In our last issue, we told you about starting the Lighthouse
Families First Foundation (LHFFF). This is a nonprofit organization
aimed at helping families with all ranges of disabilities and needs.
And even though the LHFFF is a new venture for us, it’s already
making a positive impact in the lives of families with autism.
In April, we held our first Dinner & Dance fundraiser at the Windsor
Park Conference Center. The event was a huge success and raised
over $30,000 that is directly benefitting special needs families.
For example, Brielle, four, and Zach, five, are two very different
children. Brielle loves Veggie Tales and jumping on the trampoline,
while Zach likes riding bikes and Legos. Both do have one important
thing in common though: they are both nonverbal. Through grants
made by the LHFFF, we purchased iPads and language software to
help both kids learn how to communicate their wants and needs.
We hope to continue to help local children and families in any
way that we can. The foundation is currently accepting grant
applications from anyone, including parents of current students. All
applications will be considered and grants will be made based on
each family’s needs, with no limit on grant amount at this time.
If you or someone you know could benefit from a grant, or want more
information, please contact us at 574-387-4313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For anyone wanting to make a donation to the LHFFF, you can
either mail a check to the Lighthouse Families First Foundation at
3730 Edison Lakes Parkway, Mishawaka, IN 46545 or donate online
This is only the beginning for the Foundation. With your charitable
kindness, we can continue making a substantial difference in the life
of a special needs child or adult and their family. Thank you!
This past weekend, Lighthouse Autism Center hosted a Parent’s Appreciation Day at both of our Mishawaka locations as well as our Plymouth location. Parent’s were invited to bring their children to one of these locations for a free afternoon of child care. This is one of the many ways Lighthouse tries to give back to our families. A free afternoon of child care gives parents the opportunity to go out on a date, shopping, or simply relax at home without having to worry about their kids. We know how hard our LAC families work and we were happy to give back to them in this way. Lighthouse employees volunteered their Saturday afternoon to come into the centers and take care of the kiddos while their parents enjoyed the afternoon off. We would like to give a special thanks to all of those who volunteered their time – this means a great deal to our families and is something we plan on doing again in the future!
On Friday, October 30th, we celebrated Halloween at each of our centers. Kids had the opportunity to do crafts, dance, play games, eat some Halloween goodies and even go trick or treating around the building. We had everyone from Jake from State Farm, to princesses, Batman and Woody too. Parents were welcome to join the fun as well. We truly enjoy celebrating these holidays with our kiddos at all of our locations and look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving later this month!
During a presentation on autism to a third grade class today, our Outreach Coordinator received a rather amusing question, “Does Frankenstein have autism?” With Halloween so close it is certainly understandable why a child might pose such a question. Frankenstein is definitely different. He might not look the same as most people, or speak the same way, or act the same way. While this doesn’t necessarily mean Frankenstein has autism, one can understand why a child being introduced to autism for the first time might think so.
As part of the autism community, we believe it is our responsibility to not only fulfill our mission of providing quality ABA therapy to communities that need it, but we also to spread awareness about autism and educate our community. When a local grade school teacher approached us to give a presentation to her third grade class, we knew this is something we wanted to do, although we had never done it before! By educating our youth, we teach them about what autism is, what it looks like, and things to keep in mind when interacting with someone who has autism. While someone with autism might act differently, hear things differently, or see things differently, it doesn’t mean they can’t be our friend or can’t do the same things we do. It is important that children understand how to accept the differences that come with autism, or any other disability, disease, etc… and know that it is ok to be different. We are so glad to have had this opportunity to teach local children about autism and look forward to having the opportunity to do it again in the future.
On Saturday, September 19th, there will be an Autism Benefit and Walk to benefit Ashtons Army and the Lighthouse Families First Foundation. The Autism Awareness walk will take place at Buetter Park at 11:30am and will be immediately followed by a benefit at the VFW Post 360 on East Jefferson from 1:00-6:00pm. This is a family friendly event so bring the kids! There will be raffles, silent auctions, bouncy houses, food catered by Granite City, and t-shirts for sale. For those of you who are Notre Dame fans the game will be on multiple tvs at the event. The organizers of this event are parents and grandparents of a child with autism so the cause is very close to them. We encourage you all to attend! Lighthouse Autism Center will also be there in the afternoon passing out information and answering any questions attendees may have about ABA services for children with autism.
For questions about the event, please contact Maggie at email@example.com