ORC has purchased 12 acres of land adjacent to its current location at 7030 Whitmore Lake Road in Brighton for an expansion.
“More and more children are being diagnosed with autism,” said Peterson, founder and CEO of ORC.“We feel the needs of children with autism in our community are great and this expansion is designed to fulfill that need beyond any parent’s expectation.”
The uncertainty surrounding school in the fall has also increased demand for autism services. Many parents of children with autism are looking for an alternative to homeschooling. Oxford Recovery Center recently started a program called Camp ABA. The program currently offers traditional Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy and services in a fun, camp-like setting. As the school year approaches, a special education teacher will be conducting classes. This experience will differ from traditional school settings in that the behavioral technicians for each child will be close by to intervene if their child needs attention.
“Many parents of children with autism don’t realize they have a choice when it comes to their child’s education,” said Casey Diskin, director of the ARTS (Autism Recovery Through Synergy) program, which combines traditional ABA with other therapies the center is known for, like hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.
“By combining therapies and delivering a synergistic treatment plan, we are able to deliver outstanding results which improve the quality of life of our kiddos and their families,” Diskin said. “Camp ABA fits our synergistic approach to helping children with autism. It provides classroom learning to meet educational needs and combines it with ABA to provide behavioral learning.”
ORC was founded by Peterson after discovering the healing effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for her daughter, who was stricken with viral encephalitis. Within 48 hours, her daughter, a happy, functioning 9-year-old girl, declined to the functioning level of an 11-month-old. After a great deal of research and a lot of convincing doctors to provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Peterson secured treatment for her daughter.
“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy gave me my daughter back,” Peterson said.
“She started treatment unable to walk or talk, but after several months of treatment, she danced the ‘Nutcracker’ as if nothing had happened to her. It became my mission to make sure no other mother went through the same ordeal or felt the same hopelessness of not being able to take care of their child,” Peterson said.
HBOT has always been the primary focus of ORC but Peterson, a former special education teacher and administrator, noticed the results the therapy provided for children with autism.
“It was a dream come true,” Peterson said. “I have always had a special place in my heart for children with autism and we finally had a program to truly help them.”
The success of the ARTS program created the need for expansion.
“Our vision is to expand our facility to not only be able to serve more children, but to also create a community where they can learn how to function successfully in different environments throughout our community,” Peterson said.