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Sioux City, IA: Autism center moves to $1.5M "larger space"

The Pier Center for Autism moved into its new, larger space last fall, a little behind schedule after some construction delays. Officials with the Pier Center had initially hoped to have the new, 11,600-square-foot building opened by the end of 2020, and although the exterior was finished in the fall of that year, the pandemic delayed the project's finish. They then hoped to have it ready by the early summer of last year. Delays set in again. The $1.5 million project was first announced in the fall of 2019. ...

The Pier Center was founded in 2012, and remains the only provider in Sioux City to offer services tailored to the needs of kids with autism whose behaviors are seriously challenging. Staff at the Pier Center work on skills like communication and the aforementioned life skills, and on managing and minimizing challenging behavior.

"This is really the only place from Sioux Falls to Omaha," Smalley said.

Studies show 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). For boys, the ratio is 1 in 37, and for girls, 1 in 151.

Most Pier Center kids are between the ages of 4 and 16, though some have been as young as 2 and others as old as 22. ...


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