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Category Archives: Shining Examples

Shining Examples – Avery

Avery enrolled at Lighthouse Autism Center nearly two years ago. When Avery first came to Lighthouse, he was a very different boy than he is today. “Avery was a very shy and quiet boy. He did not want anyone to look at him or interact with him in any way,” said his Program Manager. With consistent ABA therapy, supportive therapists and a highly qualified BCBA designing unique programs just for Avery, he has made huge strides in school readiness skills, social behavior, and daily living skills.

When asked about Avery’s progress, Program Manager and BCBA, Krissi Borkholder said, “Avery has made incredible progress. He can work independently, read at a third-grade reading level, has full conversations and even requests to play with his peers!” Avery continues to work on other school readiness skills such as writing short stories, typing, learning math concepts and working appropriately on group activities.

Avery’s parents could not be more happy with his progress. “We have had the opportunity to see him grow and blossom in virtually every aspect. Being able to see him come into his own and be able to express himself, articulate his feelings, and express his emotions has almost been like we’ve really gotten to know Avery for the first time. Words are not enough to express our appreciation to the incredible staff at Lighthouse for all of their had work and support along the way.

Shining Examples

Cloe Herr has grown tremendously in her time at Lighthouse Autism Center.

When Cloe started at Lighthouse, she spend more than half of her day engaging in self-injurious behaviors. She ha no skills to communicate in any form and could not respond to any directions.

Sine then, Cloe has learned to use communication software to ask for more than 50 preferred items and can vocally ask for more than twenty items with full words.

Cloe can also follow more than 20 different, vocal, multi-step directions. Furthermore, she can sit in a group setting independently with her peers and answer simple questions from the group leader during these group sessions.

It’s truly inspiring to see the improvements that Cloe is making her at Lighthouse Autism Center.

“Words cannot express how thankful we are for every single person at Lighthouse Autism Center,” said Cloe’s parents. “They’ve become a second family to us and it’s such a blessing to havve them right by our side for every milestone Cloe reaches- no matter how big or small. Cloe’s progress has amazed everyone, and we cant wait to see what she does next! There’s no doubt in our minds we have Cloe right where she’s supposed to be.”

Shining Examples Spring 2018

Hunter has grown exponentially through the time he’s spent at Lighthouse Autism Center. When he first started attending Lighthouse, he preferred playing with smaller toys at his desk or while sitting. His ability to communicate was minimal, unable to use one to two-word sentences and gaining attention in inappropriate ways. But with help from our therapists, we’re starting to see changes in Hunter’s behavior. Now, he likes playing on the trampoline or playing chase. In fact, he often asks his teachers or
other adults in the building to chase him around or just to give him a few tickles.

He’s mastered the PECS program and has started to use one to two-word sentences to ask for what he wants. He’s increased his ability to communicate and has learned appropriate ways to gain attention like tapping someone’s shoulder or saying their name. His behaviors are decreasing, especially flopping and head banging. We love seeing Hunter’s progress and are delighted to know his parents are seeing it too. “We’re truly blessed that we got Hunter into Lighthouse. We have seen so many changes and didn’t think it was possible for him to change in any way,” said Hunter’s mom. “He is finally using words and becoming a social butterfly! His behaviors are awesome compared to where they were. He’s opened up so much and we are
so thankful.”

Shining Examples, June 2017

In his two years at Lighthouse Autism Center, Joey has made incredible progress.

When he first came to Lighthouse, Joey rarely spoke and had difficulty vocalizing his wants and needs. He did not make eye contact, didn’t follow direction, and was not able to sit down without engaging in negative behaviors. His father, Dwight, said, “Before our son started attending Lighthouse, he was nonverbal. His vocabulary had only  a few words. He was not potty trained. He would not eat anything except dry cereal. When Christmas came each year, he would not open his presents. Joey was mostly locked in his own world.” His time spent with Lighthouse soon turned things around.

Now, Joey can speak in compete sentences, maintain eye contact, and answer 200 WH (ie. who, what, when, where, why) questions. He’s also able to read and spell over 100 kindergarten-level spelling words! Even more impressive, Joey has made great strides in his ability to follow 2-3 step instructions and can now sit up to 5 minutes without engaging in negative behaviors.

His parents are thrilled with his progress – and Lighthouse therapists are too! “Since attending Lighthouse, he is growing more and more every day! He doesn’t hold entire conversations, but he can say about anything he wants. He even sings!” said Melissa, Joey’s mother. “He has been at Lighthouse for only 2 years and has done so much more than we ever thought. We are looking forward to seeing how much he grows in the next years before transitioning him to public school.”

Shining Examples, Nina November 2016



Nina has attended Lighthouse Autism Center since 2014 and has made incredible progress in her time here. So much so, that the Lighthouse clinical team has recommended she transition back to school full-time in January.

When Nina first began at Lighthouse Autism Center, she would ask for preferred items with only one-word sentences, making it very difficult for unfamiliar people to decipher what she was saying. Now, Nina uses five to seven word sentences and has drastically improved her articulation, resulting in overall better communication and understanding by others.

Nina’s mother expressed great appreciation for what LAC has done for Nina, saying “She looks at me, she holds me, she communicates with me and tells me what she is need of. She’s playful and she’s so funny. She has the personality, and this from my heart – I’m so happy for Nina. She deserves to have a bright future. She deserves to be happy and I have you to thank for that. You have given her guidance to find her voice, to share her thoughts, to be her true self.”

Furthermore, we continue to see Nina’s problem behaviors consistently decrease, specifically, with adapting to change. Prior to Lighthouse, Nina would have huge meltdowns, sometime lasting upwards of two hours, when dealing with change or work she did not want to do. Now, Nina will try new things including wearing different types or clothing, new foods, hairstyles and shoes. She no longer feels the need to bring all of her toys to school each day, and will consistently try new thing in her daily life!

Finally, Nina’s academic skills have also improved greatly. Nina can work independently for up to twenty-five minutes without a therapist’s assistance. We are so proud of her and excited for her to transition back to school!