Staff Spotlight: Meet Tiffaney

Therapy room at Lighthouse Autism Center with toys on a table with blue chairs and book shelves above

Staff Spotlight: Meet Tiffaney

Meet Tiffaney! Tiffaney is a Registered Behavioral Technician at our South Bend center, where she has worked for two and a half years. Tiffaney also has a degree in Psychology from Indiana University South Bend. As an RBT with Lighthouse Autism Center, Tiffaney is responsible for working one-on-one with children with autism and implementing therapy programs designed by Board Certified Behavior Analysts. She helps children work on refining previously learned skills and helps them develop new communication, social, living skills and more!

Tell us about why you applied for a position with Lighthouse.

I wanted to apply to work at Lighthouse because I wanted to be able to use my degree to impact lives and know I am a part of something bigger.

Tell us about your favorite part of working with your team at Lighthouse.

One of my specific favorite memories was during a transition to school day with one of our kids. We were in a completely new environment and without any help they were able to communicate their needs. It reminded me how hard these kids work every day and how what we all work on is implemented into their daily lives.

How would you describe your Lighthouse experience?

I would describe my Lighthouse experience as life changing. The kids that I have worked with over the years have taught me so much. I have experienced growth in my own life, and I have the privilege to see the growth in the kids’ lives as well.

In her spare time, Tiffaney enjoys taking care of her six pet bunnies and writing.

Ready for a career where you can make a difference?

Tips for House Hunting with Your Child on the Spectrum

Guidance for Families with Children with Autism when Moving House

Moving is always a stressful and complicated endeavor. But when you have a child on the autism spectrum, the thought of packing up your household and moving somewhere new can seem like a near-impossible task. Parents often worry that their children will get overwhelmed by this major transition, and rightfully so. Children with autism thrive on routine and stability — everything that moving is not!

child and parents moving to new house

Are you looking for guidance? The clinical team at Lighthouse Autism Center presents this informative guide to assist families preparing to move. Whether you’re still in the process of house-hunting or you’re already packing up your home in anticipation of moving day, the following tips will help keep support your child through the process.

Establish Your Home Buying Budget

Raising a child with autism can pose a significant financial challenge for parents, even with the help of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. It isn’t easy to manage the costs of equipment, supplies, medication, childcare, education, and therapy services.

So are you prepared to handle the additional expenses involved in buying a new home, selling your existing property, and moving? Redfin recommends creating a realistic home-buying budget before you start looking at properties. Calculate how much mortgage you can afford by adding up your ongoing expenses and subtracting these from your household income. The rule of thumb is to keep your housing costs less than 28% of your before-tax income. Once you have a better idea of your home affordability, research home prices in your area to find out what kinds of homes you can afford on your budget.

Look for Specific Home Features Conducive to Your Child’s Needs

Ready to start looking at homes? Get in touch with a local real estate agent who can help you scout properties that will best fit your family. Keep an eye out for features that may appeal to your child and your family’s life style. Things to look for might include making sure there is a fenced backyard, double-pane windows to dampen noise from outside, and even considering if there are pools, ponds or bodies of water nearby.

Making a Moving Day Plan

Moving day will always feel a little hectic, no matter how much planning you do. Help keep your child calm and content amid the mayhem by giving them your full attention. Hire professional movers so you can ensure that all of your possessions make it to your new home safely while you spend time with your child. Some movers offer activity packs for children, so be sure to ask about this when you call for quotes. When you arrive in your new home, unpack your child’s room first so they can start regaining some sense of normalcy right away.

Keep Your Child in the Loop

The most important thing to remember as you prepare for your upcoming move is to keep your child in the loop. Children with autism feel more comfortable when they know what to expect. recommends broaching the subject early so your kid has plenty of time to process the idea of moving. Highlight some things that your child can get excited about, like a bigger bedroom or backyard where they can play. Help your child visualize the days leading up to your move by writing down everything on a dedicated moving calendar.

Remember: continuous communication is key! Review your moving schedule every day, read children’s books about moving, and offer plenty of positive reinforcement when your child makes it through a day that deviates from their normal routine.

When it comes to moving, things rarely go smoothly — and that’s okay! Be prepared to go with the flow and respond to issues as they arise. Monitoring your child for signs of stress and anxiety is vital. Do what you can to prepare ahead so you can focus all of your attention on your child before, during, and after your move.

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential

Interested in learning more about therapy resources that can assist your child with autism?

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