Hope for every child, every family.™

LAC Blog

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fall Activities in Michiana

It is finally starting to feel like fall and we couldn’t be more excited. We love the colors of the changing leaves, the crisp air, ciders and donuts and of course the pumpkin patches and apple orchards. From u-pick pumpkin patches, to hay rides, corn mazes, and the best apple cider, we have compiled a list of the best fall activities in Michiana.

1.) Thistleberry Farm – this fall activity in South Bend, IN offers a pumpkin patch, bounce houses, a corn mazes and a petting zoo. Children of all ages can find something fun to do at Thistleberry Farms!

2.) Knollbrook Farms – located in Goshen, IN, Knollbrook Farms has a corn maze, giant slide, petting zoo, train rides, pumpkin slingshot and more! This is a real working Dairy Farm that you can tour as well.

3.) Kercher’s Sunrise Orchard – also located in Goshen, Kercher’s offers activities for the apple pickers and pumpkin pickers! Visit the farm for apple picking, pumpkin picking, hay rides, a corn maze and more. The farm is open for various u-picks all year round!

4.) Ashley’s Pumpkin Farm – located on the North side of South Bend near the Michigan line, this small pumpkin patch offers affordable pumpkins, a corn maze and a petting zoo.

5.) Hesston Steam Museum’s Ghost Train – operating the last 3 weekends in October, take a spook-tastic ride aboard the Hesston Ghost Train. Appropriate for children of all ages.

6.) Lehman’s Apple Orchard – located in Niles, Michigan this u-pick orchard has offered apple picking for nearly a hundred years! In the Fall they offer apple picking, pear picking and blackberries!

7.) Potawatomi Zoo – Zoo Boo – each year the Potawatomi Zoo hosts Zoo Boo, a three day event where children can see their favorite animals and trick or treat around the zoo. For this years dates visit their website.

 

 

Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese Visits Lighthouse Autism Center’s Newest ABA Center

On Wednesday, September 25th, Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese visited Lighthouse Autism Center’s newest ABA therapy center in Elkhart, Indiana. The newest center opened in August and is the seventh center opened by Lighthouse Autism Center, which provides ABA therapy services in Mishawaka, Granger, Plymouth, Warsaw and Portage, MI.

Mayor Visits Elkhart ABA Center
Elkhart Mayor meets student at Elkhart’s newest ABA center.

The new center will provide intensive, center-based therapy utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to nearly twenty-five families in the Elkhart area. The therapy programs are custom made for each child and work on things like social skills, communication skills, living skills and school readiness skills.

During his visit, Mayor Neese had the opportunity to meet with Founder and Executive Director, Gregg Maggioli, who has a son with autism. “My son attended one of the first ABA centers in the state of Indiana. When I saw the impact it had on his life, and the life of my family, I knew I had to find a way to bring this service to other families with autism.”

While touring the facility, Mayor Neese was able to observe children working, playing, participating in a simulated classroom setting, and even spoke with one child as she practiced asking and answering questions. When asked about his time at the center, Mayor Neese said, “I’ve only been at the center a short time, but I can see that the staff at Lighthouse are second to none, genuinely care about the kids and are truly making an impact on the lives of children with autism.”

Lighthouse Autism Center is now enrolling children at their newest center in Elkhart, Indiana. To schedule a tour, call 574-387-4313 or visit www.lighthouseautismcenter.com/autism-treatment-center-elkhart.

 

2019 Lighthouse Values Award Winners!

Each of Lighthouse Autism Centers seven centers are guided and operate based on seven core values. These include:

1. Care about people more than anything.
2. Judge people by more than their metrics.
3. Don’t separate the vision from the operations.
4. Put a premium on innovation & creativity.
5. Be completely trustworthy.
6. Give away credit.
7. Be yourself.

 

Every year, each of our centers holds an award ceremony to honor employees who embody the Lighthouse values. These employees have been nominated and recognized by fellow colleagues for excellence in one of the Lighthouse values. This years list of winners include:

Care about people more than anything.

Chelsea Gibson
Megan Losos
Kasandra Richardson
Olivia Ganser
Macie Wrightsman
Melissa Williams

Judge people by more than their metrics.

Clair Snodgrass
Hannah Woods
Emily Adams
Hannah Ruhe
Emily Matson
Jodie Carlson

Don’t separate the vision from the operations.

Allyson Furnas
Danielle Wilson
Ashley Maust
Chaeney Brown
Tiffany Taubert
Amanda Walorski

Put a premium on innovation & creativity.

Christina Fields
Hannah Cernak
Chris Adams
Kara Kulp
Shawna Rupert
Hailee Neverman

Be completely trustworthy.

Leah Puckett
Jordan Musial
Alex Martin
Sarah Hall
Kaylee Bursart
Autumn Dilts

Give away credit.

Tayler Mylin
Tosha Chatman
Arika Amsden
Cassie Gaines
Morgan Hoogland
Samantha Green

Be yourself.

Lanae Asher
Caroline Gardner
Lydia Parks
Ariel Schneider
Madelyn Horvath
Dreanna Dallich

Clinical Corner – Keep a Summer Routine

Summer vacation for many children means a break from school — and its strict schedules. But for children with autism, a change in daily routine can be a source of great stress.

Julie Mower, executive director at the Phoenix Center, a not-for-profit school in Nutley serving the educational, therapeutic and behavioral needs of students ages 5 to 21 with autism, said keeping some type of routine is important. Many children with autism crave a schedule that is the same every day.

She offered parents or caregivers some tips for a less stressful summer:

• Create an anticipatory schedule, basically a laundry list of events of a particular day.

• If a family is taking a trip or vacation, talk about that vacation with the child in advance. Look on the destination’s website with the child so he or she can see what the new environment is going to look like.

• Summer camps are a great way to engage an autistic child. Mower said it’s important to visit the camp and visit the counselors ahead of time so the child gets used to the new environment.

• A timer or an alarm is also crucial. Some children respond better to auditory cues than visual ones. So for example, Mower said if a family is getting to leave an event in 10 minutes, have the child set the alarm so he or she understands it’s time to go when the alarm goes off.

• Swimming can be a fantastic fun summer activity for a child with special needs. Mower said it’s important to pick a pool that can accommodate a child’s needs. She said an indoor pool can amplify sound and trigger auditory sensitivities that outdoor pools may not. An outdoor pool may not have the echo effect, but factors like temperature and chlorine may affect a child’s experience in other ways.

• Headed to the beach? Mower said sand can provide a totally different sensory experience for children who are not used to having bare feet. Have them use water shoes so their feet are not directly exposed to the sand. She suggested towels for them to sit on and for those with tactile defensiveness, bring digging tools for them.

Mower said the bottom line is not to get stuck in maintaining the same routine — but if a family is going on a trip, create a new routine. Embed some normal routines such as consistent dinners and bedtime. Have activities planned and take some breaks — with those tips, families with autistic children will be able to better enjoy the summer months together.

To read the full article, visit https://nj1015.com/children-with-autism-spectrum-should-keep-a-summer-routine/