WARSAW — The Lighthouse Autism Center in Warsaw has been providing therapy to children under 7 years old since 2013. But due to a recent expansion in its facility, the center will now be able to provide therapy to children up to 12 years old.
The new expansion, which took over a year to complete, adds a larger play area, more individual learning cubicles and enough space for indoor swings to be added. Along with the physical expansion, the center will hire and train an additional five staff members to accommodate additional children. Before the expansion the center worked with seven families, but due to the expansion they will be able to hold five more.
“This expansion is something that we’ve been discussing for quite a while, and it’s great to see it finally coming to fruition,” said Executive Director Gregg Maggiolo. “A lot’s gone into this expansion, and we’re excited to be able to assist even more families in the Warsaw area than before.”
The Lighthouse Autism Center is the only facility in the area that uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, which is endorsed by the US Surgeon General. This means that everything the staff does with the children is counted, documented and recorded to track progress. Because of all the data involved, staff members are able to see what is working and what isn’t working when it comes to specific children.
Children at the center have the option of attending for 40 hours a week, year round, or attending for half the day and going to school the other half. One of the main goals of the center is to get children to a point where they can be independent. This could mean something different for each children, some may want to transition back to school, while others want to be able to feed themselves and perform basic hygiene.
One important aspect of Lighthouse Autism Center is that there are no upfront costs associated with the therapy. The staff works with families to make sure that finances are not a problem when considering treatment.
“Now, with this expansion, we have even more resources to continue offering hope for every child and every family in the Warsaw area,” said Maggioli.