New North Side educational facility helps kids with autism

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Learning is not a one size fits all endeavor. That's the philosophy behind a new educational facility on the city's North Side.

The Place for Children with Autism has only been open seven months and parents say they are already seeing improvement in their kids.

For parents like Maria Rodriguez, The Place for Children with Autism is exactly what her daughter needed.

"It's just an incredible feeling because she's stressed out as she was, she's not as upset as she used to be, her tantrums are a lot less so it's amazing, it's amazing," she said.

CEO and founder Daniel Blank says one-on-one ABA Therapy is the key component to their model to help kids with autism succeed.

"ABA therapy it stands for applied behavioral analysis. It's the most effective means of working with kids with autism. We have a full day program and the purpose of our program is mainstream these kids when they age out," he said.

Blank says in addition to the therapy, there are board certified behavioral analysts on staff to build personalized programs for each child.

"Everything is data driven so we're constantly updating the data, looking at how the child is progressing. We're not waiting at all because time is very precious when we work with these children. We have the ability to make a huge impact on these children. My mission was let's cut through all the red tape, let's make sure that we get kids help... so we came up with a model where essentially this program is free," Blank said.

Syed Ubaid says this program has helped his son reach a major milestone.

"For starters, he said dad for the first time and that was the happiest day of my life. That day I actually felt like I became a father. I had a son but he couldn't communicate with me and I felt proud," Ubaid said.

The Place for Children with Autism partners with the Autism Hero Project to raise money to purchase insurance so families can get coverage and the program can remain free.

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