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Anne Carlsen Centers throughout ND create an inclusive environment, independent clients

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 5:43 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown, Bismarck, Minot and other locations throughout North Dakota, has a long history of independence. The organization is guided by its founder and namesake, Anne Carlsen, who had a positive attitude and a mission of inclusiveness.

Anne Carlsen was born in 1915 without forearms and lower legs but refused to let that stop her from living life like other children. 80 years later, the Anne Carlsen Center has grown to eight locations and offers various services to children with special needs. Their mission stems from the life Anne Carlsen led.

”The Anne Carlsen Center exists to make the world a more inclusive place where independence is a gift to all. And so, it always comes back to that,” said West Region Vice President Beth Thune.

The Anne Carlsen Center in Bismarck offers speech and occupational therapy, behavioral health, and autism assistance, as well as in-home and respite care. Their list of services is tailored to the unique needs of the children and their families.

”All different kinds of skills, like anything really, going to the grocery store, learning to eat at a restaurant. So, really, any skill the family wants to work on, any skill that makes that child more independent is a skill that we’re going to work on,” said Rebecca Parisien, a board-certified behavior analyst.

Parisien says success stories are often in the small, everyday things that can be taken for granted. Something as routine as a trip to the grocery store can change lives.

”She was able to make it through Wal-Mart, a full Wal-Mart trip, the child was helping pull things off the shelf at her direction,” said Parisien.

The Anne Carlsen Center in Bismarck has been open for about eight years and can help kids at any stage in life change their life. The Anne Carlsen Center hosts a variety of fundraisers throughout the year to help support its mission, including a night at the Bismarck Larks’ baseball game on July 29th.

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