Santa visits Growing Minds Center

Published: Friday, January 4, 2013 at 10:07 AM.

As Santa Claus arrived at the Growing Minds Center Dec. 21, the faces of children lit up, the energy increased and wishes came tumbling out.

Some games for one student, a doll for another and a happy family and good holiday for another spilled out of the students, aged six to 18, who call the Growing Minds Center for children with autism and related disabilities their school.

The center has steadily grown in the six years since owner and operator Christine Hermsdorfer began to offer individual tutoring to children with autism.

She started out with five students. In two years, Hermsdorfer established a full-time school and the current enrollment is 11 full-time students and seven children who came after public school.

“I never planned on this kind of growth,” Hermsdorfer said. “I never planned on having a school. It just started as tutoring, but the need is there.”

Hermsdorfer uses the concepts behind Applied Behavior Analysis to both assess each student’s needs – assessing language and functional skills – and also crafting a curriculum for each student.

The school is located on Commerce Park next to Sherwin Williams in the old Emerson Heating and Cooling building.

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