(DES MOINES, Iowa) — NEWS: As part of its Autism Acceptance Month efforts, WHO 13 News – Des Moines’s local NBC station – sat down with Brad Zelinger, Founder and CEO at Stride Autism Centers. Not only did they discuss the new Stride location opening up in Des Moines, but Zelinger and Anchor, Erin Kiernan, also explored effective treatment for kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
At the top of the interview, they discussed Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy, which Zelinger described as the “Gold Standard” in treatment for individuals with autism. He explained that at Stride, they use ABA to customize a treatment plan to help young children overcome their unique challenges.
Kiernan shared that her own son attends an ABA program. Her primary takeaway, she said, was that she often observes her son and other children playing as part of the program.
“The most effective therapy is when it’s fun,” Zelinger explained. He said that Stride Autism Centers specializes in supporting children ages 2-6. “They’re really young and they should be playing and having a good time, and there’s a lot of research supporting that. The more fun kids are having, the more engaged they are in those skill-building exercises,” he said.
Zelinger also shared how the founding of Stride was born of his experiences with his older sister, Marissa, who has Rett syndrome, a severe autism-related disorder. “Knowing that there was a type of therapy that could make a huge difference and change the arc of someone’s life, and not only for them but for their whole family, I decided to leave my old career in the business world to build something that would make an impact.”
The result is Stride Autism Centers, which currently operates sixteen centers throughout Iowa, Illinois, and Nebraska, with new locations in the works. One of them, in particular, will be opening right in the heart of Des Moines. This will be the fourth Stride location in the greater Des Moines area.
“I’m really motivated to bring this type of care to communities in need,” Zelinger said as the interview wrapped up.
To learn more about ABA therapy and Stride’s various centers, visit https://stridecenters.com/.
About Stride Autism Centers:
Stride Autism Centers is a mission-driven organization that provides evidence-based ABA therapy to children with autism ages 2 to 6. Stride has numerous locations throughout Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. Stride’s full-day program combines structured one-on-one therapy with naturalistic group activities. It is designed to assist with communication, emotional regulation, school readiness, social skills, self-care, play and leisure, and transitioning skills.
Families interested in learning more can contact Stride Autism Centers at 312-554-5578 (Illinois) or 515-207-5251 (Iowa and Nebraska), or visit the Stride website at https://stridecenters.com/.
Related link: https://stridecenters.com/
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