Autism is defined by the Autism Society of America as a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is characterized by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.
No one child or family is identically affected, however, something that does exist across the board are all the various responsibilities that come with being the parent of a child diagnosed with Autism. As overwhelming as it can potentially be, all you need to know is that you don’t have to do it alone. Places exists that can assist and that is exactly what the Lighthouse Autism Center offers, help and assistance.
Founders Greg and Sandy Maggiloi have a son with Autism and realized there weren’t many options for treatment centers in the immediate area. Pat Sweeney the outreach coordinator described how the facility name is indicative to what the organization provides, “The idea that we are bringing light to the families. Some of the families they are just up against so much frustration trying to juggle, not only a special needs child, but also all the insurance and school issues and community issues they faces so it’s kind of like the light at the end of the tunnel.”
LAC already has three centers located in Indiana; two in Michawaka and one in Warsaw. This month the center has opened their fourth facility in Plymouth. During their first week at the Plymouth location the staff has been working diligently unpacking boxes, putting together carts, tables and rooms and putting the finishing touches on the Plymouth facility. An open house is scheduled to take place in September.
Staff is eager to get all renovation work done in order to start providing their services to the community. The main therapy used is applied behavior analysis. This is a type of intensive therapy that focuses on the principles and techniques of learning theory to help improve social behavior. ABA therapy helps to develop new skills,shape and refine previously learned skills and decrease socially significant problem behaviors.
Children ranging from 18-months-old to 16-years-old are currently enrolled. Therapy sessions at the new facility will begin on August 17th. In order to schedule a tour, request a call or just to obtain more information about Autism and how to detect early signs visit the the Lighthouse Autism Center website.