In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, we will feature comments from our Little Star Center Board of Directors. This week’s Q&A is with William (Bill) Bower, board president. Bower has served on Little Star Center’s Board of Directors since 2006. Senior vice president of the commercial lending group at M&I Bank.
What makes you most proud about serving on Little Star Center’s Board of Directors?
How much we have grown as an organization. When I first joined the LSC Board, we were just one center with only six learners. Since that time, we have grown to three centers, with a fourth one opening soon, serving over 100 families. I can only imagine how overwhelming it can be for a family with a new diagnosis of autism and by continuing to grow our centers we are able to be available to help serve more families.
During your time as a board member, what do you think has been one of Little Star Center’s biggest success stories?
Our striving to provide the best quality ABA services in the state. I think Mary and her team are the best at providing ABA therapy in Indiana, in fact we have more BCBAs per learner than anyone else in the state. We really strive to set the best standard of care of any center.
What is one thing you want people to know about individuals with autism?
How much can be accomplished with the right help. At the beginning of every board meeting, Mary brings in a team member to present a specific case to help educate the board. So many of the examples are of learners who have been really struggling. Within six months to a year of ABA services, their advances are amazing. It makes us so proud of the LSC team, and happy for the parents.
What do you see for the future of autism services in Indiana? Which areas of service are in need of growth?
It really has improved in the last 10 years. We all struggle with adapting to a constantly changing insurance environment, but it is important for us to take a step back and remind ourselves how far services for children with autism has come in just the last decade.
I think we are doing so much better at early diagnosis and early childhood intervention. I think the next step will be working with older children on transitioning to adulthood and some level of independence.
How has being a part of LSC impacted you personally?
I take great pride in what we do at LSC. I see how hard Mary and all of our team members work each day. Just spending a few hours in a center is exhausting; I don’t know how they do it each and every day. I am glad I can contribute in some small way to the great work that they do.