The Place for Children with Autism opens enrollment

For kids 2-6 years old to help them regulate their emotions and prepare for Kindergarten
"Just kind of think about any young child they are rapidly gaining language skills, communication skills, social skills."
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 7:36 AM CDT
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - Young Children with Autism now have a new school-like to explore and learn with other kids just like them.

The ‘Place For Children With Autism’ just held its grand opening for the newest in Bloomington.

It’s the 15th location in Illinois and a first for this area.

Morning Reporter Brett Brooks takes on an inside look at the new facility.

“The Place for Children with Autism is for kids 2-6 years old and you can see that in the decorations including the Lorax and Dr. Seuess,” begins Brett Brooks.

Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA Therapy is a scientific-based technique for children with Autism to achieve positive behavior changes and reduce symptoms of Autism which may interfere with daily living

Mackenzie Laesch, the Lead Board Certified Behavior Analyst for The Place says, “anytime a child is diagnosed with Autism. ABA is the gold standard. It’s the only practice that’s recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General. We focus on teaching skills in three main areas: communication, social skills, and daily living skills.”

At The Place for Children with Autism, each kid works in a group setting with therapists.

It’s the colorful classroom setting that set this place apart from the rest as explained by Megan Hartman, the Office Manager, “it starts at 8 in the morning, and it ends at 4:30 in the evening. With that, we have snacks, lunchtime, arts and crafts, circle time, music, gym time, all that good stuff so it’s really structured close to a school day.”

“Just kind of think about any young child they are rapidly gaining language skills, communication skills, social skills. We want to provide those skills during those very early ages to help them be ready for school and be more independent.” Explains CEO Allison O’Neill.

“The center also works with the Bloomington Public Library to bring books like these here including ‘Grumpy Monkey’ to help kids regulate their emotions,” says Brett Brooks.

“It helps kids with their kindergarten readiness. We work a lot with local schools to help kids transition into kindergarten after they leave our program. They have that experience being in a classroom. They have those skills to sit in a group lesson, to participate in group time,” says Laesch.

“Unfortunately, it can take up to a year to be diagnosed with Autism. The good part is here they can help with the diagnosis. Once again it’s for children two to six years old and enrollment is open year round.”

Enrollment is open year-round, they can teach up to 21 kids at a time.

To learn how you can begin the enrollment process click here The Place for Children with Autism.