PATRICIA B. SELCH
October 28, 1929 – January 6, 2014
Patricia B. Selch, President of the Board of Directors, dedicated herself to AMAC since its beginnings in 1961, when she was instrumental in founding it along with two parents of children with autism. Pat was the daughter of prominent pediatrician-child psychologists and had an abiding interest in psychology and children’s mental health for which she pursued a Master’s degree in Psychology. Her work with AMAC, as President and Board Member, carried forward the legacy work of her parents.
Pat generously and tirelessly gave her time, efforts and charity in support of AMAC, to help it provide pre-school, school-age education programs, week day/Saturday and summer camp recreation programs, together serving over 200 children and an adult day program. Pat took great pride and pleasure at the success of the AMAC students, adults, and staff. She was present at many AMAC events, Pat Selch was a wonderful woman and a great friend to AMAC. She will be greatly missed.
Former Executive Director
April 18, 1947 – March 19, 2013
During the tenure of Frederica (Rica) Blausten, AMAC experienced significant growth. She expanded the preschool program to include elementary grades in the early 1990s, added middleschool grades in the late 1990s, and expanded thru grade 12 in 2007. She spearheaded the purchase of two buildings on East 126th Street to serve as the agency’s IRAs. Rica emphasized quality education; during her leadership of AMAC, more than half of our students moved to taking standardized NYS tests.
In 2011 the first AMAC high school graduating class awarded diplomas to students, some of whom went on to college. Each subsequent graduating class has awarded both NYS Regents and local diplomas to graduating seniors. Many AMAC graduates have received C-DOS certification, following Rica’s firm belief that students on the spectrum could achieve academic success with the right support system.
Rica made plans for AMAC to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013 with a day-long conference on best practices in educating children on the spectrum, topped off with a gala event. Her death in 2013 left AMAC grieving, but dedicated to fulfilling her vision of using education to equip young people on the spectrum with the skills they need to engage the community and lead productive lives. For 20 years, Rica believed so much in our children! No matter what the impossible obstacles, she found a bright spot in each one.