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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.

 

Autism articles & organizations are big stars in Indiana

When a Hoosier family receives an autism diagnosis for their child, their support system expands instantly. A large network of support, information and advocacy is available to empower families to create the best next steps in their child’s development. We are grateful to the many organizations that make it their mission to improve the lives of every individual with autism. Through their efforts, thousands of Hoosiers are living their best lives.

Here are a few of the Big Stars in our autism community who not only offer support to Little Star Center, but to families, schools and businesses throughout Indiana. They are a family’s first resource after receiving an autism diagnosis:

ARC of Indiana assists all individuals with disabilities, connecting them with appropriate services, programs and employment to help them lead richer lives.

Autism Society of Indiana  (ASI) is often the first contact for families who learn about their child’s autism diagnosis. ASI helps parents navigate through the many questions, paperwork and health care issues that arise with an autism diagnosis. They also work to educate the community, business leaders and educators about autism.

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, funding research into causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism. Autism Speaks also provides funds and support locally to strengthen the lives of Hoosiers with autism.

About Special Kids (ASK) is a “Parent to Parent” organization that works throughout Indiana to answer questions and provide support, information and resources. ASK helps families and professionals understand the various systems that are encountered related to special needs.

Indiana Resource Center for Autism (IRCA) strengthens communities by providing training, consultation and research to support individuals with autism and their families. IRCA is a great resource for families seeking to understand the various treatments for autism, local programs and research.

Answers for Autism (AAI) provides grants to Indiana programs that serve individuals with autism. The volunteer organization sponsors events throughout the year to raise money to fund these grants. The organization’s goal is to increase and broaden public knowledge and awareness about the behaviors, social issues and emotional needs of individuals on the autism spectrum so that all individuals can participate in and contribute to the community without fear or bias or loss of individuality.

 

Celebrating our amazing Ryan

By Lisa Striewe 

As a mother of a teenage boy with autism, I am often in awe of just how far we’ve come.  Ryan was diagnosed with PDD, NOS when he was 3 ½ years old. He had very little language and extreme anxiety about the world around him.  The prognosis, according to the doctors, was not good.  I went home with guilt, fear and worry of what his life would be like and how I, his mother and advocate, could help him.

Eleven short years later, we’re in the kitchen.  Ryan is making dinner.  Tonight is his night to do so.  We take turns and he’ll make dinner while I do the dishes.  Other nights our roles are reversed.  But this particular evening, while he’s making dinner, he expresses some anxiety about going into high school next year.  As I listen to him, I gather that while some anxiety is coming from the prospect of high school, the majority of it is stemming from what that means.  In his mind, he needs to prepare and be ready to be out on his own, only a few short steps after starting high school.  My mind goes back to my son, at 3 years old.  Who would have known that we’d come so far and that now the anxiety is about if he has what it takes to go to college, get a job and live on his own or …yes, it’s coming….if he will find a girlfriend, get married and have a family?

As we continue our discussion, we broke the concerns into categories and agreed that while he needed to have faith in his abilities, there were some skills that we could work on to make him feel more confident about where he’s going and skills that would get him prepared for the life that he wants.  We created short-term and long-term goals.  Short-term goals included better study skills since he knows that high school and college will require more studying and project work, money and budgeting since he wants to make sure that he has enough money to do all of the things he wants to do. He wants me to help him find a part-time job this summer because, according to him, “it will help me become more dependable to those around me”.

His long-term goals include learning to drive and developing more tolerance for social interactions in preparation for dating when he is appropriately aged to do so.

As we finished our meal, I realized that the future is waiting for Ryan.  We don’t know what it will bring, but we do know that if we listen to each other and work together, he will be closer to reaching his goals.  And I, his mother and lifetime advocate and cheerleader, will be right there celebrating every step, every goal reached and every new goal set.  After watching my son for the last 14 years, I know that he is capable of achieving everything he desires.  It may take a little longer, may take a few extra steps or a few false starts, but he will do it, because that’s who he is.

Lisa Striewe is human resource and accounting coordinator at Little Star Center.