Mitchell’s Place celebrates 15 years helping kids on the spectrum

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Birmingham, Mitchell's Place
All smiles at school is a dream for parents. Photo via Mitchell’s Place

August marks the 15th anniversary of Mitchell’s Place. Here’s a look at who they are and how they strive to help children with autism across the greater Birmingham area. Plus, learn how you can support their mission of unlocking every child’s potential.

What is Mitchell’s Place?

Birmingham, Mitchell's Place
A sweet teacher aids in a child’s success. Photo via Mitchell’s Place

Mitchell’s Place is an inclusive, accredited preschool and outpatient clinic located in Irondale near Liberty Park. Their mission: to improve the lives of children and families affected by autism and other developmental disabilities. 

With a staff of highly-skilled and caring therapists, analysts and teachers, Mitchell’s Place provides individualized treatment plans to help unlock each child’s potential.  

To do this, they offer a number of helpful services for children and their families, including:

  • Early Learning Preschool
  • Applied Behavioral Analysis
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Psychiatry
  • Group Programs
  • Psychology and Comprehensive Evaluations

To learn more about what each service entails, click here.

How did Mitchell’s Place come to be?

Birmingham, Mitchell's Place, autism
The Meisler family during “A Night at the Oscars Gala” benefiting Mitchell’s Place. Photo courtesy of Mitchell’s Place

What would you do if you were a parent whose child needed care, but none was available? This is the all-too-real challenge Nancy and Allen Meisler faced when seeking intervention for their son, Mitchell.

By age two, Mitchell had no verbal skills. At age three, Mitchell was first diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) which was later re-classified as Autism Spectrum Disorder.

“We realized he was overly obsessed with letters and numbers; he could spell anything even though he had no language. He would spell things like hippopotamus and Capri Sun with his magnetic letters and puzzles.”

Nancy Meisler, Co-Founder, Mitchell’s Place
Birmingham, Mitchell's Place, autism
Mitchell’s Place opened its doors in August 2006. Photo courtesy of Mitchell’s Place

After years of searching for the help their son needed, the Meislers became frustrated by the lack of services and autism treatment options available. Fueled by frustration, the Meisler’s decided to take matters into their own hands.

In 2005, they created Mitchell’s Place with the goal of providing essential services, as well as hope, for families like their own. By August 2006, the facility was filled with children and a growing waitlist. The Meisler’s son, Mitchell, was 10 years old when the facility officially opened. 

A Special Staff for Special Kids

Birmingham, Mitchell's Place
Lunchtime with friendly teachers. Photo via Mitchell’s Place

One of the amazing things about Mitchell’s Place is their staff. From teachers and executives to those in administration and even janitorial services, I’ve witnessed first-hand how caring and friendly this group of employees is.

Finding this special group of employees was one thing both Allen and Nancy agreed was easy.

“It takes a special person to work with special needs kids. We got lucky. We were surprised how many great people were out there willing to do this.”

Nancy Meisler, Co-Founder, Mitchell’s Place

Since its beginning, the staff at Mitchell’s Place has helped over 4,000 children and their families in the Greater Birmingham area. This number continues to grow.

If you’re interested in enrolling your child at Mitchell’s Place, contact them now. Spots are limited, so be sure to claim a place on their waiting list.

How to Support Mitchell’s Place

Birmingham, Mitchell's Place
Learning through play. Photo via Mitchell’s Place

Wondering how you can support Mitchell’s Place and their mission to unlock every child’s potential? There are lots of ways to do just that. Here’s how: 

  • Volunteer: From Funky Fish Frys to Dragon Boat Races, Mitchell’s Place hosts a range of exciting events throughout the year. They’re always in need of help so consider volunteering. For volunteer information, contact Macy Vintson at mvintson@mitchells-place.com.
  • Join the Junior Board: This group of young professionals ages 21-38 support the mission of Mitchell’s Place through fundraising events, volunteer opportunities and more. Join to be part of this amazing team. For information, contact Macy Vintson at mvintson@mitchells-place.com.
  • Advocate: According to the CDC, 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with Autism. Do your part by learning more on how to help those affected by autism and take action by creating inclusive environments suitable for all.
Birmingham, Mitchell's Place, autism
Mitchell’s Place’s mission is to unlock each child’s potential. Photo courtesy of Mitchell’s Place
  • Donate: A monetary donation is the simplest way to support Mitchell’s Place. Here are four ways to donate:
  1. Regular One-Time Donation: Whether $5, $50 or $100, there is no amount too small. Submit your donation online or mail a check to 4778 Overton Road, Birmingham, AL 35210. Checks should be made payable to “Mitchell’s Place.”
  2. Company Matched Gift: Some companies and employers will match their employees’ personal donations to organizations like Mitchell’s Place. Check with your employer for details. 
  3. Recurring Gift: Whether weekly, monthly or annually, you can donate a recurring gift to Mitchell’s Place. Click here to donate.
  4. Shop AmazonSmile: Shopping just got better. Simply note Mitchell’s Place as the designated nonprofit when completing your Amazon order and 0.5% of your purchase goes directly to Mitchell’s Place. 

Support Mitchell’s Place—Rock a T-shirt

As you can see, there are lots of ways to support Mitchell’s Place, but there’s one more—and it’s my personal favorite. All you have to do is purchase Yellowhammer’s shirt designed specifically for Mitchell’s Place.

Shirts are $30 with proceeds going to Mitchell’s Place’s Parent Relief Fund, which provides tuition assistance for families in need.

Currently, this cool new design in still in the works. Check this link frequently for the arrival of Yellowhammer’s shirt benefiting Mitchell’s Place.

What’s next for Mitchell’s Place?

Birmingham, Mitchell's Place
Stepping stones helps with balance and coordination. Photo via Mitchell’s Place

First and foremost, Mitchell’s Place will work to continue to meet the growing demand for specialized services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families—in the greater Birmingham area and across the state of Alabama. 

But the Meislers are still striving toward their initial plan—to make the services and programs offered at Mitchell’s Place so good, so desirable, that a larger institution would merge their efforts.

“We hope that one day Mitchell’s Place will merge with someone who can utilize what we have and take us up another level. To have a true comprehensive center.”

Nancy Meisler, Co-Founder, Mitchell’s Place

Based on the progress and incredible work I have personally seen Mitchell’s Place provide for children and families, I believe they are on the journey to making their ultimate goal a reality. But I’m not the only one.

“We are on the verge of an Autism Revolution in our city, and we provide the gold standard of care to be impactful in this revolution.”

Sara Nall, Executive Director, Mitchell’s Place

Find out if your child could benefit from Mitchell’s Place

If you think your child could benefit from Mitchell’s Place and the services they provide, contact them now.

To learn more about Mitchell’s Place, visit their website and follow them on social via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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