In 2003, Steele and Amy Gudal set out to open the first Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) school in Indiana. Their inspiration was their six year old daughter, Gentry. After almost four years of in-home ABA, it was obvious that Gentry needed a place where she could interact with her peers and benefit from multiple therapists. Another motivating factor was to return the home back to a home environment and to provide a place for parents to connect while receiving support and respite. The Little Star School (now the Little Star Center) opened its doors in 2003 and is thriving today with two locations in Indianapolis and West Lafayette.
Shortly after Little Star opened, the Gudal family moved to Jacksonville Beach, FL and again were face with similar challenges seeking an education for Gentry. Gentry did ABA in a home they rented in Neptune Beach, and the Gudals asked other families doing home programs to join them. Not much later, these families and therapists had a desire to grow into a more formal setting. Steele and Amy held meetings with this eager group, coached them through the steps for starting a not-for-profit school, and helped them secure a location for the school on San Pablo Road. Once the group had their own 501(c)3, they were off and running on their own as Little Star Center of Jacksonville!