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Why is Beautiful Gate Center Needed?

The Beautiful Gate Center will fill a critical gap in developmental education for special needs students in South Carolina by creatively and expertly delivering best-practice, evidence-based developmental education and therapy to an underserved population of special needs children, ages 5-18, with moderate to severe Developmental Disabilities, Autism and learning difficulties.

Critical and Unmet Need for Significantly-Impacted Students

Based upon first-hand experience with their own child, the founders of BGC have identified a gap in the services available in the Charleston, SC tri-county area for children whose Developmental Disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder have resulted in intellectual disability, profound communication difficulties and/or behavioral challenges and who, therefore, need a specialized, intensive learning environment to enable developmental progress that will lead them to greater independence and a fulfilling quality of life.


Because many children with Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders are intellectually disabled (ID), non-verbal or have functional communication challenges, and may have significant behavioral barriers, they are either pre-academic or significantly academically delayed. Many have never been exposed to pre-literacy or literacy programs as they mostly work on learning group skills or basic life skills such as toileting, eating, dressing, motor planning, social skills and the like. These same children typically do not deal well with learning or social environments that are busy or noisy, cluttered, are uncomfortable or that have many people in them.


For such children, traditional special education offerings are often not appropriately focused or adequately equipped, and are unable to provide the level or quantity of therapy the child requires to enable developmental success. Nevertheless, despite their challenges, such children are very capable of learning – if they are given necessary environmental, behavioral, communication and other supports.


Beautiful Gate Center is poised to fill this gap in developmental education for these children in South Carolina.

Critical and Unmet Need for Parents and Families

Beautiful Gate Center also desires to have a significant and positive impact on the families of its participants.


In the world of raising and teaching a special needs child, many parents are forced to seek additional therapies and supports for their child outside of their normal educational setting because their child’s needs and developmental progress are not being met in their existing educational setting or extended school year (ESY) and, often, because the needs of the student are more intensive than can be effectively met in traditional special education classrooms.


Based upon a variety of medical, school, government and therapist recommendations, parents are forced to devote many hours a week to coordinating and accessing a variety of therapies across multiple environments with the hope that their children would have the ability to accomplish developmental milestones, work through behaviors, keep up with peers and be able participate in school activities and have a successful school year.


The difficult and practical reality of the “outside of school” approach is that coordinating and communicating with multiple therapists across multiple environments, while at the same time trying to be the in-home teacher and support speech and behavior interventions outside of school hours – not to mention hold a job and be a parent – becomes a full time job and is exhausting in every way for the parent and caregiver. Over time it is an unsustainable solution that leads to a low quality of life.


Beautiful Gate Center is poised to mitigate this difficult situation for the parents by coordinating and managing multiple therapy disciplines within one learning environment in a single, full-day, year-round learning center. The simplification and time savings for parents is an immediate and significant improvement in quality of life for the whole family!

I’m interested! Tell me more…
Angela Muirhead

Executive Director
Beautiful Gate Center

Angela M. Muirhead was elected Chair, and Executive Director, of the Beautiful Gate Center in September, 2015. As an accomplished business professional, she presents a thirty year foundation and proven track record of achievements in business within the real estate, banking and legal industries. Her family recently moved to the Charleston area in the summer of 2014.

Angela was President and Co-Founder of Emerald Mortgagee Assistance Company, a private company providing support services to the secondary mortgage market for mortgage-backed securities sold on Wall Street and led the company to become a multi-million dollar company providing collateral supports to the largest banks, mortgage servicers and federal servicing agencies in the country. She sold the company 5 years later to a $6 billion dollar publicly traded company based in California. After the sale in 2000, she founded her second company, Paragon Property Services, a private Colorado real estate brokerage and consulting firm for clients in both the commercial and residential markets.

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William H. "Billy" Edwards, MS, BCBA

Director, Center for Behavior Analysis
Clemson University

Billy has been directly involved in service delivery to persons with disabilities for over 20 years. He has practiced as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2000 and is an active member of The Association for Behavior Analysis International and The Texas Association for Behavior Analysis (TxABA). Following his tenure as President he assumed the role of Annual Conference Coordinator and Chairman.

During his tenure as Executive Director of Behavioral Innovations, the company expanded it's operations to include seven service locations throughout Texas and it became widely regarded as an industry leader as a result of its services and efforts to work with insurance companies and families throughout the state of Texas. Billy is now the Director of the Clemson University Youth Learning Institute Center for Behavior Analysis where he is creating an online educational program in Behavior Analysis, an International Outreach program in Behavior Analysis, and working with multiple state organizations to improve the quality of services for those with Developmental Disabilities.

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Juliana O. Miller, M.S., CCC-SLP

Clinical Instructor, Director of External Clinical Practicum
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of South Carolina

Need biography for Juliana

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Lt COL Michael Martin Barth, PhD

Assoc. Professor of Finance
School of Business Administration
The Citadel

Dr. Michael Barth is an Associate Professor of Finance in The Citadel’s School of Business Administration. Prior to joining the faculty in 2007, he spent nine years in the Department of Finance and Quantitative Analysis at Georgia Southern University, including two years as the acting department chair. Before beginning his career as a college educator, he spent five years as a Senior Research Associate with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners where he was the primary staff specialist on risk-based capital issues. He has been a program director for the Associate in Underwriting program of the American Institute for Chartered Property-Casualty Underwriters/Insurance Information Institute and was a product manager with an auto insurance group for several years. He served nine years on active duty with the U.S. Army and another six years as a reservist.

He received his Ph.D. in Risk Management & Insurance from Georgia State University in 1993. He also holds the Chartered Property-Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) professional designation and the Associate in Underwriting (AU) professional designation.

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Jane Charles, M.D.

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician
Professor of Pediatrics
Medical University of South Carolina

Dr Jane Charles is a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC.

She is an active clinician, researcher, and educator. Her areas of specialization are in the fields of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), intellectual disabilities, and genetic disorders. She provides developmental follow up and medication management for comorbid behavioral disorders for children into adulthood.

Dr. Charles has received research funding as the principal investigator, or co-Investigator for a variety of grants exploring issues related to developmental disabilities including investigating the prevalence of ASD and Fragile X as part of the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.

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