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Hi Hello,

Gracing the walls of the Treffert Center are many examples of savant art. Nowhere else is there a larger, more diverse collection of these exceptional pieces. Richard Wawro is one such artist. Richard and his father once attended the Christmas Eve service at King’s College in London.  At some point later, Richard remembered that scene exactly and created his King’s College Choir piece. Richard was legally blind and did his work, using wax crayons, with his face only several inches from the paper. But somehow, when he sat up from that position, there was this marvelous piece with perfect perspective and striking detail. It is a great reminder of the beauty and meaning of the Christmas season.

Wawro Photo.jpg

At the center, the classrooms are filling up and the academy continues to flourish. Hearing the little voices in the hallways reminds me of how I started my journey with autism and savants over fifty years ago, when I was assigned the responsibility of starting a children's unit at Winnebago Mental Health Institute. So here I go again. History repeats itself and I have enjoyed both journeys.

With that long association with autism, I have observed a great deal of progress and success in our approach, with interventions of various types. In earlier years such interventions began at ages seven to twelve. Now at the center, we start those interventions much earlier, generally at ages three to five. It is clear to me, like elsewhere in medicine, the earlier the treatment the better the outcome. And with the team approach in the classrooms, the Agnesian Beyond Boundaries of Autism (ABBA) sessions and the clinics, I have already witnessed some impressive gains in some of these special children. Seeing those gains energizes our whole team, and the parents are both relieved and grateful.

So, witnessing the gift of language in a child where there was none, or seeing responsiveness and affection where both were formerly muted, or watching empathy slowly form and emerge are the kinds of Christmas gifts the center represents, with more to follow in the coming year. 2016 has been a great beginning year for the center. There is much to be thankful for and to celebrate.

Merry Christmas to all!



Darold Treffert, MD

 Meet Tamara Langhoff, Nurse Practitioner at Treffert Clinic

Tammy with Caleb at Treffert Clinic.jpgHello, I am Tammy Langhoff, the pediatric nurse practitioner with the Treffert Clinic. I have been a nurse practitioner for almost 20 years, and I have worked almost my whole career with kids with special needs. Before I became a nurse practitioner, I worked in home care as a case manager with children on home ventilators and with tracheostomies. I still provide respite care for a family with a young man on the weekends. I have cared for him for more than 13 years. He is like part of my own family, which includes my two daughters and my husband, Kirk. My husband and I live in Menomonee Falls with our two German Shorthair (hunting dogs) Roscoe and Rambo. I commute to and from work every day. I am hoping for a mild Wisconsin winter this year! In my spare time, I enjoy participating in a variety of sports including swimming and kickboxing, and I am an avid Packers fan.

My career as a nurse practitioner up to this point was spent at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. I worked in the Child Development Center, then in Pediatric Neurology. The last four years of my time at Children’s was in the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Center, where I worked with the psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists to care for the mental health needs of the kids of Milwaukee. I feel like my past work and life experiences have uniquely prepared me for my work at the Treffert Center. In the clinic, I evaluate and manage children with a variety of mental health diagnoses including anxiety, depression,  and ADHD. As many people know, the Treffert Center specializes in the care of children with autism. I also see children with autism in my practice, treating behavioral issues and mental health conditions that these children face. I am happy to be working in a specialty environment that focuses on maximizing the quality of life for all children and families in Fond du Lac and the surrounding community. We are very lucky to have such a unique and wonderful resource in our midst as the Treffert Center.

Treffert Academy News

Stone Soup at Treffert Academy.jpgAt the Treffert Academy the 4/5 year old room read the book Stone Soup by Jon Muth the week of Thanksgiving. Stone Soup is an old folk tale that has been told in many languages and countries. This particular version is about three monks traveling along a mountain road, they encounter villagers ravaged by harsh times, making them cold to strangers. When the monks entice them to make soup from stones, the villagers discover how much they have to give.

Each of the children in the class contributed to the stone soup to make a very yummy chicken noodle soup, demonstrating that each child has something special to bring to the class. The children learn that each child has their own unique qualities and together they can create something special. When a child learns that their contribution really matters it helps to boost their self-esteem allowing them to be more confident in creating relationships with other children.

Treffert Academy accepting enrollments!


What our parents are saying:

“I have experience with other childcare centers, and the Treffert Academy is by far the best. The teachers have such positive interactions with our children. I view this place as more than just a childcare center, but a learning center, as my son has learned so much in the short period of time he has been here."

- Rachel, parent of Treffert Academy student

Currently accepting applications online at

Support the Center

Children learn in different ways, and at the Treffert Center, we are always looking to improve quality of care, programs and our learning environment.

Financial support affords us tools, equipment, funding for outings and support for our students in need. Your generous support helps us achieve our goal of strong social and emotional growth, self-regulation skills, and the development of empathy for all our children.

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Merry Christmas!

Reflecting on this past year, as a new one is coming so quickly, it is hard to believe we have come as far as we have. We went from quiet, desolate rooms and hallways, and slowly, one smiling face at a time, filled the depths of these walls to the wonderful lively place it is today. Thank you for sharing in the joy and celebration of our first year at the Treffert Center. Merry Christmas from everyone at the Treffert Center!

Merry Christmas Treffert Academy Students.jpg

Blessings from all the staff and families of the Treffert Center!


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