Lighthouse Autism Center Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary

In May of 2012, Lighthouse Autism Center opened its doors to its first family. With just one center, a handful of staff, and four kids, the center started with humble beginnings. “We knew what it was like to raise a child with autism and wanted to provide support and services to other families. We wanted them to know they weren’t alone in this,” said Gregg Maggioli, founder of Lighthouse.

It didn’t take long for momentum to pick up. In the first year, Lighthouse Autism Center in Mishawaka grew, accepting more children and hiring more therapists. Soon it was clear there needed to be more than one center to meet the incredible need for ABA services in Northern Indiana.

In three years, Lighthouse opened three more centers – a Warsaw location in August of 2013, a Mishawaka location in April of 2014, and a Plymouth location in August of 2015. Today, Lighthouse employs over 100 people and serves over 70 families in Northern Indiana.

As Lighthouse celebrates their 5-year anniversary, they continue their mission of bringing quality, center-based ABA services to communities that are in need. “We also look forward to seeking more ways to bring our  services to families in other communities,” said Gregg.

To learn more about Lighthouse Autism Center or take a tour of one of our centers, visit www.lighthouseautismcenter.com or call our Outreach Coordinator at 574-387-4313.

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential

Shining Examples, June 2017

In his two years at Lighthouse Autism Center, Joey has made incredible progress.

When he first came to Lighthouse, Joey rarely spoke and had difficulty vocalizing his wants and needs. He did not make eye contact, didn’t follow direction, and was not able to sit down without engaging in negative behaviors. His father, Dwight, said, “Before our son started attending Lighthouse, he was nonverbal. His vocabulary had only  a few words. He was not potty trained. He would not eat anything except dry cereal. When Christmas came each year, he would not open his presents. Joey was mostly locked in his own world.” His time spent with Lighthouse soon turned things around.

Now, Joey can speak in compete sentences, maintain eye contact, and answer 200 WH (ie. who, what, when, where, why) questions. He’s also able to read and spell over 100 kindergarten-level spelling words! Even more impressive, Joey has made great strides in his ability to follow 2-3 step instructions and can now sit up to 5 minutes without engaging in negative behaviors.

His parents are thrilled with his progress – and Lighthouse therapists are too! “Since attending Lighthouse, he is growing more and more every day! He doesn’t hold entire conversations, but he can say about anything he wants. He even sings!” said Melissa, Joey’s mother. “He has been at Lighthouse for only 2 years and has done so much more than we ever thought. We are looking forward to seeing how much he grows in the next years before transitioning him to public school.”

At LAC, we are seeing incredible progress made by our learners every day.

Clinical Corner, June 2017

The Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services (RCAAS) aims to be a national model, offering a mix of vocational and residential programs for adults with autism to work and live within a universal community.

An estimated 1 in 68 children nationally – and 1 in 21 in New Jersey – are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The RCAAS aims to address a gaping need for young adults with autism: Through high school, children with autism can get tutoring, mental health services, transportation and other resources to accommodate their needs. But, once they leave public school systems, services diminish greatly, leaving adults with little support outside of their families.

The center’s research will lead to creating a model for similar centers and training educated staff to work with adults with autism.

“Our aim is to make a difference in the lives of all adults with autism by creating a best-practices training program for students across all disciplines – business, medical, art – who work with adults with an autism spectrum disorder,” says Christopher Menente, the RCAA’s Executive Director.

The center has two phases – a $20 million facility for the workday program and a pilot residential program for 20 adults with autism who will work on campus and live alongside Rutgers graduate students in an apartment-style residence.

To read the full article, please visit https://bit.ly/2qPhnbB

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential

Heart of the Matter, June 2017

For three years in a row, the Lighthouse Families First Foundation has partnered with Hockey 4 Life to bring autism awareness to the local community and help families in need.

Hockey 4 Life, a non-profit organization of civic-minded hockey enthusiasts, seeks to raise funds for local organizations through an annual hockey tournament, raffles, and silent auctions. We sponsor the event by providing scorekeepers for each game at the tournament while also sharing information about autism to participants and spectators.

In our three years together, hockey 4 Life has donated nearly $7,000 to the Lighthouse Families First Foundation! Their generous support helps LFFF provide scholarships for children in need of ABA services, gas cards for families to take their children to medical appointments, iPads and communication software for nonverbal children, and anything else useful for a family with special needs.

We are so thankful to Hockey 4 Life for their partnership, compassion and generosity. They help us to make a positive difference in the autism community. If you’d like to learn more about Lighthouse Families First Foundation or apply for a grant, please visit www.lhfff.org.

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential