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New Center For Children with Autism Opens in Springfield

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Chamber of Commerce for Greater Springfield

Oesterlen Services for Youth in Springfield provides emotional and behavioral support for young people.  This week they celebrated the grand opening of the state’s first program designed specifically for children on the autism spectrum.

More than $1 million in funding from Medicaid and Department of Developmental Disabilities will create 15 new jobs at the center and provide a private environment for the treatment of up to 6 children at a time.

Oesterlen Development Director Bonnie Kinnunen says the new program will address a gap in services for Ohio families who were previously forced to go out of state for treatment.   

“Families actually came to their representatives and brought, what I heard yesterday from representative Koehler, very sad stories about how their children’s needs were not being met in the state of Ohio.”  

The new program at Oesterlen is part of a pilot initiative from Ohio Governor John Kasich’s office and Kinnunen says if it is successful, similar centers will open up around the state.