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Media Release

Tedra White
Office: 419-291-2330
Cell: 419-262-0371
Tedra White

ProMedica Toledo Children's Hospital Introduces Autism Early Learning Program

posted on: 04/06/2012


Staff at Autism Early Learning Program

A new study shows more children being diagnosed by age 3

TOLEDO, OHIO, April 4, 2012 – Today, ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital (TCH) announced a new early learning treatment program that offers state-of-the-art, evidence-based intervention services for children with autism from earliest diagnosis to 6-years-old. The Autism Early Learning Program offers a clinical team with intensive training in applied behavior analysis (ABA), a science that uses behavioral techniques to teach children basic and complex skills. The program is currently located at 7140 Port Sylvania Dr., suite 420.

According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 88 children in the United States have been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder. A growing number are being diagnosed with autism by age 3. TCH’s new program provides specially-designed services and support for this age group.

“As the parent of a child with autism, I understand firsthand the importance and benefits of early diagnosis and treatment,” says Kim Renner, program manager, Autism Early Learning Program. “We have a dynamic team of specialists and educators who are highly-trained and extremely passionate about the work they do.”

The early learning program operates full-day and year-round with strong parent involvement and a low student-to-staff ratio. Initially, each child will receive one-to-one intervention and transition to small group settings as he progresses. The treatment process focuses on communication, behavior, play and socialization, and school readiness.

TCH’s program was developed in consultation with Cleveland Clinic Autism Development Solutions (CCADS), a full-service, consulting division of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism. Cleveland’s program specializes in helping other health and education organizations develop comprehensive, ABA-based services and/or comprehensive treatment center for children diagnosed with autism.

Travis Haycook is a senior behavioral consultant with CCADS. He has assisted several organizations, including TCH, in launching their own programs and utilizing the principles of ABA.

“As children are being diagnosed at much younger ages, there is an ever-increasing demand for intensive early intervention programs that enhance learning and development, such as the ProMedica Toledo Children's Hospital program,” says Haycook. “A child's true progress lies not only within the programs offering these intensive services; it is also strongly supported by the participation of the parents and caregivers in the process. Their involvement can exponentially help further improve the child’s opportunities for success.”

More about ABA
The ABA learning technique reinforces appropriate behavior while decreasing or eliminating interfering behavior. Adjustments are made as children progress, helping them to function better in the world. Several research studies have found that specific ABA techniques can help children with autism learn specific skills, such as how to communicate and socialize with others, care for themselves and learn in school.

The Autism Early Learning Program is an integral part of the Great Lakes Collaborative for Autism formed to improve access to services and provide care for individuals and families affected by autism. The initiative includes several Toledo-area healthcare organizations, universities, community groups and caregivers.
For more information about the autism collaborative, visit www.promedica.org. To reach a specialist at the Autism Early Learning Program, call 419-291-7080.


ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital is a member of Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedica, a mission-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization formed in 1986. ProMedica has more than 14,300 employees and nearly 1,700 physicians – with more than 400 healthcare providers employed by ProMedica Physicians. Its 11 hospitals and more than 306 facilities offer comprehensive diagnostic, medical and surgical specialties in heart and vascular, oncology, orthopaedics, neurology, and women and pediatric services. ProMedica’s mission is to improve health and well-being, with a strong focus on wellness and clinical excellence, as well as innovative, community advocacy programs that address health-related issues such as hunger and obesity