Cicero welcomed a new health center on Feb. 11 when they helped open The Place for Children with Autism Center. The offices focus on one of the most misunderstood medical diagnoses among children by providing applied behavioral analysis therapy for children ages 2-6. This location is the third one The Place has opened in the Chicagoland area since January and is the ninth center in the state.
Joining Town President Larry Dominick in welcoming the center was Clerk Maria Punzo-Arias, Supervisor Joe Virruso, Assessor Emilio “Emo” Cundari, Collector Fran Reitz, trustees Victor Garcia, Larry Banks, Bob Porod and John Cava, as well as state Rep. Lisa Hernandez.
Carly Lapin, the director of outreach for The Place, said that what separates their work from others is the unique approach in providing a school-like environment to help autistic children. This approach not only teaches children communication, social and independent living skills but also prepares kids for school so they can succeed in the halls with peers who may not have autism.
In addition to having a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) on sight at all times, The Place’s staff must obtain a registered behavior technician (RBT) license, adding an extra level of rigor to their clinical quality. These requirements have led to a meager staff turnover rate and healthy child success outcomes.
“We cannot leave any child behind as we grow, and The Place ensures that we can help many kids who may be struggling in the world because they see things from a different angle,” Dominick said.
More than 24 million people are diagnosed with autism, though it has been hard to pinpoint the cause of the condition, which can appear as early as 14 months for infants.