoo on campus! Research has shown that introducing an animal to children with ASD can promote a more relaxed environment and result in a reduction of stress, anxiety and irritation.
Autism Day at Six Flags Great Adventure
In 2018, Mr. Gersh successfully created the first-ever Autism Day at Six Flags Great Adventure event. This one-of-a-kind event put over 100+ Gersh Academy staff members (Special Ed Teachers, Therapists, Administrators, etc.) throughout the park to assist guests, created unique sensory-friendly decompression areas throughout the park for children to unwind, created a special event map with a custom ‘sensory’ rating system for each of the rides, and connected families with professional autism resources right in the park.
Gersh ABA Services
Upon seeing a lack of quality ABA services and outdated methods being used, Mr. Gersh created Gersh ABA Services. This program’s one-of-a-kind clinical settings offer endless opportunities for social interaction, daily living skills, and play and leisure skills, all while improving communication and language. This program features unique, center-based locations, state-of-the-art technology, industry-leading BCBAs, and is backed by over 28 years of experience in autism services.
Gersh Academy at NY Equestrian Center
In 2020, Mr. Gersh will open the first school in the country for children with Autism on the same grounds as an equestrian center. Gersh Academy and NY Equestrian Center have been partners for many years and have seen incredible success in utilizing equine therapy throughout a student’s typical day at school. This unique hybrid school will take animal assisted learning to the next level, and already has eager parents waiting to enroll.
Mr. Gersh was raised in a time when ADHD, Dyslexia and similar disabilities were not diagnosed. These children were labeled difficult, lazy and trouble. Mr. Gersh was one of them. The challenges he faced in his childhood would set him on a life-long path to help children.
About Mr. Gersh
Mr. Gersh prides himself on doing what hasn’t been done before, on paving new paths. For example, Gersh Academy in New York has been offering equine therapy for over 5 years and his school in Washington is attached to a zoo. He also hosted the first autism event at the largest park on the East Coast, Six Flags. Turning it, for the first time, into a sensory friendly environment for over 5,000 families to simply enjoy a day at the park without judgment. In 2020 he will open the first school in the country for children with autism on the same grounds as an equestrian center. Gersh ABA Services’ one-of-a-kind clinics will be opening all over the country such as on his beautiful 18-acre day camp, at a state-of-the-art equine center and a beach-based clinic.
Mr. Gersh is a philanthropist by nature and is committed to his involvement and service to the community. Each year, he participates and contributes to various charitable organizations. In 2016, the Gersh organization helped to raise funds for Sunrise Day Camp, a camp for children with cancer and their siblings. Most recently, Mr. Gersh headed up a uniform drive and mentor program for the Wyandanch High School on Long Island. His efforts and personal contributions provided uniforms for hundreds of students in need.
In addition to his humanitarian efforts, Mr. Gersh serves as an Advisor on the Board of the Custom Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises money for children on the autism spectrum. Mr. Gersh is a member of professional organizations such as Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and Young Presidents Organization (YPO), one of the largest executive peer leadership networks in the world.
As Founder and CEO of Gersh Autism Life Management, Mr. Gersh has dedicated himself to making a difference in the lives of children. His experience and professional commitment continue to provide opportunities, inspiration, and guidance for every child to reach their full potential, regardless of the challenges they face.
Kevin lives in Utah with his wife Lindy Gersh and their twin boys, Ashton and Harrison.