Agnesian HealthCare, a member of SSM Health, Fond du Lac, 2020 Community Benefit

Building Business Skills, Confidence Through Creativity

Agnesian HealthCare’s Treffert Center Leaders in Creative Media team
There’s a familiar face - but slightly different - at Agnesian HealthCare’s Treffert Center and its Leaders in Creative Media team. For those who love Jim Henson’s Muppets, this new face has some hefty goals - to further share the incredible teachings of Darold Treffert, MD, an internationally respected researcher in autism, hyperlexia, savant syndrome and related conditions.
Meet Dr. Treffert, the puppet. Thanks to funding from the Agnesian HealthCare Foundation, the Treffert Center Leaders in Creative Media team now has the computer, software and related equipment to create children’s shows with the Dr. Treffert puppet sharing the message around neurodiversity and the potential within all of us.
“While creating these short films, individuals on the autism spectrum will have the opportunity to develop meaningful work skills, self-esteem and confidence,” says Tara Geier, a Treffert Center behavioral analyst. “Creating and producing videos is a marketable skill and one that our leadership team members have already demonstrated as a particular ‘Island of Genius’ for them.”
Using the Dr. Treffert puppet, educational information is shared with children, as well as content for videos to expand accessibility to Dr. Treffert’s great work and knowledge.
“This project demonstrates the continuity of care for our autism services across the lifespan,” according to Bryan Mischler, MSW, psychotherapist. “We focus on our patients’ strengths while teaching needed life skills, independence and job skills. Working as a team, we will find a meaningful way to leverage their high interests and skills to help others, as well as themselves.”