LifeScape to Open New Autism & Child Development Center
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- As Sioux Falls grows so does the need for more autism services. Now, LifeScape is making resources more accessible with a new location.
Five-year-old Owen Styles was diagnosed with autism at two years old. He’s non verbal and has a hard time coping with his emotions. The autism services offered through LifeScape have made a big impact on Owen and his family.
“We’ve gone in a very short period of time from spending most of our days worrying about him running away, hitting himself, screaming and being unhappy to really meeting him for the first time,” said Brittnee Martinez, Owen’s mom.
LifeScape offers free autism screenings to get families like the Martinezes help, but right now there is about a three month wait. To meet demand, LifeScape announced they are opening a second Autism And Child Development Center in Sioux Falls. Staff says the earlier kids with autism receive treatment, the better. They don’t want kids to have to wait.
“Any opportunity we can do prevention early and give this child a life that’s integrated with society, that’s a big opportunity,” said LifeScape CEO Steve Watkins.
The center will offer the same resources as the other location such as Applied Behavioral Analysis and full autism evaluations.
Owen was suspended from Kindergarten on the third day. Martinez realized public school may not be the best route for him. Now, he attends school at LifeScape. She is happy to see another space available where parents and children can feel comfortable in a non-judgement zone.
“It’s so welcoming. I feel like prior to this it was always negative. ‘Owen is doing this and this’ and was rarely positive,” said Martinez.
Once the center opens, staff looks forward to giving more kids the tools they need to have a successful future. The new center is off West 41st Street down the road from Roosevelt High School. Staff hopes to have it open in the next couple weeks.
With questions about services offered email info@LifeScapeSD.org