At The Johnson Center, we bring knowledgeable professionals together to create a multi-disciplinary team for the care and support of children with developmental disorders, learning or behavioral challenges, or chronic health conditions, as well as their family members.
In recent years, our programs have expanded to include:
- Free webinar trainings presented by experts on a variety of topics, including success in school, nutrition, medical care, adolescent issues, family support, and more.
- Feeding and Nutrition Clinics
- Counseling services for children with developmental disorders, learning or behavior challenges, or chronic health issues. Counseling services are also available for their family members.
- Sibling Support Groups/SibCamps - research has confirmed what parents already know; siblings of children with special needs have unique issues and are at risk for depression, anxiety, and more. Sibling Support Groups and SibCamps led by qualified professionals offer siblings a chance to connect with peers who have similar experiences and participate in creative and dynamic activities to learn important coping skills and gain better understanding of autism, sibling relationships, and
family and peer issues.
- Research on family dynamics, stress, and way to better address parental stress and offer family support
- A Diagnostic and Assessment Clinic - children are often put on a wait list for several months to receive a diagnostic evaluation. Given how important early intervention is, these months of waiting come at too high a cost. Our Diagnostic Clinic strives to have every child at risk offered an assessment in a much faster time frame.
- Nutrition and support services for at risk youths and young adults in Austin. Many of these young people have learning challenges, chronic health conditions, or related issues. By collaborating with Micah 6 to provide nutrition education, meals, and support, we utilize our resources to serve this underserved community.
All funds raised during the I Live Here, I Give Here Campaign will be used exclusively to fund Sibling Support Groups, Social Skills Camps for children and adolescents with ASD, and scholarships for diagnostics and counseling.
The Johnson Center serves children from 49 states and 54 countries. Families travel from all over to Austin to seek support and care because of the collaborative effort between experienced clinicians and researchers in the field of child development. The goal of this data-driven, results-focused environment is to generate and implement best-practice educational, behavioral, therapeutic, dietetic, and medical treatment models . By looking at the comprehensive picture of all areas of intervention (family support, educational, behavioral, health, and recreation), we continually assess which therapies work best for each person and seek new ways to support the entire family.
In the U.S., 1 in 6 children have a developmental disability. 1 in 68 children have a diagnosis of autism. 26.6% of children in the US have a chronic health condition. Navigating the complex world of information, intervention, and support while addressing the individual needs of each child is an often overwhelming task. Add in the often high expense associated with supporting a child with a developmental disorder or chronic health issue - for example, it is estimated to be an annual cost of over $60,000 to provide appropriate support for a child with autism - and you end up with families who are stressed, stretched thin, and overwhelmed.
Our staff sets out to help educate and illuminate a path forward, regardless of a families resources. Each family is assigned a Care Coordinator to help ensure that all avenues of support are explored, that each family has a support system, and that each child is seen as an individual with unique challenges and gifts to be explored, celebrated, and supported.
"All of the staff we have met at The Johnson Center have been very compassionate and helpful. They go out of their way to help both my child and my family. They have done a lot for all of us. "
"They have taught us so much about my child's overall health and well-being. Questions get answered here and they go out of their way to find support and information that parents and families need".
* Volunteers needed to help at the summer Junior Series events, Back to School Bash, and Halloween Hoot. These family events are free and open to the public and provide an opportunity for children of all abilities to come together in a supported, inclusive environment. Volunteers help run activities and offer parent support. Spanish speaking volunteers, volunteers who know sign language, and volunteers who have experience with children with special needs are especially needed, though training is provided to all volunteers.
* Volunteers are needed to serve on social media training curriculum committee - teens and young adults are invited to serve on committees designed to inform programming for adolescents and young adults with autism.
* Home Cooked Fridays - The Johnson Center prepares and serves a meal for Austin's at risk teens and young adults every Friday through the collaborative Home Cooked Fridays program. Preparing the meal is a lesson and the program participants from the community get to learn cookings skills, kitchen safety, and job preparedness. At the end of each class, we serve the lunch to the local homeless community. This meal will be open to anyone in need, and in the past we've had upwards of 75 guests!
All Home Cooked Friday volunteer positions involve interacting with homeless guests and making them feel comfortable. Volunteer positions include dining room set up, dishwashing, prepping foods in the kitchen, helping younger volunteers prepare sandwiches and color bags, serving food, and clean up. We want to create a warm, welcoming experience for our guests.