While Lighthouse Autism Center is unique in many ways from other autism therapy centers, one of the most important components to the therapy they provide is the one-on-one care each child receives.
Each child is assigned to a “pod” of therapists that consists of five to seven therapists who each learn the child’s unique therapy programs and goals. By assigning a child to a pod, therapists learn the behaviors, triumphs, struggles and skills of the children within their pod. Through one-on-one therapy, a child is not only receiving individualized attention from a therapist who knows their programs, but it also significantly increases the safety of each child at the center.
Furthermore, in a typical day, a child will rotate among therapists within their pod every 45 minutes to an hour. This prevents a child from only learning how to do skills with a certain person and allows them to learn to transfer skills between different people, something that is incredibly important for a child with autism. It is this individualized attention and commitment to quality therapy that makes the Lighthouse difference.
Children diagnosed with autism often require a multi-faceted approach to therapy. Typically, a child will need a combination of therapies, including ABA therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc… As a result, Lighthouse Autism Center sought to refine their approach to therapy by offering speech therapy in conjunction with ABA therapy.
For many children at Lighthouse, they often found themselves on a six to eight month waiting list for speech therapy services while they were receiving ABA therapy. When they were finally able to gain access to speech services, parents then had to navigate the logistical nightmare of transporting their child to multiple appointments throughout the week. Not only was this incredibly challenging for families, but also resulted in children missing out on time they could be spending receiving ABA therapy.
As a center founded by parents, for parents, Lighthouse Autism Center decided to integrate speech therapy into the services offered at Lighthouse. Not only does this create less stress for parents, but also provides kiddos at Lighthouse Autism Center with the tools to reach their fullest potential.
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Lighthouse Autism Center seeks to bring quality ABA therapy to communities in need. While ABA therapy services are often available in larger metropolitan cities, families residing in smaller communities may not have access to these same services.
Through their experience with their own child, Gregg and Sandy Maggioli saw the need for providing these services in smaller communities, such as their hometown of Mishawaka, IN. After opening the first Lighthouse Autism Center in 2012, Gregg and Sandy Maggioli soon realized it wasn’t just Mishawaka, IN that needed ABA services, but also several other smaller communities in northern Indiana
Gregg and Sandy continued their mission of bringing quality, center-based ABA services to families in need by opening centers in Warsaw, Plymouth and Granger as well as Portage, MI. These centers quickly grew and as a result, Lighthouse has been able to provide ABA services to hundreds of families in Indiana and Michigan who otherwise would not have access to ABA therapy.
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ABA, or Applied Behavior Analysis, is a specific type of therapy used for children with autism. ABA is endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General for the treatment of autism and involves therapy that develops new skills, shapes and refines previously learned skills and decreases socially significant problem behaviors.
ABA is at the core of Lighthouse Autism Center’s mission. Lighthouse Autism Center uses highly qualified Board Certified Behavior Analysts, or BCBA’s, who directly oversee each child’s therapy. These BCBA’s evaluate each child through a detailed assessment of a child’s skills and preferences and meets with each family to discuss goals for the child as well as the family. Because effective ABA therapy is not a “one size fits all” solution, the BCBA will then use the child’s assessment to create a customized therapy program unique to the child’s abilities, needs and goals. While each therapy program will look different, each involves emphasis on skills that will ultimately allow each child to reach their fullest potential.
Have a child with autism and looking for ABA therapy near you, catered for your child and family goals? Discover the Lighthouse Way.
In 2012, Lighthouse Autism Center opened its first center in northern Indiana with a mission of bringing quality Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to communities in need.
As parents of a child with autism, Gregg and Sandy experienced first-hand the transformative impact of ABA therapy. Gregg and Sandy’s third child, Victor, was diagnosed with autism at the age of four while residing in Carmel, IN, an area that at that time did not offer ABA services.
One year later, when Victor was just five years old, the first ABA center in Indiana opened in Carmel, allowing Victor and the Maggioli family access to crucial ABA therapy services. Gregg and Sandy became heavily involved in the center – Gregg as the chairman of the board and Sandy with the accounting and insurance departments.
Through their ABA experience with Victor, Gregg and Sandy realized a passion for bringing this type of therapy to other families in need. When a family friend who also had a child with autism visited the center in Carmel, she told Gregg and Sandy, “this is exactly what I’ve been trying to find for my son.”
As parents of a child with autism, Gregg and Sandy knew they could combine their unique experience with their passion for bringing ABA therapy to families in need. “Being a parent of a child that has autism gave us a very unique view into the needs of parents,” Green Maggioli said. “Smaller cities like Mishawaka didn’t have the same level of service as larger cities and we made it our mission to bring ABA to these smaller communities.”