Hospital to open autism center in 2013

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A new center for children with autism will open next year to meet the needs of patients in northeastern Indiana.

Parkview Huntington Hospital's autism treatment center will provide therapeutic and rehabilitation services for children ages 2 to 18, as well as support groups for their families.

The Journal Gazette and The News-Sentinel report the facility will initially serve 10 patients and eventually expand to 40.

Chief Operating Officer Darlene Garrett says the center will fill a key need. The closest treatment center for autism currently is two hours away at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

About one in every 88 children is affected by autism, and the rate is higher among boys. Disorders on the autism spectrum can affect a child's ability to communicate and interact with others.

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