August 2019 Writer \/\/ Janelle Morrison Photography \/\/ Laura Arick Families in Boone County who are looking for an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy clinic that is also a Medicaid Waiver Provider don\u2019t have to go outside of the county for services for their children. Piece By Piece Autism Center, located in Lebanon, opened its doors earlier this year and is already expanding. Founded by Zionsville resident Meghann Mitchell, Piece By Piece is a locally family-owned and -operated clinic that believes in empowering parents and helping children reach their full potential using evidence-based practices in ABA. ABA therapy is an individualized, intensive one-to-one therapy that is used to develop various skills and overcome deficits, as well as to teach socially significant behaviors. Piece By Piece also offers behavior consultation to help facilitate treatment and to meet with families on a regular basis to discuss their child\u2019s progress and any problems they are experiencing at home or in the community. Mitchell\u2019s path to where she is today is a convoluted tale with many fateful twists and turns that eventually led Mitchell and her husband, Luke, to moving to Zionsville and opening her first location in Lebanon. Mitchell received her bachelor\u2019s degree in business administration while on a gymnastics scholarship at Missouri-Columbia and earned her master\u2019s degree in ABA from Ball State University. She began her path to becoming a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) as a paraprofessional at Klondike Elementary in West Lafayette, Indiana, where Mitchell\u2019s mother, Mary Raub, was a kindergarten teacher. Mitchell worked for a variety of ABA clinics in Indiana, as well as private employment for a family whose son is autistic, before she realized there was an opportunity for her to take her knowledge and love of children and open a clinic of her own, where she would not only be a Medicaid Waiver Provider but would also be able to run it the way she thinks an ABA should be run\u2014always putting families and children first. \u201cObtaining your BCBA is a very long process,\u201d Mitchell explained. \u201cYou have to do so many supervision hours, and it\u2019s kind of like a clinical psychologist or a doctor having to do their residency. I had met my husband, Luke, during that time. He was attending Purdue , and we did the \u2018long-distance\u2019 relationship thing throughout our entire relationship until we got married last year. When I started seriously thinking about opening my own center, I decided that I needed experience at different clinics. I had sold my house in West Lafayette, bought a house in Whitestown and took a job at a clinic off of 86th Street. I was in the process of taking my boards then.\u201d Mitchell knew in her heart that the clinic she was at then wasn\u2019t the right fit for her, so she took a job at another clinic in Brownsburg, Indiana, and passed her boards. Fast forward, she and Luke married last year, and she decided it was time to take a leap of faith. With the support of her family, she and Luke have become Zionsville residents, and she opened Piece By Piece Autism Center in February of this year. Within months of her grand opening, Mitchell and her staff have grown the clinic to capacity, have already moved to a new facility in Lebanon with more space and will soon have a fenced-in playground and be opening a second location in Frankfurt, Indiana, later this fall. As a member of the Boone County Chamber of Commerce, Mitchell shared that she attributes the support from and promotion by the Chamber to kick-starting her expeditious growth. \u201cAs soon as we became members, they posted our logo and a little blurb on their Facebook page,\u201d Mitchell said. \u201cWithin the first two weeks after that, we received 12 referrals. There had been several families waiting for a clinic\u2014within driving distance\u2014that would accept Medicaid, and until we opened, there wasn\u2019t one in the immediate area.\u201d Mitchell shared what she would like for families to know about the benefits that they could receive from Medicaid on behalf of their child that they likely don\u2019t get from their private insurance providers. \u201cI have basically built my entire business model off of Medicaid,\u201d she said. \u201cI know a lot of families can\u2019t afford high deductibles, and just because you have insurance doesn\u2019t mean it covers ABA. Private insurance doesn\u2019t mean that they cover ABA. Medicaid covers all costs associated with ABA. With Medicaid, there are no deductibles, no copays. Most clients who need ABA need full-time intensive therapy, which is 40 hours a week. If you have a copay of $30 per visit, the math speaks for itself.\u201d Since Mitchell\u2019s clinic also offers Behavior Management, she has also gone through the grueling process of becoming a Medicaid Waiver Provider. \u201cBehavior Management is not ABA but like ABA,\u201d she said. \u201cThe Medicaid Waiver offers an additional allotment of money that families can use for certain services and therapies like Behavior Management that benefit their child with disabilities. In order to be a provider of all the Medicaid services, we had to first become a Traditional Indiana Medicaid provider, then we were able to apply for the other types of Medicaid.\u201d As the weeks lead up to the opening of Mitchell\u2019s second location, her mother, Mary, has been preparing to take her BCBA boards and will retire from teaching to help run the Frankfurt clinic, and Mitchell\u2019s father, Scott, will continue helping with all the billing for Piece By Piece and overseeing the maintenance of both its locations. To learn more about Piece By Piece Autism Center, visit piecebypiececenter.com.