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Great opportunities await with Trellis Services

Students will be touring the facility and what it has to offer

Trellis Services strives to improve the lives of children with autism and related communication disorders. With the help of the Career Center, a group of students will tour their facility.

On April 17, students with the Career Center: On the Road will be taking a trip to the Trellis Services facility in Sparks, Md. Founded in 2001, Trellis is an agency that works towards providing comprehensive services for children with autism and other related disorders. Their goal is to instill in children that learning can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

This particular On the Road visit is part of UMBC’s Career Crush, which allows students to become better acquainted with their career options through presentations, workshops, one-on-one mentoring and, in this case, a tour of a facility. Trellis is currently looking to hire students who are studying education, social work, psychology, applied developmental and human services.

Career Center Director Christine Routzahn said, “The Career Center regularly takes groups of students by bus to visit organizations in order to provide undergraduate and graduate students with an inside look into various career and intern options. Our On the Road program serves as a great networking opportunity and learning experience.”

One of the Trellis services is The Trellis School, a non-public elementary school. From pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, their curriculum places emphasis on teaching one-on-one or in small groups using an Applied Behavior Analysis methodology, a process which focuses on the goal of a target behavior and the interventions applied to achieve that goal. They carefully gather data through practices with a child and analyze the data in order to pinpoint how exactly they should approach an intervention and better a child’s way of learning and life.

By focusing on the child’s motivation and creating language opportunities, they hope to create a naturally playful environment. Suzanne Heid, one of the executive directors of Trellis Services and a UMBC alumna, said, “We are very family and child centered. Seeing where a child’s motivation lies and what excites them in the learning process is what motivates us.”

Diana Campitelli, another executive director, specializes in Autism Waiver Services. The Maryland State Autism Waiver is a Medicaid program that provides goal-directed services in the homes and communities of children with autism spectrum disorder.

She said, “Trellis began as an autism waiver provider under the Maryland Medicaid Waiver. It’s designed to support the whole family unit and work on specific items in order to help improve behaviors, establish independence and develop useful skills.” They hope to not only help children excel in school, but also in life.

Mia Blom is the marketing manager representing Trellis Services. She said, “Trellis currently provides services to over 200 families in Maryland. About 1 in 60 children in Maryland are diagnosed with autism.” Surprisingly, that number is actually higher than the average number of children identified with autism spectrum disorder in all areas of the United States.

UMBC students have toured Trellis Services before in their old location in Hunt Valley. They are pleased to spread awareness of the resources they have to offer to the autism community. Blom said, “In honor of Autism Awareness Month, this is great opportunity for UMBC students to see what other services are out there for individuals with autism.”

Photo Credit: Heather Capezio with Learn It