Our son was diagnosed with Autism in October of 1994 beginning a journey that forever changed our lives.
Our son Michael Victor Presto was diagnosed with Autism in October of 1994 beginning a journey that forever changed our lives. We became empowered through education, learning as much as we could about Autism. Michael received services from some of the best doctors, teachers, and therapists in the Autism field. Our family was selected for The Autism Partnership allowing Michael to receive intense Applied Behavioral Therapy in our home under the supervision of Dr. Gina Green, Dr. Bridget Taylor, and Dr. Alan Schnee. The home classroom became a learning laboratory for parents of newly diagnosed children with Autism and families throughout New England came and observed our program. Michael also attended the New England Center for Children, a private school for autistic children that utilizes Applied Behavioral Analysis as a teaching methodology. The combined programs allowed Michael to receive about 60 to 70 hours a week of Applied Behavioral Analysis. While Diane managed the numerous daily responsibilities of the home program involving hiring and training therapists, designing curriculum, charting data, administering payroll, and attending to all of Michael’s needs, Victor returned to school and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts-Boston graduating Summa Cum Laude. He felt that as a Registered Nurse he would become more proficient at navigating the complex medical landscape and a stronger advocate for Michael.
While at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, Victor was awarded the Dr. Albert Schweitzer Fellowship which promotes voluntary community service for students in the medical field. Victor’s year of service involved educating various members of the medical community about the signs and symptoms of Autism and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. After his fellowship year Victor was appointed by the State of Massachusetts as an Educational Advocate/Surrogate Parent. This allowed him to represent autistic children who were in foster care at Individualized Education Planning meetings. He had all the rights that a biological parent would have and helped several children receive the appropriate educational programs.
As a Registered Nurse Victor worked at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in the Medical-Psychiatric Unit rated by U.S. News and World Report for several years as the number one psychiatric unit in the country. During his career at Massachusetts General Hospital Victor was awarded the Kenneth B. Schwartz Clinical Pastoral Education Fellowship. The Fellowship teaches clinical caregivers the skills to address the existential, spiritual, and religious concerns of patients and their loved ones. This experience enhanced his effectiveness as a nurse and his advocacy skills. Diane continued to oversee all the details of Michael’s home program which through the years expanded into the community to enhance learning in a more natural setting. She was a member of the Boston Public Schools Parent Advisory Council, served as vice president of Winarc, a grassroots community organization developed to enhance the lives of the developmentally disabled through numerous enrichment programs. Diane provided inclusion training for teachers and students at various schools and collaborated with many professionals who provided music therapy, yoga, Tai Chi , art, and health and wellness classes.She presented at an Autism conference that explored housing options, work opportunities, and successful planned communities that exist here in the United States.
The MVP Foundation was established through the inspiration of Michael Victor Presto. Michael has faced the challenges of Autism since his diagnosis in 1994 with dignity, courage and hard work. As individuals like Michael transition from school to adulthood they face an uncertain future. Unemployment runs close to 90 percent for people with Autism and about 70 percent for other individuals with varying abilities. The MVP Foundation is dedicated to helping people with Autism and other varying abilities especially in the area of employment. The Foundation through our highly trained staff assists these individuals obtain jobs, offers employment training, job coaching, and skill development. Through supported employment and in collaboration with various businesses, opportunities are created to help ensure a successful employment experience. In addition, the Foundation provides medical and family grants, respite, benefits planning, social programs and health initiatives for individuals with varying abilities and their families.
Meet Our Team
Board of Directors
Dr. Margaret L. Bauman, M.D. Emeritus
Paula J. Bagley, R.D.H.
F. Dillon Bagley, Esq.
Richard Nangle, C.P.A.
Diane Elorreaga Presto
Victor A. Presto, R.N, B.S.N, B.B.A
Kathryn Bagley Schadinger, Esq.
Christoph B. Schadinger, MBA
Idela Hernandez, MS, CRC, CPWIC
Director of Employment Services