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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!

 

Interested in enrolling you child at Lighthouse Autism Center? Contact us today to get started!

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.

 

Interested in enrolling you child at Lighthouse Autism Center? Contact us today to get started!

 

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!

 

Interested in enrolling you child at Lighthouse Autism Center? Contact us today to get started!

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.

 

Interested in enrolling you child at Lighthouse Autism Center? Contact us today to get started!

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.

 

Interested in enrolling you child at Lighthouse Autism Center? Contact us today to get started!