Little Star Center Bloomington celebrates a milestone

By Danyl Epperheimer, MS, BCBA
Assistant Clinical Director, Little Star Center Bloomington

On August 5, Little Star Center Bloomington celebrated our first successful transition from our program.

This transition was not expedited by insurance coverage, school, or parents.  The transition occurred because this learner met all of his goals and was successfully transitioning into Kindergarten, indistinguishable from this peers, without engaging in targeted unwanted behaviors identified with autism.  This learner, his parents, and his clinical team at Little Star Center have worked together as a unified team. The family was an integral part of every decision that the Clinical team made.

The progress that he made in two years is remarkable.  The amount of pride that each and every one of us has for this young man and his family cannot be put in to words.  The transition was a showcase of his awesomeness, and the tears were for the love and admiration we will always have for this family.  Congratulations!

Little Star Center expands autism services in Indiana with two new locations

Promo DRAFTLittle Star Center, Indiana’s first center-based, therapeutic applied behavior analysis (ABA) provider serving children to young adults with autism, announces today it is expanding autism services in Indiana by adding two new locations to its system of statewide ABA facilities. Little Star Centers in Clarksville and Newburgh will staff up to 100 new jobs in the southern Indiana communities. The new centers are scheduled to open in January 2017 and bring the total number of Little Star Center facilities in the state of Indiana to six.

Little Star Center has experienced continued and consistent growth in Indiana since opening its Carmel location in 2002 with just 10 learners and 15 employees. The Carmel location was the state of Indiana’s first center-based therapeutic ABA center. After nearly 15 years in operations, the organization has opened three additional centers: Lafayette in 2011, Bloomington in 2015 and West Lafayette in 2016. Services have expanded to include in-home therapy and community-based programming in addition to center-based ABA therapy.

“Our growth is directly related to the rising number of Hoosier children diagnosed with autism. Families of newly diagnosed children are joining the autism community each day, seeking medically necessary ABA therapy,” said Mary Rosswurm, executive director Little Star Center. “Our research shows families in southern Indiana communities will benefit from our personalized services, directed by some of the most experienced clinicians in the country. We look forward to changing the lives of more individuals and families impacted by autism.”

New jobs

Each Little Star Center will staff up to 50 team members for a total of 100 new jobs in Indiana. Little Star Center is currently accepting applications for various positions at both locations. Employment opportunities at each location include a center manager, an assistant clinical director with BCBA certification and therapists with a background in education, child psychology, special education, speech sciences and/or child development. Job descriptions and hiring information are available on our website.

About the new Little Star Center locations in Clarksville and Newburgh

Little Star Centers in Clarksville and Newburgh are scheduled to open in January 2017. The enrollment process requires working with a family’s insurance company and can take as long as 90 days to confirm benefits. Families seeking information and who are interested applying for ABA services at Little Star Center are encouraged to begin the process in the fall. Click here to learn about the Newburgh location. Click here to learn about the new location in Clarksville. Information sessions will be hosted in each city throughout the fall. Please review the information on the new center web pages for complete details.


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.


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.”