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The Waitlist Grows for Children with Autism Needing Services

February 12, 2018 07:23 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Dozens of local children with autism are waiting up to two years to receive much-needed services.

The Rochester Center for Autism said it has a waiting list of at least 75 kids needing one-on-one behavioral therapy.

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Molly Hill, the program manager, said the reason for this is more kids are being diagnosed with autism and fewer therapists are applying for open positions.

"Kinda what we've found in the last year, we've really had difficulties finding staff. Our waiting list uses to be about a year, six months to a year. And now it's approaching two years,” said Hill.

"Awareness has grown so much in the last several years that I think people are more willing to go and get seen when they start to see those early signals," said Kelli Branstad, the clinic director at the center.

Nick and Rachel Worden, the parents of Archie Worden said they noticed those signals when he was just 2 years old.

"I can't say enough, how much our life has changed since Archie started at RCA. The amount of hope that we have for his future is unbelievable,” said Rachel Worden.

Mike and Ann Woslager are the parents of Ella Woslager who also receives behavior therapy at the center.

Ann Woslager said no child should have to wait so long to get help, "That a child has to wait two years for their education is sad."

"Especially when they're little, they benefit so much,” added Ann Woslager.

"I think a lot of times the families may be in more of a crisis situation because they don't have the support necessary to know how to deal with some of these things,” said Branstad.

The center is meeting with the Department of Human Services on Friday to see how they can better meet the growing demand for care and cut down those waiting list times.


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Roxanne Elias

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