Rockford, Illinois News

New autism center opens in Rockford

Caravel Autism Health is at 6565 E. State St.

ROCKFORD – Caravel Autism Health has opened the doors to its new 6,000-square-foot center in Rockford.

At 6565 E. State St., the center is open to children with autism and their families. It is staffed by autism specialists who provide diagnostic evaluations, evidence-based treatment, and family guidance and counseling.

Caravel Autism Health’s team is also specially trained in evaluating children who may be on the autism spectrum. The team also has clinical expertise in creating and leading individualized Applied Behavior Analysis (“ABA”) treatment plans that help children with autism develop skills, create connections, and gain confidence.

One in 54 children in the U.S. has autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite the prevalence of autism, there are significant provider shortages in many communities. Caravel Autism Health CEO Mike Miller says his team wants to help close that gap.

“We are extending our reach by opening new centers so that our specialists can change children’s lives in more communities,” he said.

Officials say until now, families in the Rockford area had been encountering significant wait times for both diagnosis and treatment.

“This new center is a game changer for kids with autism,” Jessica Popilek-Ayling, Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) and Clinic Director for Caravel Autism Health in Rockford. “The center includes five colorful spaces that will be filled with special equipment including sensory swings and climbing structures. An enclosed playground offers a private outdoor environment for therapy and play.”

Andrea Whalen, BCBA and Regional Director serving Caravel’s six Illinois locations, said the center’s goal is to ensure families have access to autism specialists.

“We know that autism can be reliably diagnosed by two years of age,” she said. “Providing early access to evidence-based treatment is critical because we can help children dramatically improve learning, communication, and social skills.”

To learn more, visit or call the Caravel’s Client Intake Team at 847-558-2862.

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