Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Program for Kids with Autism

Funding for a local program for kids with autism has been approved. Illinois State University's Sprouts program starts next week and parents are thrilled. Research has shown, getting kids with autism in therapy as young as possible is key to their future development.

Many believe there's a window of opportunity for kids with autism to gain the basic skills they will need throughout life. Waiting until the child is in grade school may be too late. ISU's Sprouts program is for kids 3 to 5-years-old. Most of the kids go to preschool for half the day and sprouts the other half.

Sprouts Parent Katie Kelley said, "They say the younger they start therapy, the better off they will be in the long run. Birth to 5 is a critical time for learning development. My kids started speech, occupational and physical therapy at 18 months. Through early intervention, Connor is saying words, he has started talking."

Sprouts teacher Suzanne Engel said, “ We work on expressive language and social interaction, go through typical situations and teach the kids how to respond, there is individual time and group time– those functional routines."

If you would like more information on the sprouts program at ISU, call the Autism Place at (309) 846–2799.

There is still time to sign up for the Mclean County Autism Run–Walk on September 19th. Just head to

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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