Tips for Picky Eaters and Introducing New Foods

Tips for Picky Eaters and Introducing New Foods

Children with autism may be labeled picky eaters, but the truth is that they face a unique set of challenges around mealtimes. Discover helpful tips on introducing new foods and expanding your child’s diet in a way that is more enjoyable for everyone at the table.

Tips for Introducing New Foods and Healthy Eating Habits

If you’re tired of googling “best foods for picky eaters” and ending up frustrated after mealtimes, it may be time to take a different approach. People with autism may be sensitive to the taste, smell, color, and texture of foods. Because of this, they may limit or avoid particular foods or even whole food groups. 

Of course, you already understand the importance of consuming a well-rounded diet with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Recent studies have shown that children with autism-related symptoms are five times more likely to demonstrate atypical eating behaviors, including narrow food selections, ritualistic eating behavior, and meal-related tantrums, which can make getting the necessary nutrients a challenge.

Today, we’re looking at how to expand your child’s food choices by addressing underlying anxiety, inflexibility, and sensory issues. We’ll share some of our best picky eater tips for parents to help reduce problematic mealtime behaviors and the stress that accompanies them. You might even be inspired with a few school lunch ideas!

Picky eating vs. food rejection

While it’s common for autism to affect your child’s eating habits, it’s important to understand that there is a significant difference between what is colloquially considered “picky eating” and the unique challenges that children on the autism spectrum face. Most children, especially toddlers, go through stages where they refuse certain foods because of taste, smell, or texture. Generally, this is something they grow out of. 

Children on the spectrum, however, aren’t just “being difficult.” Problematic mealtime behaviors may be a result of sensory issues, underdeveloped oral motor musculature (which makes certain textures troublesome), GI issues they aren’t able to communicate, the need for routine, or challenges with trying new things in general.

Another factor that contributes to the idea that autistic children are picky eaters is the myth of “high functioning autism,” which suggests that an individual who excels academically or is socially competent has “high function.” However, autistic children with high intelligence or excellent social skills are still likely to struggle with daily tasks like brushing their teeth, making decisions, or telling time. When children seen as “high functioning” struggle with eating certain foods, their behavior can be misconstrued as merely “being difficult.”

If left untreated, unhealthy mealtime behaviors may continue to escalate. Parents are often overwhelmed by a number of challenges at the same time. These issues may take precedence over feeding difficulties, and parents may find themselves relying on the few foods their child is willing to eat to avoid negative backlash. The longer feeding issues are allowed to continue, however, the more difficult and time-consuming it may be to help your child develop healthy eating habits.

Everyone knows how challenging changing your eating habits can be, and this is especially true for autistic children. Because they may hyper-focus on certain foods while refusing to try others, both behavioral therapy and nutritional therapy may be necessary. This will help adjust symptoms that may otherwise become maladaptive behaviors, as well as ensure you are working towards a well-balanced diet.

Ruling out medical issues

Common gastrointestinal issues associated with food rejection include acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea, and eosinophilic esophagitis. Autistic children are just as likely to suffer the same GI disorders as other children, but the difference is that they may not be able to localize or verbalize their discomfort. If a child senses or fears that a specific food may trigger pain, they are likely to refuse it, become suspicious of it, or throw tantrums. 

This makes it important for parents to be proactive in discovering the source of their child’s discomfort. A pediatric gastroenterologist can help rule out medical issues.

Techniques for expanding your child’s diet

1. Start small

Your child most likely has a select few favorite foods. When introducing new foods, or previously rejected foods, you can create a positive association by introducing minuscule amounts of these foods alongside their pre-established favorites. The first time, they may not necessarily eat the food, but they can still get used to its presence and appearance. Even if they don’t want to try it, you can encourage them to touch, smell, and explore the food. The next time, you might ask them to try a single bite and praise them for being willing to try.

2. Try desensitization practices

If your child has strongly rejected a certain food, but you feel it is necessary as part of a healthy diet, or it’s a staple in your household, you’ll need to reintroduce the food even more slowly, using a desensitizing technique. For example, if your child hates apples, start by placing apples in the house. Next, bring an apple into the room during playtime. This way, they can get used to the food without having to eat it. After a while, you might place some apples on the table during meals without requiring them to touch or eat them. Next, put a slice of apple on their plate. When they are okay with the apple slice on their plate, and their original feelings of aversion have been resolved, invite them to try a bite.

3. Offer choices and control

No one likes to be told what to eat, and sometimes, your child will simply not like a food – this is completely natural. To accommodate this and give your child the opportunity to exercise healthy control, offer a wide variety of choices (within the necessary categories that form a well-balanced meal), and allow them to decide. For instance, when choosing dinner, allow your child to choose one ingredient from a variety of vegetables, starches, and proteins. If you’re making a curry, stew, or pasta dish, ask them to add one “mystery” ingredient to the dish for the other family members to discover. They might choose chicken, broccoli, or beans, for instance.

4. Adjust textures

Hypersensitivity to textures is a common occurrence in people on the spectrum and can show up during mealtimes. Often, it’s the way a food feels in the mouth, not its flavor, that produces a strong aversion to certain foods. The crunchy texture of an apple or the squishy texture of a freshly sliced tomato is a classic example. Luckily, there are a multitude of ways to prepare foods and also a variety of healthy substitutes. Pears, for example, are much softer than apples, and apples could also be served stewed. Tomatoes can be blended or chopped finely into salsa or cooked into a sauce and served over pasta or as a dip for potato wedges.

One of the best ways to get picky eaters to eat veggies is to prepare them in a new and exciting way or work them into other dishes where they are not as easily distinguishable. For example, you could grate zucchini into oatmeal, add broccoli to homemade chicken nuggets, or blend leafy greens into smoothies without anyone noticing.

5. Set realistic goals

Mealtimes shouldn’t be a battleground, so be sure to manage your emotions, adjust your expectations, and set realistic goals. Many children need to taste a food more than a dozen times before they’re willing to eat it without any fuss. Autistic children with food aversions may take longer, so be sure to practice patience and create a safe environment for your child to explore new foods. 

There are likely a number of behaviors that require some practice when it comes to mealtimes, so rather than trying to correct them all within a single meal, break them into individual goals. Then prioritize those goals and address them one at a time. Are you trying to increase the variety of foods your child consumes? The amount they eat? Correct disruptive behavior at the table? Identify your primary target, make the target known to both your child and other caretakers, and focus meals on progressing in that area. 

If, for instance, your child barely eats two or three bites at a meal, it’s unreasonable to expect them to clear their plate, and it’s probably not the best time to start introducing new or previously rejected foods. Instead, try increasing their intake by one bite per meal, and be sure to praise their success rather than piling more expectations on them because you think the meal is going well.

Lastly, expect a certain amount of resistance. This might include crying or whining, verbal aggression, and/or disruptive behaviors. The presence of these things doesn’t mean you’re not making progress, so adjust your expectations accordingly and don’t give up or give in.

Other things that can help reduce anxiety around mealtimes include:

  • Role modeling healthy eating behaviors
  • Consistent and enjoyable mealtime routines
  • Making changes to how you prepare and/or present previously rejected foods
  • Playing with and exploring new and/or previously rejected foods
  • Praising every sign of progress, no matter how small

Take a multifaceted approach

Like many things, it may take a multifaceted approach to see a significant difference when it comes to picky eating and autism. With time, consistency, and patience, however, you and your little one are sure to experience incredible progress.

Discover more helpful autism resources

Lighthouse Autism Center Expands Services in South Bend, Indiana!

ABA Therapy Center Renovation Complete in South Bend, Indiana

Lighthouse Autism Center (LAC) continues to expand, now with a network of centers in three states – quite a journey from its humble beginnings serving four families in one building to now serving hundreds of families across three states for nearly a decade. It is truly amazing.

Our state-of-the-art children’s autism center is now open and providing additional autism services to 21 children and their families and creating over 27 new jobs in the area. 

Our mission is to provide the highest quality autism services to children and families by expanding services at our South Bend autism center. Lighthouse Autism Center has committed to continuing our mission in South Bend, Indiana as the need for ABA services continues to grow. Lighthouse is determined to fill that need by expanding services in underserved locations with facilities that can accommodate a larger capacity of learners, helping more families and children with autism, reach their goals.

Autism center for speech and language

Lighthouse Autism Center is the Midwest’s leading autism therapy provider. With beautiful facilities that promote natural and play-based learning, and a team of highly trained and compassionate clinicians, Lighthouse Autism Center brings together compassionate care and clinical excellence to offer the highest quality ABA therapy to children with autism.

With a unique clinical model called Lighthouse Fusion, children at Lighthouse are making greater progress, faster, all while having fun. While other ABA centers typically keep ABA and speech therapies separate, Lighthouse Fusion brings these two therapies together into one enhanced therapy solution. We invite you to learn more about how this innovative clinical model is helping to unlock each child’s potential. 

To learn more about Lighthouse Autism Center or enroll your child, contact our Family Outreach Coordinator at 574-387-4313 or visit www.lighthouseautismcenter.com.

South Bend Center contact information

1827 E Ireland Rd

South Bend, Indiana 46614

Family Outreach Phone: 574-387-4313

Don’t see an autism treatment center listed near you? Contact us and let us know the area you are in, and we will notify you when we have a center opening near you!

Find a Center Near You

Interested in finding an autism center near you? Click Find a Center below to view a full list of current autism therapy centers.

Lighthouse Autism Center Staff Spotlight: Avery

Meet Lighthouse Autism Center’s Staff Spotlight of the Month: Avery

Avery is the Clinical Director at our Kalamazoo center. She has been with Lighthouse Autism Center since August of 2018 and was previously a Program Manager and Senior Program Manager. Avery attended Valparaiso University and received a BA in Psychology with minors in Sociology and Theology. She then went on to obtain her Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis with specializations in Early Intervention and OBM at Western Michigan University. Avery has two spoiled cats and enjoys crafting on her Cricut- to make signs, cups, and t-shirts! She also enjoys camping with her fiancé!


What made you decide to apply to Lighthouse?

I applied to Lighthouse Autism Center because I wanted to be apart of a community of people who are dedicated to providing high quality ABA therapy!

What is your favorite part of working at Lighthouse Autism Center?

My favorite part of LAC are the people- both staff and clients! My staff are all such dedicated and caring individuals. They are truly inspiring people to be around every day! Our clients are some of the cutest and smartest kiddos around. I love getting to see all of the fun and how much they learn! They tend to teach me a few things too.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time here?

There are so many, but my most recent favorite experience was when we had a firetruck and firefighters come to the center! The kids had the best time meeting the firefighters, seeing the equipment, getting some cool stickers and hats, and sitting in the firetruck. The smiles on their faces were infectious to LAC staff and to the firefighters! It was an incredible moment to witness some clients, who previously would not have been able to tolerate that experience, having a fun time!

What advice you would like to share for those interested in a career at Lighthouse Autism Center?

This is a fast pace and fun learning environment that focuses on teaching clients building block skills needed to be as independent and successful as possible. While it is sometimes a tough job, it is absolutely the most rewarding one you can have! Investing in these kids is such a worthwhile experience. There is nothing better than seeing the “click” when a new skill sticks, hearing a client successfully say their first word without any approximations, or being a part of the team that helped celebrate every potty party on the path to potty independence. I can guarantee that while our goal is to teach these kids, by working with them you will learn something about yourself along the way. If you are passionate about kids, are wanting to make a difference, and would like to have some fun then I encourage you to join our team!

Ready for a career where you can make a difference?

Lighthouse Autism Center Shining Example: Brynleigh

Meet Lighthouse Autism Center’s Child Spotlight of the Month: Brynleigh.

Meet Brynleigh. When Brynleigh first came to Lighthouse, she had very little vocal communication skills and could only communicate by pointing, pulling and crying. She often struggled with tantrums and aggression. She also experienced challenges with listening and responding skills. Since coming to Lighthouse, Brynleigh has made so much progress!

Brynleigh’s Progress at Lighthouse Autism Center

  • Brynleigh now uses vocals as well as a picture exchange system to communicate her wants and needs. She is requesting her wants and needs up to an average of 60 times in a 4-hour session while at the center.
  • Brynleigh has decreased her aggressive behavior and tantrums significantly while at the center.
  • Brynleigh has since mastered 10 one-step directions and listener responding skills and is working on more!

Brynleigh’s Success With Speech Therapy

“Brynleigh has shown major improvements in her speech even from just a few months ago , it’s day and night. She is trying her hardest to say multiple new words”

– Brynleigh’s Mother

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

Lighthouse Autism Center Opens New Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan!

ABA Therapy Center is Now Open in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Lighthouse Autism Center (LAC) continues to expand, now with a network of centers in three states – quite a journey from its humble beginnings serving four families in one building to now serving hundreds of families across three states for nearly a decade. It’s truly amazing.

Our newest state-of-the-art children’s autism center is now open and providing autism services to 28 children and their families and creating over 30 new jobs in the area. 

Our mission is to provide the highest quality autism services to children and families by opening our newest Kalamazoo autism center. Lighthouse Autism Center has committed to continuing our mission in Kalamazoo, Michigan as the need for ABA services continues to grow. Lighthouse is determined to fill that need by opening new centers in underserved locations with facilities that can accommodate a larger capacity of learners, helping more families and children with autism, reach their goals.

Autism center for speech and language

Lighthouse Autism Center is the Midwest’s leading autism therapy provider. With beautiful facilities that promote natural and play-based learning, and a team of highly trained and compassionate clinicians, Lighthouse Autism Center brings together compassionate care and clinical excellence to offer the highest quality ABA therapy to children with autism.

With a unique clinical model called Lighthouse Fusion, children at Lighthouse are making greater progress, faster, all while having fun. While other ABA centers typically keep ABA and speech therapies separate, Lighthouse Fusion brings these two therapies together into one enhanced therapy solution. We invite you to learn more about how this innovative clinical model is helping to unlock each child’s potential. 

To learn more about Lighthouse Autism Center or enroll your child, contact our Family Outreach Coordinator at 269-249-1490 or visit www.lighthouseautismcenter.com.

Kalamazoo East Center contact information

3744 Gull Rd.

Kalamazoo, Michigan 49048

Family Outreach Phone: 269-249-1490

Don’t see an autism treatment center listed near you? Contact us and let us know the area you are in, and we will notify you when we have a center opening near you!

Play-based therapy rooms where our learners can naturally explore their interests, engage in sensory experiences, and practice language.

Find a Center Near You

Interested in finding an autism center near you? Click Find a Center below to view a full list of current autism therapy centers.

Lighthouse Autism Center to Expand Services in South Bend, Indiana!

Lighthouse Autism Center is Expanding Services in South Bend, Indiana

Lighthouse Autism Center (LAC) continues to expand, now with a network of centers in three states – quite a journey from its humble beginnings serving four families in one building to now serving hundreds of families across three states for nearly a decade. It is truly amazing.

South Bend Autism Center Undergoing Renovation in Late Fall 2022

Our state-of-the-art children’s autism center is slated to complete renovations in the late fall of 2022 and will provide additional autism services to 21 children and their families and create over 27 new jobs in the area. 

With a mission of providing the highest quality autism services to children and families through our facilities, LAC has sought to do just that in South Bend, IN. As the need for ABA services continues to grow, LAC seeks to fill that need by expanding services to accommodate a larger capacity of learners, helping more families and children with autism, reach their goals.

Lighthouse Autism Center is the Midwest’s leading autism therapy provider

With beautiful autism clinics that promote natural and play-based learning, and a team of highly trained and compassionate clinicians, Lighthouse Autism Center brings together compassionate care and clinical excellence to offer the highest quality ABA therapy to children with autism.

With a unique clinical model called Lighthouse Fusion, children at Lighthouse are making greater progress, faster, all while having fun. While other ABA centers typically keep ABA and speech therapies separate, Lighthouse Fusion brings these two therapies together into one enhanced therapy solution. We invite you to learn more about how this innovative clinical model is helping to unlock each child’s potential. 

To learn more about Lighthouse Autism Center or enroll your child, contact our Family Outreach Coordinator at 574-387-4313.

South Bend Center contact information

1827 E Ireland Rd

South Bend, Indiana 46614

Family Outreach Phone: 574-387-4313

Don’t see an autism treatment center listed near you? Contact us and let us know the area you are in, and we will notify you when we have a center opening near you!

Find a Center Near You

Interested in finding an autism center near you? Click Find a Center below to view a full list of current autism therapy centers.

Lighthouse Autism Center to Open New Center in Springfield, Illinois!

Lighthouse Autism Center is Bringing Autism Therapy Services to Springfield, Illinois

Lighthouse Autism Center (LAC) continues to expand, now with a network of centers in three states – quite a journey from its humble beginnings serving four families in one building to now serving hundreds of families across three states for nearly a decade. It is truly amazing.

Springfield Autism Center Coming this Winter of 2022

Our newest state-of-the-art aba therapy center in Springfield, Illinois is Lighthouse autism Center’s third children’s autism center to open in Illinois. It is slated to open in the winter of 2022 providing autism services to 30 children and their families and create over 40 new jobs in the area. 

With a mission of providing the highest quality autism services to children and families through our facilities, Lighthouse Autism Center has sought to do just that in Springfield, IL. As the need for ABA services continues to grow, Lighthouse seeks to fill that need by expanding into facilities that can accommodate a larger capacity of learners, helping more families and children with autism, reach their goals.

Lighthouse Autism Center is the Midwest’s leading autism therapy provider

With beautiful facilities that promote natural and play-based learning, and a team of highly trained and compassionate clinicians, Lighthouse Autism Center brings together compassionate care and clinical excellence to offer the highest quality ABA therapy to children with autism.

With a unique clinical model called Lighthouse Fusion™, children at Lighthouse are making greater progress, faster, all while having fun. While other ABA centers typically keep ABA and speech therapies separate, Lighthouse Fusion brings these two therapies together into one enhanced therapy solution. We invite you to learn more about how this innovative clinical model is helping to unlock each child’s potential. 

To learn more about Lighthouse Autism Center or enroll your child, contact our Family Outreach Coordinator at 217-295-2491 or visit our website.

Springfield Center Contact Information

614 N 6th Street

Springfield, Illinois 62702

Family Outreach Phone: 217-295-2491

Don’t see an autism treatment center listed near you? Contact us and let us know the area you are in, and we will notify you when we have a center opening near you!

Find a Center Near You

Interested in finding an autism center near you? Click Find a Center below to view a full list of current autism therapy centers.

Lighthouse Autism Center Shining Example: Ariah

Meet Lighthouse Autism Center’s Child Spotlight of the Month: Ariah.

When Ariah first came to Lighthouse, she had no vocal communication skills and often struggled with tantrums. She experienced challenges with peer interactions such as sharing items with others. Ariah also was not toilet trained. Since coming to Lighthouse, Ariah has made so much progress!

Ariah’s Progress at Lighthouse Autism Center

Ariah now enjoys playing with her peers including sharing toys!
Ariah has increased her communication skills and can now vocally communicate with 3-4 word sentences
With the skill to communicate, Ariah is now experiencing fewer tantrums.
Ariah is now toilet trained and can stay dry all day.

Lighthouse Autism Center Staff Perspective

“Ariah is such a joy at the center! It has been so much fun to see her language grow. We can’t wait to see what Ariah will accomplish next!”

– Jovanna Trejo, Lighthouse Autism Center Senior RBT

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

Lighthouse Autism Center Staff Spotlight: Corey

Meet Lighthouse Autism Center’s Staff Spotlight of the Month: Corey.

Corey is a Registered Behavior Technician at our Noblesville Autism Center, where he has worked for almost a year. Following graduation, Corey joined the Lighthouse Team and has exceled in his time here. When not at Lighthouse Corey enjoys sports, music, and being outdoors.

What made you decide to apply to Lighthouse?

I’ve had the opportunity to work in several different positions, but was looking for something more. After my dad passed, I knew I wanted to do something where I felt I was making a difference. I happened to find Lighthouse on Indeed. Even though I had no idea what ABA was at the time, it seemed like a job that I would enjoy and where I could make a difference.
What is your favorite part of working at Lighthouse Autism Center?
My favorite part about working for Lighthouse is interacting with the kids and seeing the progress they make each day. When I am working with a kiddo and they master a new skill or discover something new, it’s the best feeling and so rewarding.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time here?

Some of my favorite memories at Lighthouse involve spirit days and spirit weeks. It’s so fun to change up the daily routine with not only my team but the kids. Dressing as a favorite character, rocking our favorite sports team, whatever it is, you just feel an awesome energy at the center and it’s so much fun for our team and kids.

Ready for a career where you can make a difference?

Lighthouse Autism Center to Open New Center in Decatur, Illinois!

Lighthouse Autism Center is Bringing Autism Therapy Services to Decatur, Illinois

Lighthouse Autism Center (LAC) continues to expand, now with a network of centers in three states – quite a journey from its humble beginnings serving four families in one building to now serving hundreds of families across three states for nearly a decade. It is truly amazing.

Decatur Autism Center Coming this Winter of 2022

Our newest state-of-the-art aba therapy center in Decatur, Illinois is Lighthouse autism Center’s second children’s autism center to open in Illinois. It is slated to open in the winter of 2022 providing autism services to 25 children and their families and create over 40 new jobs in the area. 

With a mission of providing the highest quality autism services to children and families through our facilities, Lighthouse Autism Center has sought to do just that in Decatur, IL. As the need for ABA services continues to grow, Lighthouse seeks to fill that need by expanding into facilities that can accommodate a larger capacity of learners, helping more families and children with autism, reach their goals.

Lighthouse Autism Center is the Midwest’s leading autism therapy provider

With beautiful facilities that promote natural and play-based learning, and a team of highly trained and compassionate clinicians, Lighthouse Autism Center brings together compassionate care and clinical excellence to offer the highest quality ABA therapy to children with autism.

With a unique clinical model called Lighthouse Fusion™, children at Lighthouse are making greater progress, faster, all while having fun. While other ABA centers typically keep ABA and speech therapies separate, Lighthouse Fusion brings these two therapies together into one enhanced therapy solution. We invite you to learn more about how this innovative clinical model is helping to unlock each child’s potential. 

To learn more about Lighthouse Autism Center or enroll your child, contact our Family Outreach Coordinator at 217-295-2491 or visit our website.

Decatur Center Contact Information

427 East Ash Road

Decatur, Illinois 62526

Family Outreach Phone: 217-295-2491

Don’t see an autism treatment center listed near you? Contact us and let us know the area you are in, and we will notify you when we have a center opening near you!

Construction is underway and we cannot wait for the center to be completed!

Find a Center Near You

Interested in finding an autism center near you? Click Find a Center below to view a full list of current autism therapy centers.

Lighthouse Autism Center Partners with Dinosaur Adventure 

Lighthouse Autism Center is partnering with Dinosaur Adventure to offer tickets to children with autism and their families, as well as a sensory hour 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on both days of the event. The tickets will be offered to families currently enrolled at Lighthouse Autism Center.  

Dinosaur Adventure offers a prehistoric exhibit with big dinosaurs and massive family fun. For two days only, guests will have the rare opportunity to travel back 65 million years to experience the thrill of the prehistoric age. While giant dinosaurs are the “meat and bones” of the event, Dinosaur Adventure also features baby dinosaurs with which guests can interact.  

Other activities at the event include a realistic fossil search, Jurassic jeep races, prehistoric themed obstacle courses, dinosaur rides, and more.  

 

The event is open to the general public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 3 and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at the South Bend Century Center, 120 Doctor M.L.K. Jr Blvd. Guests can expect the average adventure to last two to three hours. Tickets start at $25 and should be purchased in advance at www.dinosauradventure.com/south-bend. Most activities, except for the mining area and face painting, are unlimited with each child’s admission.   

Lighthouse Autism Center is currently the largest ABA provider in Indiana with a network of locations across Indiana, southwest Michigan and central Illinois. Autism spectrum disorder is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the United States.  

Together, we can unlock your child’s potential

  

Lighthouse Autism Center Staff Spotlight: Haeleigh

Meet Lighthouse Autism Center’s Staff Spotlight of the Month: Haeleigh.

Haeleigh is a Registered Behavior Therapist at our Champaign center, where she has worked since May of 2022. Haeleigh received her undergraduate in psychology at the University of Northern Colorado and she is currently enrolled to begin a Master of Arts program in neuroscience and neurocounseling at Bradley University this fall. She has two pets- a dog, Mico, and a cat, Weeble. Haeleigh recently moved to Champaign, Illinois to be closer to family and for her program at BU.

What made you decide to apply to Lighthouse?

I have always been interested in Autism Spectrum Disorder and working with children. I am excited to learn more about ABA at Lighthouse and have become more encouraged to spread the word of neurodivergence. The position has further inspired me to pursue my career in neurocounseling by learning more about behavior and behavioral analysis. With my experience at LAC, I am excited to be able to research additional therapy options like neurofeedback and biofeedback for people with ASD and similar disorders.
 
 

What is your favorite part of working at Lighthouse Autism Center?

Every day is different, and every role within the organization is vital. Each day our kiddos walk through the door, I know they learned a little bit more than the day before. Knowing it is because of my team at Lighthouse that we can change the lives of these kiddos and their families makes coming to work every day worthwhile. Witnessing joy from the kiddos as well as the RBT’s throughout the day is one reason that makes coming to work each day so easy.
 
 

Do you have a favorite memory from your time here?

I have so many wonderful memories of the little quirks and personalities of the kiddos. I think my happiest memories come from the joy and laughter of the kiddos, especially while they are having fun learning and mastering out of programs. It’s so rewarding working with a kiddo on a tough program, and then working with them a couple days later and seeing how far they’ve come to achieving a goal and progressing to more challenging programs.

Ready for a career where you can make a difference?