Playing volleyball or practicing gymnastics can be nearly impossible in a room with only 4 feet by 4 feet of free space. Yet Hallie Enderle, a recreation therapist at ADEC, found a way to make it work because she knew the hands-on activities would help her clients develop motor skills.

Fortunately, Hallie and the rest of ADEC’s therapy team won’t feel cramped in the tiny therapy room at ADEC’s Day Service at Goshen any longer. Beginning Nov. 5, ADEC’s therapy department will have a new home at the Goshen City Church of the Brethren, located at 203 N. 5th Street.

“We loved the staff and the people at the day service, but we could only schedule one session at a time and did not have much space to move around,” said Christy Irwin, therapy program manager for ADEC. “We’re excited to be partnering with Goshen City Church and feel this will be a great partnership that will allow us more flexibility for all our programs.”

Day Service at Goshen staff will be able to use the former therapy room for meetings with individuals and families to set goals and discuss personalized support plans. Meanwhile, the therapy staff will now have access to several rooms in addition to a gymnasium for therapy sessions.

“We’re growing so much and there’s been a huge unmet demand for therapies in the Goshen area — not because we don’t have therapists, but because we didn’t have the space,” Irwin said.

In September, ADEC provided recreation therapy to 49 individuals and music therapy to 85 individuals across all locations. With new space in Goshen, Irwin expects those numbers to grow.

ADEC now has a team of five therapists who use music and play to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities develop new skills and accomplish individual goals. In the new Goshen space, up to three therapists will be able to schedule sessions at the same time. Therapists will also continue to use space in ADEC’s other day service locations throughout Elkhart and St. Joseph counties.

Thanks to the new space, ADEC’s therapy services will offer more choices and more possibilities to therapists and the individuals they serve. Music therapy sessions will have more privacy and recreation sessions can now make use the gymnasium with padded walls and basketball hoops.

“It’s going to be a very cool thing,” Irwin said. “We’re so excited that we’re going to be able to serve our individuals better.”

ADEC will share the new space with the Virtus Academy, which offers Applied Behavior Analysis, a type of therapy that focuses on improving specific behaviors like social skills or communication.

“The church has bent over backwards to accommodate us, and the Virtus Academy has been so excited that we’re going to be there,” Irwin said. “We’re looking at potential ways to collaborate in the future, and this is another positive relationship within our community.”


Through the healing power of music, ADEC therapists have helped the people they serve discover their voice for the first time. Meanwhile, recreation therapists have helped individuals accomplish social and physical goals using a beach ball or a board game.

“The best way to get through to somebody is through what they love to do,” recreation therapist Hallie Enderle said. “I’ve made so many great connections with my individuals because I’m meeting them where they’re at.”

Max Hathaway has been participating in recreation therapy for more than four years, and his mom said the sessions have taught him how to better recognize and display emotions. During a recent session, Hallie shuffled a deck of cards with emotions — from happy to excited to embarrassed — on the back. The two took turns picking cards and acting out the emotions for the other to guess.

“Max loves coming here,” Julie Hathaway said. “One of his goals has been recognizing and displaying emotion, and the games Hallie comes up with have been helping a lot. She has also helped him stretch and exercise. They do all that in fun ways, which is all the better.”

ADEC’s team logged nearly 6,000 hours of therapy in the past year. With a full team and new space, ADEC’s therapy department is ready to add new individuals to the therapy roster. For more information, visit or contact Katie Kessler at 574-206-6149 or