NE Ind. hospital to open autism center in 2013

Associated Press Modified: November 3, 2012 at 10:01 am •  Published: November 3, 2012

Therapies can help children improve their social and communication skills and better function.

Dr. Duane Hougendobler, a Parkview pediatrician, said each child at the center child will have a program tailored to his or her individual needs.

Hougendobler said the Parkview program will fill a need for autistic patients. He told The News Sentinel that the nearest large facility that offers this type of program two hours away at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

Michael GeRue, senior vice president of neuroscience for Parkview Health, said the center hopes to reach children before they enter kindergarten. Being able to provide several years of treatment can help them succeed in a regular kindergarten setting, he said.

The center will use Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA. Each child will work one on one with a therapist, which is why the clinic is limiting the number of children it can serve.

"Every child responds differently to ABA, but if you read all the literature right now, it really is the best treatment option for autism," GeRue said.