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About Us

The Lakes Area Autism Network was established in January 2012 for the purpose of providing support and resources for individuals on the autism spectrum, their families, and professionals in our area who work with these families.

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LAAN exists to advocate for equitable opportunities and provide access to activities for individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as parents, teachers, community members.


The specific objectives and purpose of this organization shall be:


1.To provide individuals with autism spectrum disorder the platform to participate alongside peers in life activities;


2.To provide access to training and resources to support individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as parents, teachers, and community members.


3. To advocate for, sponsor, host and/or participate in events and activities that promote the inclusion of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

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LAAN Board of Directors-

Karen Carolus -Parent 

Maria Demopoulos - Autism Resource Specialist - Warsaw School Corporation

Jon Ekhoff - School Psychologist- Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation

Bethann Ousley - Parent

Vonnie Netzley -  Autism Related Services - The Otis R. Bowen Center 

Amy Brown - Parent 

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LAAN Sponsored Activities-


  1. Run for Autism: Each November LAAN sponsors a chip timed competitive 5k race and a family 1 mile fun run.
  2. Grant Giving: Every year LAAN provides grants for families and professionals to purchase needed supplies, supports and equipment, attend training events, and access other resources.
  3. Annual Training Event: In March LAAN presents an all-day seminar in the community for parents, professionals, and community members.
  4. Sensory Friendly Movies: LAAN partners with the North Pointe Cinema to host free sensory friendly movies.
  5. Sensory Inclusive Community:  LAAN is working to create a community that welcomes and supports those individuals on the autism spectrum through sensory materials and training.
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Non for Profit Status:

Lakes Area Autism Network Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non for profit corporation.  This corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.


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We hope that LAAN will become a strong touch point for autism support, resources and services in an area of Indiana where, up to this point, it has been significantly lacking. This centralized effort will also serve as a coordination and information point for professionals working with individuals on the autism spectrum for increased public awareness and service development and expansion.

 

LAAN Options Policy

LAAN promotes the active and informed involvement of family members and the individual with autism in the planning of individualized, appropriate service and supports.  The Core Planning Committee believes that each person with autism is a unique individual.  Each family and individual with autism should have the right to learn about and then select, the options that they feel are most appropriate for the individual with autism.  To the maximum extent possible, we believe that the decisions should be made by both the parents and the individual with autism.

Services should enhance and strengthen natural family and community supports for the individual with autism and the family whenever possible.  The service option designed for an individual with autism should result in improved quality of life.  Abusive treatment of any kind is not an option.

We firmly believe that no single type of program or service will fill the needs of every individual with autism and that each person should have access to support services.  Selection of a program, service or method of treatment should be on the basis of a full assessment of each person's abilities, needs, and interests.  We believe that services should be outcome based to insure that they meet the individualized needs of a person with autism.  

With appropriate education, vocational training and community living options and support systems, individuals with autism can lead dignified, productive lives in their communities and strive to reach their fullest potential.  

LAAN believes that all individuals with autism have the right to access appropriate services and supports based on their needs and desires.  

Adopted by LAAN Core Planning Committee 3/16/12

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