Lighthouse Autism Center Shining Example: Jon

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

Meet Jon. When Jon first came to Lighthouse, he could not consistently communicate his wants or needs. He struggled with transitions away from preferred items or activities and did not respond to directions. Jon also did not engage with his peers or take turns with preferred items. Since enrolling at Lighthouse, Jon has made incredible progress.

Jon’s Progress at Lighthouse Autism Center

  • Jon can now identify and vocalize his emotions
  • Jon can now use 4-5 word sentences to ask for what he wants or to participate in a conversation
  • Jon now plays at the playground with other kids, and will even introduce himself to others

Lighthouse Autism Center Staff Perspective

“Jon’s progress has blown our staff away. When he started, Jon was quiet and did not reliably use his words. Now, Jon will spontaneously start conversations with others, ask for what he wants, and interact with his peers. Jon lights up our center with his smile and goofy personality. We are all so proud of him!”
 
– Courtney Schultz, Lighthouse Autism Center Clinical Director
 

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

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Lighthouse Autism Center Shining Example: Hope

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

When Hope first came to Lighthouse she struggled with flopping, running away, refusal behavior and would often throw objects when she became upset or frustrated. She also had challenges with speech, following routines and directions. Since enrolling at Lighthouse, Hope has made incredible progress.

Hope’s Progress at Lighthouse Autism Center

  • Increase the amount of time she can sit and work independently without reinforcement
  • Nearly eliminate refusal behavior, throwing objects and flopping
  • Increase her school readiness skills such as identifying numbers, letters, turn-taking, peer play and more

Lighthouse Autism Center Staff Perspective

“Hope is doing so well and making tremendous progress. We are all so proud of all she has accomplished thus far at Lighthouse. She continues to work hard and gain new skills within the center and at home daily. We are so grateful to be with Hope on this journey and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her. Keep up the great work Hope!”

– Chelsea Gibson, Lighthouse Autism Center Clinical Director

Contact us with any questions and enroll your child today at Lighthouse Autism Center!

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

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Lighthouse Autism Center Shining Example: Oliver

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

When Oliver first came to Lighthouse he struggled with communication, toileting, and aggression. With the help of his dedicated team of clinicians at Lighthouse, Oliver has made incredible progress!

Oliver’s Progress at Lighthouse Autism Center

  • Oliver now independently asks for things he wants or needs using his picture exchange system.
  • When Oliver started he would rarely use vocal words to communicate. With Lighthouse Fusion, we have seen Oliver drastically increase his vocal communication.
  • Oliver was not toilet trained prior to coming to Lighthouse. He has made great progress! While he still wears pull-ups, he stays dry all day and can now ask to use the bathroom.
  • With his new vocal communication skills combined with the help of a picture exchange system, Oliver is now able to communicate his wants and needs which in turn, has significantly reduced the amount of aggressive behavior seen at home and in the center. These newfound skills are having far reaching impacts for Oliver and his family!

Lighthouse Autism Center Staff Perspective

“I have overseen Oliver since July of 2021. In this time, Oliver has grown tremendously. He’s been using the toilet consistently, utilizing his picture icons to request preferred items and even the bathroom. His speech has just soared over the last 2 months with Oliver’s participation in co-treat sessions with Janine. With the Lighthouse Fusion model, we have seen Oliver echoing words consistently, vocally saying hi and bye while he waves, and he vocally addresses his pet cat “Ivy” whenever she’s in the room with him, all things Oliver could not do before coming to Lighthouse. While Oliver has absolutely blown everyone away with his progress, I cannot wait to see what his future holds through his time at LAC and even beyond!”

– Elizabeth Zeese, Jr. Program Manager at Lighthouse Autism Center

 

Contact us with any questions and enroll your child today at Lighthouse Autism Center!

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

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Lighthouse Roots – The Story of Nick

In May of 2022, Lighthouse Autism Center is celebrating 10 years of business. This would not be possible without our clients. These families were some of the first families to receive services at Lighthouse Autism Center and helped build a strong foundation. We would not be where we are today without them! Thank you for choosing Lighthouse Autism Center and for trusting us to provide compassionate care and for being a part of our story.

About Nick

Nick attended Lighthouse Autism Center Park Place and Edison Lakes between 2012 and 2016. He was 12 years old when he first enrolled.

Lighthouse Journey:

Tell us about your favorite memory from your child’s time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

Seeing Nick actually having fun even when working.  I could tell that everyone who worked with him made it fun so that he wanted to participate in the lessons.

Tell us something your child does or is independent with now that you attribute to their time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

Nick had a lot of skills before Lighthouse, but Middle school destroyed him in less than a year.  They did not follow his IEP and never communicated with us about what was going on.  When asked about his day or behaviors that were starting to develop, they would tell me “He was just adjusting.” Lighthouse managed to help Nick regain control of his emotions, they boosted his confidence and gained his trust.

How did Lighthouse help your family and child reach their goals?

Nick was able to enjoy life again.  He was able to reenter school and ended up graduating from PHM.

What advice would you give prospective parents who are considering Lighthouse Autism Center for their child?

You can’t go wrong.  The people are all so caring and really want to help your child succeed.

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

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Lighthouse Roots – The Story of Morgyn

In May of 2022, Lighthouse Autism Center is celebrating 10 years of business. This would not be possible without our clients. These families were some of the first families to receive services at Lighthouse Autism Center and helped build a strong foundation. We would not be where we are today without them! Thank you for choosing Lighthouse Autism Center and for trusting us to provide compassionate care and for being a part of our story.

Meet: Merle and Dawn Janiszewski, parents of Morgyn

 

About Morgyn

Morgyn attended Lighthouse Autism Center Park Place and Edison Lakes between 2013 and 2017. She was 11 years old when she first enrolled.

Lighthouse Journey:

Tell us about your favorite memory from your child’s time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

Morgyn loved when she was tickled by the therapists, and she loved to swing.

Tell us something your child does or is independent with now that you attribute to their time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

Morgyn helps with cleaning dishes when asked, knows her colors and can count really well. She can spell her name and likes a few more vegetables because of Lighthouse.

How did Lighthouse help your family and child reach their goals?

Lighthouse brought out the entire person in Morgyn.  She returned to public school and did really well and became many teachers’ favorite student.  She “graduated” high school and is now involved in the adult day program in the same school corporation.  She is again a favorite of her current teacher.  She is more patient and responds to questions when asked as well as mostly does what she is told.

What advice would you give prospective parents who are considering Lighthouse Autism Center for their child?

If you don’t believe in small miracles, you will after experiencing lighthouse.  We were so happy, lucky and blessed to find Lighthouse.  Before Lighthouse, the public school system was not making noticeable progress with Morgyn.  It took us a few months to secure financial avenues and Lighthouse stuck with us during this time.  Experiencing that showed us that Lighthouse puts the children they serve as the main priority.

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

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Lighthouse Roots – The Story of Hunter

In May of 2022, Lighthouse Autism Center is celebrating 10 years of business. This would not be possible without our clients. These families were some of the first families to receive services at Lighthouse Autism Center and helped build a strong foundation. We would not be where we are today without them! Thank you for choosing Lighthouse Autism Center and for trusting us to provide compassionate care and for being a part of our story.

Meet: John and Tara Antonucci, parents of Hunter

 About Hunter

Hunter attended Lighthouse Autism Center Park Place and Edison Lakes between 2012 and 2018. He was nine years old when he first enrolled.

Lighthouse Journey:

Tell us about your favorite memory from your child’s time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

Hunter loved all the staff at Lighthouse- and he would frequently try to “butter “them up with hugs to get out of his work.

Tell us something your child does or is independent with now that you attribute to their time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

Hunter learned to dress himself, basics of following one and two step direction, all important daily life skills doing laundry, using the microwave and basic hygiene like teeth brushing and flossing.

How did Lighthouse help your family and child reach their goals?

Lighthouse gave us hope, an outstanding support system of other parents in our area who were dealing with issues with the schools and overall, a resource for ABA therapy that was new to the community at the time.  Gregg and Sandy were truly angels for providing this resource to parents in the community.

What advice would you give prospective parents who are considering Lighthouse Autism Center for their child?

Lighthouse is an outstanding resource!

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

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Lighthouse Roots – The Story of Ginny

In May of 2022, Lighthouse Autism Center is celebrating 10 years of business. This would not be possible without our clients. These families were some of the first families to receive services at Lighthouse Autism Center and helped build a strong foundation. We would not be where we are today without them! Thank you for choosing Lighthouse Autism Center and for trusting us to provide compassionate care and for being a part of our story.

About Ginny

Ginny attended Lighthouse Autism Center Park Place and Edison Lakes between 2012 and 2017. She was 12 years old when she first enrolled.

Lighthouse Journey:

Tell us about your favorite memory from your child’s time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

How happy she was to go to Lighthouse and see all her friends and therapists. We (Ginny) still sees and interacts with a couple therapists and friends she made at Lighthouse.

Tell us something your child does or is independent with now that you attribute to their time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

Ginny is able to put on her socks and shoes with minimal help, she can brush her teeth without much help and apply deodorant. She can put on her coat and her shirts. And she can undress completely by herself. She uses utensils and can pour a drink (most of the time). She can complete simple puzzles and color. She will swing independently on her swing set, enjoys walking on the treadmill and of course she enjoys a good ‘dance party’!

How did Lighthouse help your family and child reach their goals?

Ginny grew in ways we didn’t think would be possible. Lighthouse Autism Center gave us the support we needed to help Ginny be as successful as possible. We are so grateful that Lighthouse was a part of our lives and our daughter’s life. LAC is truly a game changer. A dream would be an LAC for adults – adult day services.

What advice would you give prospective parents who are considering Lighthouse Autism Center for their child?

Trust the BCBA’s and RBT’s they know what they are doing, and they have your child’s best interest in mind. Follow through with what they are doing at the center at home as much as you possibly can. Have them partner with your child’s school and be a strong advocate for your child. You won’t know what your child is capable of if you do not try different tasks/skills.

 

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

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Lighthouse Roots – The Story of Dylan

In May of 2022, Lighthouse Autism Center is celebrating 10 years of business. This would not be possible without our clients. These families were some of the first families to receive services at Lighthouse Autism Center and helped build a strong foundation. We would not be where we are today without them! Thank you for choosing Lighthouse Autism Center and for trusting us to provide compassionate care and for being a part of our story.

Meet: Tom and Christi Sexton, parents of Dylan

About Dylan

Dylan attended Lighthouse Autism Center Park Place and Edison Lakes between 2012 and 2017. He was 12 years old when he first enrolled.

Lighthouse Journey:

Tell us about your favorite memory from your child’s time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

We have several, but I think one of the parties they had where Dylan was laughing and dancing around.  He absolutely loves music.

Tell us something your child does or is independent with now that you attribute to their time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

He’s very polite.  He always says “please” and “no thank you” if he does not want something.  Even if he’s yelling it, he’s still polite.

How did Lighthouse help your family and child reach their goals?

Lighthouse has helped in so many ways.

What advice would you give prospective parents who are considering Lighthouse Autism Center for their child?

We would encourage them to go.  Lighthouse has been such an important part of our lives.  They have been so incredibly helpful in every way.  Having to take your not very verbal child to a place and leave them is a very scary thing.  I felt so relaxed when he was there rather than a regular school.  I knew he was being taken care of and that I didn’t need to worry about his safety.  That is huge for us parents!

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

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Lighthouse Roots – The Story of Ally

In May of 2022, Lighthouse Autism Center is celebrating 10 years of business. This would not be possible without our clients. These families were some of the first families to receive services at Lighthouse Autism Center and helped build a strong foundation. We would not be where we are today without them! Thank you for choosing Lighthouse Autism Center and for trusting us to provide compassionate care and for being a part of our story.

Meet: Lisa Cook, parent of Ally

About Ally

Ally attended Lighthouse Autism Center in Mishawaka between 2012 and 2013. She was four years old when she first enrolled.

Lighthouse Journey:

Ally was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two.  The specialist at the Mayo Clinic told us about ABA therapy.  He painted a picture of what Ally’s life would be like if we continued with the limited therapies she was receiving (not graduating high school or living alone as an adult) and then what her life could be like with ABA therapy.  We were living in a small town in Iowa at the time and there were no ABA centers in the state. We struggled for another year, until our insurance stopped covering the limited therapies she was receiving. It became clear that Ally would not thrive if we stayed in Iowa.  She was an expert escape artist, dismantling every child lock system we installed.  We struggled to keep her safe in our own home.  She was not verbal and any change in routine led to hours of meltdowns.  We took a huge leap of faith, left good jobs and put our house on the market and moved here.

Long story short, we fought insurance for another year to get ABA coverage and so many doors slammed shut.  My favorite memory from LAC was the first time we met Gregg and Sandy and they shared their story.  They gave us so much hope.  They offered the last spot at the Mishawaka center to Ally.  Sandy helped us move mountains with insurance. The staff that worked with Ally was so creative in finding ways to motivate her.  My favorite was the paper ballerinas they made with her and hung from the ceiling over her workspace. She still has them. Over the course of 1 year Ally’s speech exploded.  She went from using a few sentences to get her needs met, to talking nonstop about everything.  She no longer attempted to escape our house and her tantrums became few and far between.  She went from eating 3-4 different foods to trying new foods daily.  But it is really so much more than the measurable goals and data sheets. When Ally was little, I could see in her eyes that she understood every word I said, and I wanted so desperately to connect with her.  The biggest impact that LAC had on our family was bridging that connection. My husband and I have a relationship with her that we didn’t think was possible.  I love the depth of our conversations and her unique perspectives.  Ally is a prime example of the profound impact of early intervention.

Lighthouse did an amazing job transitioning her into kindergarten.  She has had several outstanding teachers in elementary school that have continued to build upon the foundation that was started at LAC.  She is now a straight A student and has scored above average on the ILearn 3 years in a row. She no longer has an IEP.  Her robotics team made it to state and placed 2nd overall. She loves to fish, plays guitar, is competitive in archery, and boys…so many boys. More importantly, she’s happy.  She’s becoming a great advocate for herself.  She remembers a lot from her time at LAC and wishes that every child with autism could go there because of how much it helped her.

We sacrificed so much and fought so long to get ABA therapy for Ally.  It was so worth it.  It blows my mind that other parents would hesitate to send their child to Lighthouse Autism Center.  I would love for them to meet Ally.

We have been thrilled to see how Lighthouse has rapidly expanded over the past 10 years and how many more families you have been able to help.

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

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Lighthouse Roots – The Story of Alexis

In May of 2022, Lighthouse Autism Center is celebrating 10 years of business. This would not be possible without our clients. These families were some of the first families to receive services at Lighthouse Autism Center and helped build a strong foundation. We would not be where we are today without them! Thank you for choosing Lighthouse Autism Center and for trusting us to provide compassionate care and for being a part of our story.

Meet: Jodi and David Donathen, parents of Alexis

About Alexis

Alexis attended Lighthouse Autism Center Park Place and Edison Lakes between 2012 and 2017. She was 12 years old when she first enrolled. Lexi was the eleventh client to join at Lighthouse Autism Center’s very first center! The group of kiddos that attended with her have a very special bond to this day as well as the group of parents. These families continue to cheer each other on and pick each other up. They consider the group as one big family.

Lighthouse Journey:

Tell us about your favorite memory from your child’s time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

The holiday party at Christmas time. We enjoyed watching Lexi participate in the stations and the camaraderie between she and the other members of her pod. Every season brought a special event, but Santa and his elves sparked a special light with our girl.

Tell us something your child does or is independent with now that you attribute to their time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

Lexi’s independence with self-help was vastly improved while in attendance at the center(s). She has continued to dress herself with minimal cueing and assist. LAC helped us to see her potential and carry the tools and tactics used by the therapist to Segway into her everyday life at home.

How did Lighthouse help your family and child reach their goals?

Lighthouse Autism Center helped us be better equipped to recognize her abilities and to let her grow as an individual.

What advice would you give prospective parents who are considering Lighthouse Autism Center for their child?

Jump. Feet first! Be ready to watch your child bloom and grow. But the work is not just for your child. Be prepared to step back and work yourselves. It’s a team initiative. The work doesn’t stop at the center. Ask questions and reflect at how your household can begin mimicking the work that is being done during the day. Join in your child’s education in a new and functional way that acknowledges who they are as an individual, not a standard set of prewritten and defined goals and objectives set forth by a district or corporation. The program is not cookie cutter/one size fits all. It is an individualized education program (IEP) that is truly centered around your learner.

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

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Lighthouse Roots – The Story of Adam

In May of 2022, Lighthouse Autism Center is celebrating 10 years of business. This would not be possible without our clients. These families were some of the first families to receive services at Lighthouse Autism Center and helped build a strong foundation. We would not be where we are today without them! Thank you for choosing Lighthouse Autism Center and for trusting us to provide compassionate care and for being a part of our story.

Meet: Kub and Cheryl Marshman, parents of Adam

About Adam

Adam attended Lighthouse Autism Center Park Place and Edison Lakes between 2012 and 2015. He was 11 years old when he first enrolled.

Lighthouse Journey:

Tell us about your favorite memory from your child’s time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

Adam was potty trained by Lighthouse staff. This was such a challenge that so many parents struggle with.

Tell us something your child does or is independent with now that you attribute to their time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

Before Lighthouse, Adam’s diet consisted of a lot of milk, yogurt, and snack type foods. Lighthouse came to our house at dinner time and after roughly 5 days of therapy, encouragement, and rewards, Adam was eating the same meals we were. It was a remarkable turnaround. Today, he eats a large variety of foods including every food group.

How did Lighthouse help your family and child reach their goals?

Goals were documented, and progress data driven and measured. There were regularly scheduled in person progress meetings and reports on goals and progress.

What advice would you give prospective parents who are considering Lighthouse Autism Center for their child?

You are the parents of your child. No one knows your child like you do. Put your trust in a group of people who have nothing but your child’s best interest at heart. At some point you have thought, “I know my kid has more potential than what I’ve been led to believe”.  Lighthouse and you can uncover that potential.

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

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Lighthouse Autism Center Shining Example: Bella

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

Since enrolling at Lighthouse Autism Center, Bella has made wonderful progress! Prior to receiving services at Lighthouse, Bella engaged in high magnitude aggression, screaming, and refusal to comply with all self-care tasks including hair brushing, dressing, using the bathroom, and toothbrushing. She engaged in high magnitude behavior while in the family vehicle and when asked to enter community locations such as schools, centers, and other peoples’ homes.

Bella’s progress at Lighthouse Autism Center

  • She now tolerates her hair being brushed by multiple adults
  • She gets dressed every morning
  • She uses the bathroom at home and in community environments
  • She is now able to brush her teeth
  • She now enters the center with up to 4 different Behavior Therapists with no problem behaviors
  • She has also acquired 4 different escape requests to be used to end aversive activities or experiences

Lighthouse Autism Center Staff Perspective

“Bella is an absolute joy to work with. Watching her progress here at Lighthouse has increased my motivation to continue the good work we are doing here. An observable behavior that I have seen increase in her since being at Lighthouse is a smile on her face. She laughs and smiles and has developed an interest in the outside world. We are so proud of Bella and cannot wait to see the continued growth she has while attending Lighthouse. We are blessed beyond measure to serve Bella and her family.”

– Sara Clark, Lighthouse Autism Center Clinical Director

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

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