VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Erica Wyndham had seen the stories firsthand.

In Knox County, there were families driving hours each week to provide services for children diagnosed with autism.

“There were not a lot of resources for families,” Wyndham, a Vincennes native, said. “A lot of families were driving an hour north or an hour south to get services.”

Earlier this month, the Applied Behavior Center for Autism opened its doors in Vincennes– the first provider in Knox County to offer applied behavior analysis services, according to president Kyle Quinn.

Applied behavior analysis– or ABA– is a type of treatment offered to children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Wyndham said it focuses on what each child needs, including, for example, working on verbal or nonverbal communication skills. 

Quinn said it’s still a service that’s lacking around the state.

“In Indiana, there are 92 counties and only about 50 or so of those counties actually have an ABA provider in them. There are still about 40 or so counties in Indiana that have no provider at all,” Quinn said. 

Wyndham, the regional clinical director for the company, said families have been grateful for having a center in their community, opposed to driving to Terre Haute or Evansville. She said the next steps are to work with local organizations to help expand their reach.

“We’ve had several educators in Vincennes inquire about what kind of services, what we can do in the school system, what we can do in the community,” she said. “That’s where it starts, it starts with making connections with people and helping our families.”

More information on the programs offered at the center can be found on their website.