NE Ind. hospital to open autism center in 2013

Associated Press Modified: November 3, 2012 at 10:01 am •  Published: November 3, 2012
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HUNTINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Northeastern Indiana patients with autism will have a new place to receive therapies and support starting next year.

Parkview Huntington Hospital plans to open an autism treatment center that will provide therapeutic and rehabilitation services for children ages 2 to 18, as well as support group meetings for their families.

The Journal Gazette and The News-Sentinel report the facility will open with a capacity of 10 patients and expand to serve up to 40. Parkview officials say the Parkview Huntington Foundation has pledged $45,000 of the money needed for the center's startup, and a fundraising campaign has been launched for the rest.

"This is a very exciting step in the treatment of autism in this area," Darlene Garrett, the hospital's chief operating officer, said in a statement. "There currently is no treatment center for autism north of Indianapolis. Our center will be of tremendous help to local families."

The center will be housed in two buildings, with physical and occupational rehabilitation taking place in the hospital and cognitive and behavioral therapies offered at another site.

About one in every 88 children is affected by autism, and the rate is higher among boys. Disorders on the autism spectrum can affect a child's ability to communicate and interact with others.