Caravel Autism Health: ‘This is a place where we can grow’

Kristin Lubbers, clinic director at Caravel Autism Health in Bettendorf, welcomes visitors to the new Caravel site on Tuesday, June 25. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

A new therapy clinic that helps young children dealing with autism has opened in Bettendorf.

Caravel Autism Health , 4505 Utica Ridge, was the center of attention on Tuesday, June 25, during a grand opening celebration with tours of the new facility and a Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony. More than 30 people attended the opening events.

“This is just a beautiful place. People love it here. … This is a place where we can grow,” said Kristin Lubbers, the new clinic’s director, just before she started giving a tours of the one-story building.

It has a little more than 7,000 square feet, and a series of classrooms, playrooms and offices. Many of those rooms have a jungle theme with names to match. Names include the Lion Room, the Giraffe Storm Shelter, the Rhino Shelter Room and others.

So far, the new Bettendorf clinic has about six clients and 10 staff members in the Utica Ridge building that has been open since the first week of June.

Mr. Lubbers expects those numbers to grow quickly in the near future, perhaps up to 42 clients, the maximum number the clinic can serve. That’s because the Bettendorf site was opened due to overflow business the Caravel’s Davenport clinic has faced. (That clinic is located at 5374 Eastern Ave.)

Clients, staff will grow

As the number of clients grows, the number of staff members at the Bettendorf site will also grow because Caravel offers one-on-one help for its young clients, added Ms. Lubbers.

In addition to tours of the new facility, Tuesday’s ceremony also included a visit from top Caravel officials – including Mike Miller, CEO of Caravel – and welcoming words from local officials.

Scott Naumann, a member of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and Bettendorf mayor pro-tem, thanked Caravel for investing in the city and expanding its services.

“We are now seeing what can be done when people work together,” he added.

The Caravel clinic offers a full range of services including evaluation, diagnosis, customized treatment, and family counseling in order to  to help young children who are on the autism spectrum.

“Caravel’s newest center is filled with brightly colored, sensory-friendly spaces where therapists work one-on-one with children to help them develop new skills, create connections with others, and build confidence,” according to information from the company.

Therapy offered at Caravel is designed to: increase language and communication skills; improve attention, focus and social skills; decrease problem behaviors; and enhance school readiness.

The Bettendorf location is the seventh clinic Caravel has created in Iowa since 2021. Caravel also operates clinics in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Idaho and Washington.

Since 2009, Caravel Autism Health said it has been committed to helping families navigate the challenges of autism and providing leadership that creates better outcomes. The team of clinical experts specializes in evaluation, diagnosis, and therapy for young children on the autism spectrum. Caravel’s research-based and data-driven programs are designed to provide better outcomes that help children with autism reshape their development and embrace new ways of interacting with the world.

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