News Article Details

Autism support center opens in city

Standard-Speaker - 7/19/2019

Jul. 19--HAZLETON -- Representatives of the Children's Service Center and AllOne Foundation opened an Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence hub Thursday.

Located at 20 N. Laurel St., it's a place where children and adults who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder can find assistance.

"For 20 plus years, CSC has been treating children with an ASD diagnosis. When asked to become one of the five family-friendly hubs in the ACCE network, the answer was evident," Mike Hopkins, chief executive officer and president of CSC, said during an open house. "The opportunity to assist not just children, but also adults and their families who live each day with an ASD diagnosis fits perfectly with the Children Service Center's mission of providing and promoting quality services with care and compassion."

People of any age and at any stage of the diagnostic and treatment continuum can find assistance at the hub. Because it is funded by grants, there is no charge to work with the hub's service navigators.

Service navigators can help with intake and referral for diagnostic evaluation, and recommend resources for treatment, including behavioral, occupational or speech therapies. They can also help families and individuals find resources for daily living, including skilled home care, sensory-friendly salon services and vocational training. In addition, they can find recreational and community events such as Challenger sports leagues and sensory friendly movies, theme parks and music.

Service navigators, many of whom have family members on the autism spectrum, are also available for supportive telephone or in-person conversations.

The opening follows a major initiative launched last year. It was then that the AllOne Foundation, along with representatives from numerous health care, education and philanthropic organizations, agreed to focus on enhancing the service delivery system and minimizing the service gaps for individuals with autism and their families.

"The leaders and partners of the AllOne Foundation had a vision to develop a sustainable framework to measurably improve the delivery of care for those with ASD and their families," said John Cosgrove, executive director of the AllOne Foundation. "Through the execution of this initiative and the research data we will be collecting, we are seeking to create a national model for scientifically sound innovation for providing ASD care."

John Moses, chairman of the AllOne Foundation, said the organization was "proud" to be in Hazleton.

"If people continue to think together, and plan together, and work together, and dream together, and pray together, then anything can be accomplished," Moses said.

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