A facility that provides intensive hands-on therapy to young people with autism is expanding in Westlake.
The executive director of the Central Texas Autism Center is now hiring more therapists as the demand for services continues to increase in the Austin area.
CTAC practices what's called applied behavior analysis, or ABA. Staff looks at why a child is doing a certain behavior and then develops a treatment plan to address it.
They teach another more desired behavior repetitively, alongside language, to help them become functional and independent adults.
The center's executive director says she prefers ABA because it's the most effective intervention, no matter when you start practicing it.
"It's not like 'I didn't do this before the age of 4 and so it's useless,'" said Kelle Wood Rich. "No. We're out there to say even if you come here and you've never had ABA services before, we're here to say even at 13 or 14 you will make progress, there is hope."
The Central Texas Autism Center also recently expanded their facilities to better accommodate teenagers and their need for practical life skills.
At the Bridges location, the staff teaches learners how to do laundry, cook, count money, and even text and email etiquette.
Center staff currently works with students at area schools, in addition to the 50 families a week that they see at their center in Westlake.