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Developmental Center Gets Kids Ready for Real Life with Grocery Training Area

April 01, 2022

Contact: Valerie Compagna, 207-699-7178, valerie.compagna@mainehealth.org 

Maine Behavioral Healthcare’s annual symposium will be held virtually on Friday, Oct. 1, with a theme of ‘Informed Curiosity, Culture and The Kids We Lose.”

PORTLAND, MAINE – Maine Behavioral Healthcare’s Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence in Autism and Developmental Disorders (GLCOE) now offers students real-life experience with grocery shopping thanks to a donation by Hannaford Supermarkets.

Grocery Training StationThe new dedicated grocery training area is part of the new GLCOE, a 28,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility that opened in August 2021. In addition to outpatient treatment for all ages, the center includes a life-skills room with a grocery shopping station as well as special chairs for practice with getting haircuts, dental care and health care.

Participating in everyday activities, such as grocery shopping, having a haircut, having a dental exam or having blood drawn, are critical skills that people with developmental disabilities benefit from experiencing in a supportive, educational environment.

“These are more than just nice activities – if a person is unable to do these things it can result in serious problems, such as feeling overwhelmed in the grocery checkout line, a dentist’s chair, or in a doctor’s office. We are thrilled to have this resource to provide practice in these key life experiences,” said Dr. Matthew Siegel, vice president of medical affairs for autism and developmental disorders.

In order to provide a real-life experience in grocery shopping, Hannaford Supermarkets donated grocery shelving and a checkout station, complete with conveyor belt and bagging area.

“Going to the grocery store is being part of the community, so we are proud to partner with the Glickman Lauder Center in helping neurodiverse members of our community develop new skills related to the shopping experience,” said Eric Blom, Hannaford spokesperson. “We are so thankful for the work being done at the Center every day to help people with autism and developmental disorders lead full, rich lives.”

The GLCOE includes child and adult outpatient clinics; preschool and early intervention in-home services; and child day treatment;, paired with clinical research and provider training. Learn more about the Center at MaineBehavioralHealthcare.org/coe.

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About Maine Behavioral Healthcare
Part of the MaineHealth system of care, Maine Behavioral Healthcare is a leading provider of mental health services with over 30 outpatient locations throughout southern, western and mid-coast Maine. Services include inpatient care at Spring Harbor Hospital, providing an integrated continuum of comprehensive, coordinated behavioral health care for Maine residents of all ages. Learn more at www.mainebehavioralhealthcare.org.

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