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Agnesian HealthCare Foundation Love Light project to benefit area families
October 24, 2013

Do you know someone with an autism-spectrum disorder? One in 68 children has an autism-spectrum disorder (ASD), or disorder that interferes with a child’s social, behavioral and language development. This means that there are as many as 6,062 children under the age of five living in Fond du Lac County diagnosed with autism.

This year’s 2013 Love Light fund drive, presented by the Agnesian HealthCare Foundation, will help uninsured or underinsured families that could benefit from the evaluations, therapy or assessment tools offered at the Agnesian Autism, Behavior & Communication Center (AABCC).

The AABCC, located at Doll & Associates, is the first center in the area to provide comprehensive, coordinated help to individuals and families. Families that call the center can expect to receive help and guidance.

Sarah Arnold, PsyD, and Teresa Davenport, PhD, NSCP, both with Agnesian HealthCare’s Doll & Associates, are serving as this year’s Love Light co-chairpersons.

“We are honored to be the recipients for this year’s Love Light project,” according to Arnold. “Love Light is a perfect metaphor for what we are aiming to do with AABCC since we are working to light the way for families when they are faced with challenges surrounding autism and other communication and behavior disorders.

“Families often face hurdles of long wait periods for assessment and diagnosis of autism, long waits for treatment and difficulties with insurance coverage,” Arnold explains. “We are aiming to help families access services in a timely fashion by obtaining a comprehensive assessment with specific recommendations for their child.  We know that early intervention is vital to helping children with autism and want to provide more opportunities for families to be able to access services as early as possible.”

AABCC provides developmentally-appropriate assessments using state-of-the-art tools for all of ages and abilities, according to Davenport. “Through the Love Light campaign, we will be able to continue to stay at the forefront of diagnostic procedures. Our evaluation team truly represents a pooling of resources, and includes a psychologist, speech and language pathologist, and occupational therapist. The use of a multidisciplinary team aids in accurate diagnoses and allows for the evaluation of a child’s strengths and weaknesses in a variety of contexts.”

Individuals can support Love Lights by purchasing a light in honor of someone they wish to remember or celebrate during the holiday season. This light will shine on the beautifully lit evergreen in front of Agnesian HealthCare. The cost is $10 per person.

The names of those honored and remembered will be displayed through the holiday season in the St. Agnes Hospital and Fond du Lac Regional Clinic lobby areas. Love Lights can be purchased at both the hospital and clinic information desks, 430 E. Division Street.

The 2013 Love Light Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11 at the St. Agnes Hospital lobby.

For more information on this year’s Love Light project, call the Agnesian HealthCare Foundation at (920) 926-4959.

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