A comprehensive autism treatment center that Parkview Health officials planned to open in Huntington this year will not come to fruition.
There were delays in the states review and approval of the project, which were coupled with a lack of the necessary partnerships with behavioral therapists, Parkview officials announced Friday.
Without those, the center could not be established as envisioned.
What was to be dubbed the Parkview Huntington Hospital Autism Center would have offered both behavioral and physical therapy to autistic children ages 2 to 18.
The hospital will still offer speech and physical therapy to pediatric autistic patients, after officials invested nearly $100,000 in its pediatric rehabilitation area.
But without the states approval for a behavioral facility and a partnership with a behavioral therapist, it cannot be called a comprehensive autism center, according to Parkview spokesman Eric Clabaugh.
A statement from Parkview said the proposal for the autism center was announced in October 2012 and, shortly thereafter, plans for the behavioral therapy facility within the center were submitted to the Indiana State Department of Health for review.
As of Friday, the statement said, Parkview had received no response from the health department.
There was a little bit of a surprise, but we also understand theyre very busy, Clabaugh said of Parkview officials reaction to hearing no word from the state.
There are a number of things they have under review and that theyre dealing with. We understand what theyre up against, Clabaugh said.
Even with state approval, though, Parkview needed a partnership with behavioral therapists.
While Parkview Huntington Hospital leaders met with specialists, they could not establish such a partnership, according to Parkviews statement.
In the statement, Parkview recommends that anyone seeking behavioral therapy for a person with autism contact the Autism Society of Indiana, 1-800-609-8449 or www.austismsocietyofindiana.org, or the Indiana Applied Behavioral Analysis Institute, 1-888-667-1181 or www.indianaabainstitute.com.