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St. Albans, VT: Autism center opens; "there aren't enough resources available"

Oct 5, 2022, NBC5, Burlington, VT: New Autism Care Center in St. Albans hopes to help fill gap in services

The center provides one-on-one applied behavioral analysis services, which are usually recommended after an autism diagnosis.

The center has immediate openings, with a capacity of 30 children between the ages of 2 to 7.

Dr. Kaitlyn Ahlers, a child psychologist at Dartmouth Health Children's hospital, and Dr. Judy, Orton of Green Mountain Pediatrics in Bennington, said there aren’t enough resources available for parents to utilize after a child receives an autism diagnosis in the state. “Even down here in Bennington, it’s harder to get those services,” Orton said.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates more children are being diagnosed with autism.

In 2008, every one in 88 children would be diagnosed with autism.

In 2018, those numbers jumped to one child in every 44 people….

According to Karen King, who has worked with students in St. Albans area schools for the past 16 years, those resources are few and far between.

“There’s two-year waiting lists to get services for certain skills that kids need,” she said…..

They had their grand opening last week and have immediate openings to provide one-on-one care to enhance development in kids with autism from 2 to 7 years old….

The only other Autism Care Partners branch in the area is in Burlington.

The new Franklin County center was opened based on the expressed need from parents in the community.

The center is meant to provide services for kids with autism they wouldn’t receive otherwise. “They don’t always get the (occupational therapy) they need, the speech that they need.

Sometimes they do, but sometimes it’s not enough," she said. "And with low staffing at schools, kids getting all that they need is not always happening.”

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