NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — A local non-profit, providing therapy services to children with autism is expanding its services as the need grows in the area.
Marcfirst will be expanding its pediatric therapy center by 684 sq. feet, allowing them to double the number of children with autism they can serve with behavioral therapy services.
Right now they serve about 800 kids annually and with the new space can serve almost 1,600 children and families. Christy Kosharek, Vice President of Pediatric Therapy, said it will allow for more areas of behavioral, speech, and physical therapy.
“We’re really excited for this build out because it’s going to allow us to expand our social skills groups [by] having some larger group experiences for children to engage and work on social skills,” Kosharek said.
Kosharek said the expansion will allow them to double the number of services offered and will bring its total square footage at the lower level of Carle Bromenn Medical Center’s, medical building one to over 8,000 sq. feet.
“Our community has really gotten behind us and most importantly children and families in our community that have young children with special needs that are in need of therapy services,” Kosharek said.
Marcfirst opened its Pediatric Therapy Center over a year ago at the Carle Bromenn location and has already expanded once within the area.
“We’ve been here a year, then three months in we moved took space down the hall,” said CEO Brian Wipperman. “In the spring we went back to our friends at Carle and asked them about additional space and some options had become available and we made the decision to now expand all the way across the hall.”
Rather than opening a second location, Kosharek said this allows them to keep all the therapists and providers together in one space.
“Which is wonderful when we’re thinking about serving children because our therapists collaborate all the time, so that speech is talking with occupational therapy and occupational therapy is talking with the ABA program. Through that collaboration we can better serve families,” Kosharek said.
Carle-Bromenn president Colleen Kannaday said Carle values the partnership with Marcfirst.
“The Marcfirst team provides invaluable pediatric services to our community and we are excited for their continued growth,” Kannaday said.
Marcfirst provides occupational, physical, speech, and other therapies to children from birth to 18 years old as well as support groups for children and parents.