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Category Archives: Autism Center News

News from Lighthouse Autism Center

Lighthouse Autism Center Opens 3 New ABA Centers

ABA therapy with a child who has autism.

Lighthouse Autism Center is preparing to open three new ABA therapy centers this summer to meet growing demand in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. Each center will serve nearly twenty families and create a combined 120 additional jobs in these areas. The newest center in South Bend, Indiana is located on Ireland Road and will open in July. In addition to serving as an ABA therapy center, it will also serve as the administrative headquarters for Lighthouse Autism Center.

“Lighthouse Autism Center is excited to continue our mission of brining the highest quality ABA therapy services to areas in need. With our newest centers in South Bend, Elkhart and Kalamzoo, we will be able to provide crucial therapy services to an additional 60-70 families who might otherwise not be able to access this therapy for their children,” said CEO and Founder of Lighthouse Autism Center, Gregg Maggioli. While the South Bend and Elkhart centers are slated to open in July of 2020, the Kalamazoo center will not open until August.

To learn more about Lighthouse Autism Center’s newest locations, visit www.lighthouseautismcenter.com or call 574-387-4313 to schedule

Communication and Autism: Using Visual Language

What is Visual Language?

Research tells us that children with autism are able to better communicate their wants and needs through images rather than words. With this knowledge, many autism therapy providers have started creating learning programs and software that focus on allowing children with autism to communicate with familiar and consistent images. This helps increase their understanding of basic communication and more easily communicate their wants, needs and emotions.  This “visual language” method of learning has proven incredibly successful in helping children with autism develop communication skills.

Using Visual Language to Communicate with Children Who Have Autism

Communication can be a major problem for families. It accounts for an estimated 60% of all family-related stress experienced on a daily basis. It is also the main reason that some children are slower to develop their social skills. By using visual communication tactics, families and autism therapy providers can give the child the tools they need to communicate their needs effectively. Once the child has these skills, it often alleviates many problems for families.

So, what are some of the visual communication techniques your child with autism can use?

1.) Dry Erase Board – The child can use a piece of paper or dry erase board to draw objects that symbolize their wants and needs.

2.) Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS) – this is when a child has several pre-made (and often laminated) cards with images that communicate everything from needing to go to the bathroom to requesting a snack and telling someone how they are feeling. The parent can than react or provide the item to fulfill the need they are expressing.

3.) Tablet – children can use communication software downloaded to a tablet such as an ipad and use the system similar to a PECS system. This allows children to select images that express their wants and needs in a way that a parent or adult can understand.

To learn more about visual communication and your child with autism, contact Lighthouse Autism Center at 574-387-4313.

Technology as a Reinforcement Tool

While scientists work on finding the causes of autism behavioral specialists are making great strides in assisting child development through the use of technology.

The Benefits of Modern Technology

Computers in the classroom have evolved from a luxury to a necessity as communication technologies progress. As traditional classrooms have proven successful with the use of modern technology, autism specialists have been researching and developing therapies that use computers to improve communication means for children with autism.

How Does It Work?

Research has found that many children with autism are visual learners. Computers provide teachers and therapists the means to create visual presentations as well as the ability to use communication software that resonates with children who have autism. Because children with autism often communicate through images as opposed to words, computer language software programs provide a way for children to communicate their wants and needs in a way that makes sense to them.

What are the Benefits of Using Technology to Help Children with Autism?

Through this means of positive communication, children experience a more enjoyable, less stressful learning environment that increases their ability to break down their barriers and develop their social skills. One of the most widely used learning techniques with technology is practicing cause and effect. For example, if the child is hungry and wants to eat, he or she would be taught to draw, find or present an image of a food item. The child would then show their picture to their teacher or parent and receive the food they asked for.

Technology and computers can also be used to benefit those who seek to further develop motor skills. Working with a computer, iPad, video game or any technology requires children to practice and develop their fine motor skills, something children with autism often struggle with.

To learn more about the use of technology in ABA therapy or how ABA therapy can help your child, schedule a tour at one of our centers by calling 574-387-4313.

My Child & Autism: Finding Community

When facing the challenges of parenting a child with autism, it’s important for caregivers to understand they are not alone. With 1 in 61 children diagnosed with autism, there are many parents and caregivers going through the same struggles. At Lighthouse, we understand the importance of these caregivers finding a supportive community with others who are experiencing the same daily tasks, challenges and joys that they are.

LAC encourages families to get to know each other, as no one better understands what you are going through than other families going through the same thing. Parents dropping off and picking up their children often get to know each other, and can get together for play dates, coffee, or even just for a quick conversation before picking their kids up from the center. We pride ourselves on creating an atmosphere where families can support each other and their children.

Looking for support for your child with autism? Contact LAC today!

Top Autism Podcasts for Parents

An autism diagnosis does not just affect the individual diagnosed, but the family, caregivers, and friends that interact with that individual or child. It is often challenging to find other people who understand what you are going through, or the daily challenges you may face caring for someone with autism. These top podcasts provide information as well as practical experiences of those who live, work and interact with those who have autism.

Joyriding in Autismland: Autism Podcast with Kid Gigawatt

“Launched by parents of an infectiously funny and mostly happy boy on the spectrum, the Joyriding in Autismland podcast chats with ASD parents, kiddos, therapists, writers, and artists about the unexpected, charming, and funny moments with Autism. Because laughing is the best vacation.”

Listen here: https://player.fm/series/joyriding-in-autismland-autism-podcast-with-kid-gigawatt

All Autism Talk

“Connecting the Autism Community One Podcast at a Time — Our podcast offers a friendly conversation with inspiring individuals in the autism community. Our aim is to provide valuable insights and information as well as access to support in communities throughout the United States. Join us!”

Listen here: https://player.fm/series/all-autism-talk

Autism Spectrum Radio

“Our show offers a great weekly conversation to inspire, inform and support families and individuals living with autism. We offer practical information for parents of children of all ages. The show explores treatment topics and recent research. We have a variety of guests to share their expertise, experience and resources.”

Listen here: https://player.fm/series/autism-spectrum-radio-1243634

To learn more about available autism resources, contact LAC today!