ROCKFORD, Ill., July 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Caravel Autism Health has opened the doors to a new 6,000-square-foot center in Rockford that is designed for children with autism and their families. Located at 6565 E. State Street, the center is staffed by autism health specialists who provide diagnostic evaluations, evidence- based treatment, and family guidance and counseling.
Caravel Autism Health's team is specially trained in evaluating children who may be on the autism spectrum. The team also has clinical expertise in creating and leading individualized Applied Behavior Analysis ("ABA") treatment plans that help children with autism develop skills, create connections, and gain confidence.
One in 54 children in the U.S. has autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite the prevalence of autism, there are significant provider shortages in many communities. Caravel Autism Health CEO Mike Miller says his team wants to help close that gap: "We are extending our reach by opening new centers so that our specialists can change children's lives in more communities."
"Until now, families in the Rockford area had been encountering significant wait times for both diagnosis and treatment," explained Jessica Popilek-Ayling, Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) and Clinic Director for Caravel Autism Health in Rockford. "This new center is a game changer for kids with autism," said Popilek-Ayling. The center includes five colorful spaces that will be filled with special equipment including sensory swings and climbing structures. An enclosed playground offers a private outdoor environment for therapy and play.
"Our goal is to make sure that families have access to autism specialists," explained Andrea Whalen, BCBA and Regional Director serving Caravel's six Illinois locations. "We know that autism can be reliably diagnosed by two years of age," said Whalen. "Providing early access to evidence-based treatment is critical because we can help children dramatically improve learning, communication, and social skills."
Founded in 2009, Caravel Autism Health is devoted to helping families navigate the challenges of childhood autism. Caravel's team of autism health experts specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of children on the autism spectrum. Caravel's research-based programs help children with autism reshape their development and embrace new ways of interacting with the world.