NHS to Open Autism Center in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, LA - Baton Rouge's newest school has plans to help the Autistic community.

"We are really excited. I think having a service center that has customized programs for ages 3 to 21 is something that isn't widespread and we're really excited to support a continuum of individuals and their needs," said Karen Markle, NHS' Executive Vice President for Education and Autism Services.
 
The center will be located at the former Brighton Elementary School, near I-12 and Jefferson. It will be operated by NHS, one of the nation's largest providers of education and human services.
 
"We have spent the last two years doing a look and listen tour and finding out where the strengths are of the autism community here in Baton Rouge. And really finding out where the needs are and we felt that the services we offer, in our ability to customize our services. It was a good opportunity to fill the need here for the autism community and all of the stake holders," said Markle.
 
Experts said one of those needs, is a shelter for autistic and special needs families for future natural disasters. Something that was missing during the historic August flood.
 
"Our families are superheroes, they need to fight to find access to services, they need to support the individual they love through the entire life span. So whether it's school or peer interactions, whether it's finding a job, and really helping to build natural support around their love one. It's a difficult journey," said Markle. 

On Thursday, officials held a community meeting to provide an overview of NHS’ education and autism services, and the addition of their newest facility in Baton Rouge, the NHS Autism Center. The Center is scheduled to open in March, and will offer a special education school for students ages 5-21, ABA (applied behavioral analysis) and specialized therapy services, and a kindergarten readiness program for children ages 3-5 called “Bee Me.”

A open house will be held on March 7th. You can find more information here http://www.nhsonline.org/


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