Little Star Center published in national quarterly

Screenshot_2016-08-15-14-10-49-1Leadership at Little Star Center, a provider of ABA therapy in Indiana, has published an article in a national publication. The article on behavior analysis certification will be published in Behavior Analysis in Practice. The quarterly publication, affiliated with the Association for Behavior Analysis International, will be available to subscribers this fall.

Authors are Mary Rosswurm, executive director, Tim Courtney, chief operations officer, Vince LaMarca, clinical director and Dr. Breanne Hartley, clinical director.

Staff Spotlight: Jackie Thaxton, Little Star Center Lafayette, Indiana

Jackie Thaxton has been with Little Star Center for four years. As assistant clinical director, she is responsibleJackie678 for the day-to-day management of Little Star Center Lafayette. In addition to her job at Little Star Center, Jackie is in the final stages of planning her September wedding. Here’s more information about Jackie:

What do you most enjoy about your job at Little Star Center?  I love getting to work with Little Star Center families to ensure that the skills the learners acquire here are transferring to the home and community settings.  It’s always great when the parents come in and share a success their child had at home.  ABA can make a huge impact on the lives of those affected by autism and it’s great to be able to play a part in that.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Success comes in cans, not can’ts.

What are your favorite activities when not working at Little Star Center?  I love being outside and near water.  I also love traveling. I try to visit at least one new place every year.

One thing I want people to know and understand about working with children affected by autism is….First and foremost, they’re kids.  No limitations should be placed on them based on their diagnosis.  With effective teaching methods, you never know what a child will be able to accomplish!

Another detail about Jackie: She has a dog (Kember) and a cat (Coco)

Little Star Center hires Chief Community Officer

Dorron87 resizeDorron (Ron) Farris is Little Star Center’s chief community officer, a newly created position to strengthen the organization’s partnerships statewide. Dorron has more than 20 years of experience in the medical industry. Prior to joining Little Star Center, Dorron has worked for several major companies such as Eli Lilly, Merck and Sanofi.

Here’s more information about Dorron:

  1. What are your first impressions of Little Star Center? I have a brother with special needs, so I instantly felt connected to the mission of Little Star Center. I love that this is a family environment and the needs of learners and their families come first! The staff is exceptional in their field. They have established a quality reputation in the community. I seek to build on that to increase awareness and create new partnerships within the community.
  2. What are your immediate goals as chief community officer? I’ve already begun making connections for Little Star Center, but I also have a 30-day game plan to get to know staff and gain more knowledge about Little Star Center’s programs and services.
  3. Best advice you’ve ever received: My grandmother always said, “One monkey don’t stop a show.” That was her way of saying if you don’t succeed at something, it’s OK. Just don’t stop trying. Keep moving forward.
  4. Activities outside of work: I’m an athlete at heart. I CrossFit and enjoy spending time with my wife, Chamnoni, and our four kids.

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.

Bloomington 

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.

Carmel

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.”

 

Staff Spotlight – Angela Vargas, assistant clinical director, Lafayette West

Angela534Angela Vargas, assistant clinical director at our Lafayette West location, joined Little Star Center two years ago. She is responsible for all clinical and day-to-day activities at Lafayette West. Here’s more information about Angela:

What do you most enjoy about your job at Little Star Center? The collaboration among team members at all levels. It’s incredible to watch each learner make progress and know that the entire treatment team (parents, therapists, program managers, etc.) worked together to develop an individualized, intensive, and comprehensive program for that learner.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? As it relates to behavior analysis, the best advice I’ve ever been given is, “If someone isn’t learning something, there is a problem with your teaching.”

One thing I want people to know and understand about working with children affected by autism is…. every single individual affected by autism is different. Autism is a diagnosis, not a label.

What are your favorite activities when not working at Little Star Center? I enjoy working out, watching movies, trying new restaurants, and spending time with my boyfriend and our two dogs, Rocky and Shyla.

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.