Little Star Center to discuss autism services in Indiana at national conferences

Little Star Center will participate in several conferences this fall to discuss and support autism services in Indiana.

Leadership will participate in the following conferences:

Florida Association for Behavior Analysis, Sept. 14-17

Tim Courtney, chief operations officer, and Vince LaMarca, clinical director, will present two topics based on their experience with autism services in Indiana:

The Apprentice: An Innovative Approach to Meet the BACB’s Supervision Standards, Sept. 14, Worksh0p #W07, 9 a.m.-noon,

Navigating the Tenth Circle of Hell: A Roadmap to Writing Medically Necessary Treatment Plans, Sept. 14, Workshop #15, 1-4 p.m.

Pushing the Boundaries of Research and Practice: Solving the Receptive Language Puzzle, Sept. 15, Presentation #31, 9-9:50 a.m.

Click here to review the conference program.

Michigan Autism Conference (MAC), Sept. 14-16

Little Star Center is sponsoring a presentation by Lorri Unumb, an attorney with Autism Speaks. Executive Director Mary Rosswurm will introduce Unumb at the presentation. Dr. Breanne Hartley, clinical director at Little Star Center, will introduce Dr. Dennis Reid, an advisory board member at Little Star Center, who will lead a breakout session.

Little Star Center will host a booth at the event to share employment opportunities. Click here for details about workshops and presentations at MAC.

Autism Speaks Law Summit, Oct. 7-9

Tim Courtney, chief operations officer at Little Star Center, and Michele Trivedi, a board member, will lead the presentation, “Clinician’s and Advocate’s Guide to the Law: How Knowing the Laws Can Bolster Your Arguments to Avoid, Draft and Win Appeals.” The presentation is Sunday, Oct. 9, at 9 a.m.

For more information about the law summit, click here.

Hoosier Association of Behavior Analysis Conference, Oct. 14-15

Little Star Center is sponsoring keynote speakers Dr. Dorothea Lerman, an advisory board member, and Dr. Mark Dixon. A booth will be staffed at the conference to share employment opportunities at Little Star Center.

Click here for information about the conference.




Staff Spotlight: Tabitha Hays, In-Home Program Manager

Tabitha104Tabitha Hays has been with Little Star Center for two years, serving as an in-home program manager. Tabitha focuses on autism services in Indianapolis.

What do you most enjoy about your job at Little Star Center? Helping kids and families affected by autism so that they can enjoy life and function better at home and in the community.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? We do not need to think alike to love alike.

One thing I want people to know and understand about working with children affected by autism is…. If you treat people like they have a disability, they will. Instead, treat them as you would treat any other person.

What are your favorite activities when not working at Little Star Center? Gardening, cooking, fermenting foods and beverages, hiking, bike riding, reading.


Little Star Center staff plans fundraising events

Fundraising events are scheduled this spring to support Little Star Center, an Indiana ABA therapy facility. Staff at Little Star’s Indiana locations are teaming up to raise money for the non-profit organization’s scholarship program which provides financial support to learners unable to cover tuition when faced with temporary insurance challenges.

Families and friends of Little Star are invited to participate in the following events/activities to support the scholarship program:


Lafayette West

autism braceletsBlue or purple Advocates for Autism bracelets can be purchased for $2 (one bracelet) or $5 (three bracelets). Bracelets are available in  youth and adult sizes and can be shipped to your home. For more information, please email Sara Franceschina at [email protected].

Also, join us for our Paparazzi Jewelry event. Click here to visit the event page to view items and make a purchase.


auction items

These and other items are for up for auction at Give to the Stars on June 11 at Butler Winery and Vineyards.

June 11 – 7-10 p.m. “Give to the Stars,” Butler Winery and Vineyards, 5200 E. Robinson Road. This event, now in its second year, will feature live music and a silent auction. Items up for bid include yoga classes, massages and tickets to an Indianapolis Indians game, Holiday World and Disney World.

Advance tickets are $8 and $10 on the day of the event. Five tickets can be purchased for $38. To purchase tickets, please contact Amanda Jones at 812-650-3032. Tickets are available until June 6.


Purchase items from Thirty-One Gifts through May 25 and a portion of the proceeds will go to Little Star Center’s scholarship program. Start shopping here.


Staff Spotlight: Chris Kirk, insurance coordinator, Little Star Center Carmel

Chris PhotoChris Kirk, insurance coordinator at Little Star Center, is based at our Carmel location. He joined Little Star three years ago and processes all insurance claims, from reconciling each center’s daily charges to following up on outstanding claims. Chris also sends all of our learners’ authorization requests to their respective insurance companies and follows through to ensure approval. Here’s more information about Chris:

What do you most enjoy about your job at Little Star Center? I enjoy the people I work with and the difference I can make in this position. I have made some great connections, established friendships with my colleagues and discovered that we all have a lot of common interests. In my position as insurance coordinator, I take on a lot of the responsibility of making sure each learner has access to continuous service with our therapists.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? “Happy wife, happy life.”

 One thing I want people to know and understand about working with children affected by autism is….Insurance plays a big part in being able to provide effective care for children affected by autism. Many parents think that (ABA therapy) might be too expensive or unobtainable, but there are many options available to make interactive, individualized therapy affordable.  I’m here to be a resource for families at Little Star Center who have questions about insurance, billing, authorizations, or even logistics to help plan ABA therapy for children.

What are your favorite activities when not working at Little Star Center?

I enjoy spending time with my family, watching TV shows and movies, watching Washington Redskins football, and playing sports. Since I’m not originally from Indiana, I enjoy exploring Indy and the area with my wife. Lauren, who grew up here.  We have three dogs: Annie, Cooley and Scotty.


Mommy room at Little Star Center in Carmel gives new moms privacy, comfort

collageReturning to work for new moms can be an overwhelming balancing act. Between being separated from their newborn for the first time, juggling a new schedule and adjusting to being a mom, keeping up with supplying breast milk should be the least of concerns. Realizing this need, Little Star Center Executive Director Mary Rosswurm created a space at the newly expanded Carmel Little Star Center to make the transition easier for new moms.

Little Star Center in Carmel has six new moms, three expectant mothers and two currently on maternity leave. The mommy room enables new moms to have a relaxing, private space to pump breast milk. The room also includes comfortable chairs, foot stools, blankets and a refrigerator to store milk. A special board hangs on the wall for moms to post photos of their infant. There is enough space for three moms to use the room simultaneously.

“I think this room shows our commitment as a company to our new moms,” says Rosswurm. “We love our LSC babies and want our female staff to know that we respect them and what they are doing for their baby. This was a cathartic task for me, as I am still grieving the passing of my mom who died just four months ago. This room is dedicated to her.”


Clinical director visits alma mater to recruit for Little Star Center

Breanne presenting her mentor, Dr. Maloff, with an ABA superhero shirt.

Breanne presents her mentor, Dr. Richard Malott, with an ABA superhero shirt.

By Breanne Hartley, Ph.D, BCBA-D

I recently had the opportunity to visit my alma mater, Western Michigan University, in order to attend the Midwestern Behavior Analysis job fair. It was a pleasure to be at my old stomping grounds, which holds so many fond memories of professional development and growth, to represent Little Star Center. I had the opportunity to briefly present to undergraduate and graduate students regarding how amazing it is to be an employee at Little Star Center. Afterwards, I received great feedback on the information that was presented. Students were extremely impressed that Little Star Center provides its employees with frequent learning opportunities to continuously learn about behavior analysis, ongoing opportunities for professional development, daily collaboration with other like-minded behavior analysts, and a competitive benefits package.

My visit to Western Michigan University also allowed me the chance to visit with my mentor, Dr. Richard Malott, whom I studied under to receive my Doctorate in behavior analysis. His passion for behavior analysis and his enthusiasm for continuing to provide exceptional graduate-level behavior analytic training is contagious. I gave him an “ABA superhero” t-shirt, the Little Star Center swag for the job fair, and he proudly wore it to the job fair social. He truly is an ABA superhero!

Breanne Hartley is a clincial director at Little Star Center. 

Staff Spotlight: Danyl Epperheimer, assistant clinical director, Little Star Center-Bloomington

Danyl has worked at Little Star Center for two years. As assistant clinical director at Little Star Center-Bloomington, Danyl oversees the day-to-day operations at the location. Here’s more information about Danyl:

What do you most enjoy about your job at Little Star Center? Everything!  The kids, my co-workers. I like how the staff continues to strive to be the best in the field.

What are your favorite activities when not working at Little Star Center? Sleep because I never get any!  I also enjoy gardening and spending time with my husband, Tony and daughter, Halei, 11, and my friends. My most favorite activity in the world is to read and cook with Halei.  My daughter is my world.  Anybody who spends any time around me knows about her because I talk about her a lot.

Pets? We have one dog, who is 14 years old, and, yes, he thinks he is human. We also have two birds and a fish.


ABA therapy and insurance: What you need to know

Many families with children affected by autism are currently reviewing insurance options during the Affordable Care Act open enrollment process. Here are four things to keep in mind as you consider ABA therapy and insurance:

ABA therapy insurance coverage is different with each policy. Coverage is dependent on whether your employer is self-funded or fully funded. Your prospective ABA center should contact your insurance provider to determine if ABA therapy is a covered benefit and what co-insurance/co-pay is applicable to your policy. Little Star Center accepts most insurance plans and, with the assistance of our family services director, works closely with families to address policy issues.

If your insurance plan does not cover ABA therapy, we encourage you to speak to an insurance broker familiar with the treatment and specific insurance need. It is important to work closely with your prospective center and insurance broker during open enrollment to ensure adequate coverage. Please remember open enrollment closes Jan. 31, 2016. After this deadline, insurance policies and rates are locked in until the next enrollment cycle.

Once insurance coverage is verified, your child’s start date for enrollment will be set. At Little Star Center, we have a step-by-step process that takes two to three weeks to complete and will ensure insurance coverage is in place for services.

If you do not have insurance, please contact an insurance broker who can assist you with options for ABA therapy coverage.

Remember these important dates during open enrollment:

  • December 15, 2015: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start January 1, 2016
  • January 1, 2016: 2016 coverage starts for those who enroll or change plans by December 15
  • January 15, 2016: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start February 1, 2016
  • January 31, 2016: 2016 Open Enrollment ends. Enrollments or changes between January 16 and January 31 take effect March 1, 2016

To learn more about ABA therapy and insurance coverage, visit the following websites:

Written by Victoria Blessing-Wade, Family Services Director at Little Star Center. Email Victoria at [email protected] with any questions about enrolling at Little Star Center.  

A learner’s journey to the barber shop – Little Star Center-Bloomington

One of our learners at Little Star Center-Bloomington has been working on hair cutting desensitization with his therapist. Getting to the stage where he is comfortable sitting for a haircut has been a gradual process which included allowing the therapist to touch his hair, sitting in the waiting area and touching the styling chair. The learner has been able to sit back in the styling chair at our center for two minutes without any unwanted behaviors!

Recently, he and his therapist visited a local barber shop to sit in a styling chair. He successfully sat in the chair and allowed his therapist to trim his hair!

Little Star Center supports local families in need for Thanksgiving

Little Star Center is collecting non-perishable items this month for our annual Thanksgiving food drive. All three locations are collecting items now through Friday, Nov. 13, for the following food pantries:
  • Officer David S. Moore Food Pantry – Indianapolis
  • Faith Church – Lafayette
  • Hoosier Hills Food Bank – Bloomington

For more information about the food drive and how to drop off items, please call the Little Star Center location in your area. Click here for contact information.