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  • Writer's pictureSauk SBDC

Autism Center of Sauk Valley

Sarah Lewis is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst that works with individuals diagnosed with autism, intellectual disabilities, fragile X, down syndrome, ADHD, OCD, anxiety, depression, and more. She was disappointed in finding that there were very limited options in the Sauk Valley Area for providing diagnostic and treatment options for these individuals, so she reached out to the Illinois SBDC at Sauk Valley Community College to help her bring an Autism Center to our region to help establish much needed access to these necessary services.

Challenge: Sarah Lewis first contacted the SBDC in October 2022. She needed assistance in starting her legal business entity, ensuring she is in compliance with all professional regulations, and to be able to hire new employees appropriately.

How Illinois SBDC helped: From the beginning, Sarah started worked with her advisor, Justin Bergman. Justin her with a step-by-step action plan for starting her business, including compliance with state regulations for her professional designation. Justin also advised on how to establish her employment tax accounts, recommended tools for managing payroll, and how to appropriately hire and train new employees for her new business.

Result: In May 2023, Sarah launched her business and was accepted by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois to accept insurance for her patients. Sarah’s business, Autism Center of Sauk Valley, is officially open and she hired a new employee to assist with helping individuals who need their services in a local setting without having to travel a long distance to get access to needed services.

Learn More: The Autism Center of Sauk Valley provides applied behavior analysis therapy that focuses on improving socially significant behaviors by breaking down complex skills into smaller components and using positive reinforcement to teach and reinforce those skills. To learn more about their center, please visit their website at


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