By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Autism Center of Tupelo is moving in with Regional Rehab.
The two affiliated centers will continue to operate independently, but the autism center will take over a large therapy room and office space at the Pegram Drive rehab center.
“So many children with autism need speech, occupational and physical therapy,” said Sharon Boudreaux, executive director of the Autism Center of Tupelo, which provides applied behavioral analysis-based services to children and their families.
Sharing space with other complementary community projects is a long tradition for Regional Rehab, said Executive Director Kay Mathews.
“It will be a great addition to what is already offered here and support to what they’re doing,” Mathews said. “It continues to round out the services that are available to special-needs kids in the area.”
The Autism Center’s last day in its west Tupelo office will be Dec. 10, Boudreaux said. The autism therapy services will resume Jan. 5 at Regional Rehab.
American Family Association has provided free space in its Parkgate Plaza office building for the center’s first year of operation.
“Without them, we couldn’t have stayed open and survived our first year,” Boudreaux said.
The Autism Center will continue to cover its own operating budget through sliding fees, grants and fundraising events, including a Dec. 4 Autism Gala at Goodlett Manor in downtown Tupelo.
I’m so proud of this community,” Boudreaux said. “People are excited about us.”
Regional Rehab, which will have its annual Celebration of Hope tel-a-thon from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday on WTVA, does not charge for its services.