News Article Details

Autism center coming to Hospital Lane

Tribune-Star - 2/19/2020

Feb. 19--In need of expansion, Hopebridge Autism Therapy Center will soon construct a new 10,000-square-foot building near Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

Construction at 399 Hospital Lane is slated to start by the end of this month or early March with completion by mid fall. Opening is slated for Nov. 1, said Chris Sutton, vice president of business development.

The facility will have 55 employees.

"We are expanding in Terre Haute and will be exiting the current facility, so we are not going to add another location. The location we are in is just too small. The demand for autism services in Terre Haute has outpaced the size of our center," Sutton said.

Hopebridge opened in Terre Haute in 2016 at 4126 S. 7th St. That center can provide services to 20 children, but Hopebridge will be able to serve 50 to 60 children in its new facility, Sutton said.

"So we will be able to triple the number of children that we are able to help in Terre Haute," Sutton said, adding the center serves children age 15 months to 9 years old.

"We focus on early identification and early intervention. We really focus on preparing them and transitioning over to a school system. That is our whole goal," Sutton said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the nation's autism prevalence at 1 in 59 children.

Hopebridge provides outpatient autism therapy and training, usually 20 to 40 hours of therapy per week, Sutton said. Additionally, families receive applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. The center will be hiring additional occupational and speech therapists, Sutton said.

"Today what happens is a lot of families try to get help with occupational therapy or speech and have to bounce around to different locations and is inconvenient for the families, as sessions are 30 minutes within a week," Sutton said. "So by providing all those under one roof and our ABA therapy sessions all under one roof, families can drop their child off and we are able to work on occupational and speech therapy," Sutton said, adding children receive one-on-one therapy.

The center, when serving 50 to 60 children, will have five board certified behavioral analysts -- one per 10 to 12 children) with 50 to 60 registered behavioral therapists implementing day to day care, Sutton said.

"We will also have a center manager, so we are bringing new jobs to Terre Haute," Sutton said.

Hopebridge, based in Indianapolis, is one of the largest autism therapy providers in the United States, with centers in five states and will soon expand into two additional states, Sutton said.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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