Milestones Autism Resources

4853 Galaxy Parkway, Suite A
Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

Phone: (216) 464-7600

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About Milestones

Milestones provides autism strategies for life, offering guidance to get you through the day and help you plan for the future.

We understand the challenges and needs of the autism community because we live it every day. We improve lives through education and evidence-based strategies for school, home, community and at work.

We invite you to watch this video to learn more about our mission and community impact.

We believe in …

  • Being a resource for all and making resources accessible to all
  • Serving autistic individuals of all ages, stages and abilities
  • Empowering autistic individuals to give voice to their perspective and take on leadership roles in our community
  • Utilizing culturally competent, evidence-based, practical strategies and education to improve outcomes
  • Investing in our local community and being national thought leaders 
  • Deriving reinforcing strength through interdependence*

*As interdependent individuals, our community of autistic individuals, parents, caregivers, and professionals derives strength from our ability to communicate, rely upon each other and work together.

Mission Statement

Milestones Autism Resources improves the lives of autistic individuals, families, caregivers and professionals by educating, coaching, and connecting them with trusted resources.

Vision Statement

A community in which autistic individuals reach their full potential as integrated members of society, with their needs supported and their abilities, strengths, and voices valued.

History of Milestones

It all started in 2003 when Milestones’ co-founders Ilana Hoffer Skoff and Mia Buchwald Gelles met in the waiting room of their children’s speech therapist’s office. As they began talking, they realized they both had a great deal in common and began mentoring each other through the ups and downs of autism.

They shared hopes and dreams for their children. But more importantly, they shared what was working with their children and they learned from each other. They realized small steps added up, and they saw their children make real progress using Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). The question in their minds shifted from “How can we help our children” to “How can we help other families?”

Ilana and Mia sat at Ilana’s kitchen table in her Cleveland Heights home to brainstorm ways to bring education and training to the local community. The determined duo decided that what Cleveland needed was a major autism conference. With that, the pair took on the task of planning the first annual Milestones Autism Conference.

Ilana and Mia enlisted the support of their families and friends. Rabbi Joshua Skoff, Ilana’s husband, brainstormed the name “Milestones.” And Mia’s husband, Joe Gelles, devoted hours of his time as a graphic designer creating conference materials for the organization. On August 4, 2003, 400 people flooded Milestones’ full-day Conference on “Social Strides for Children and Teens with Autism.” Today, Ilana and Mia still laugh, admitting that they had no idea if anyone would actually show up.

The success of the Conference was a clear indication that an organization like Milestones was a necessity in Northeast Ohio and motivated the two to continue with their mission.

Today, Milestones reaches thousands of families and professionals throughout Northeast Ohio and has established itself as a trusted leader in autism education. What was once only Ilana and Mia is now over a dozen staff, consisting of experts in social work, mental health and special education. The Milestones National Autism Conference has grown into a major annual educational event with over 1,000 attendees from across the country. Together, with the Cleveland community, Milestones Autism Resources looks ahead to continue raising the bar for autistic individuals.

Learn more about Milestones in our 2022 Annual Report.

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