A new learning centre offering more services for children with autism is opening in Windsor.

The new Therapeutic Learning Centre is located at Erie Street and Parent Avenue.

“We knew that there was a real need in this area," says Rachel Purcell, Therapeutic Learning Centre educational director.

The primary service will be Intensive Behavioral Intervention, offered to children with autism.

“Which is an evidence based therapy that intensively teaches children with autism skills that their peers might just pick up naturally," says Purcell.

Other government funded or non-profit clinics in Windsor offer the service, but clinical director Courtney Vonella says "we will be the first ones to provide centre based services to children over six years old."

The learning centre says they will provide service to children between the ages of 18 months to 18 years old.

“We're going to be offering ABA, IBI, tutoring, social skills, play groups, after school enrichment programs, parent training," says Vonella.

According to Autism Ontario, which has about 325 members locally, there's a high demand in Windsor-Essex for these types of programs.

“It's just great for the community as a whole," says Livia Congi, chapter manager for Autism Ontario Windsor-Essex. 

The owners say, they also hope to help reduce the current wait times for children with autism to receive care, which according to Autism Ontario Windsor-Essex is about a year and half.

“For a child who's diagnosed at 2.5 or 3, waiting until they are 4 is missing a huge chunk of time that could be used to see important gains," says Purcell.

Vonella says while waiting for diagnosis, they can come to the centre and get certain services.

The centre will also be hiring locally, selecting 12 therapists from St. Clair College's autism and behavioral science program.

The Therapeutic Learning Centre is starting 'intakes' on Wednesday and already has about 20 appointments booked.

The clinic also plans on offering home services.  The opening date is scheduled for Jan. 4.