Most families sense of feeling of stress as the kids go back to school. Families who have a child with Autism experience those plus a whole additional set of stressors associated with a new school year approaching. In the midst of this anxious time, families can feel very alone.
This is where Center for ASD comes in. Their mission is “to improve the quality of life of individuals affected by Autism, other special needs, their families and the community as a whole.” They are committed to partnering with the whole family with a priority to remain accessible to anyone.
Lisa Boultinghouse knows the needs of these families first hand. Her youngest son Gabe started showing signs of regression and characteristics of Autism in 2009. His care required that Lisa quit her full time job. They applied for Social Security disability to cover the necessary therapies to best help Gabe. She learned that she and her husband and fell into that middle ground of families that made too much for government assistance but not enough to pay for extra things their son could benefit from, such as therapies, supplements and dietary needs. They recognized they weren’t alone in this.
Because of their experience, the Boultinghouses started Center for ASD in 2009 as a non profit to help families with the financial needs associated with having a child with autism. They recognized financial and physical resources were just a part of how they could help these families. Within a few years, they grew into hosting quarterly family socials, then a week long summer KAMP (Kids with ASD Making Progress), weekly evening socials and support groups. They currently host weekly Monday night social groups and parent support groups, a group at the Burleson Recreation Center weekly to get the kids moving, monthly family socials and after school care for students that cannot be supported by regular after school programs.
Last but not least Center for ASD runs a daytime program that is an alternative to home school for participants who just didn’t find a good fit in a traditional setting. They also have an alternative to adult dayhab/daycare, where they are constantly engaging in learning, community service and so much more. The Xcel program (daytime program) includes art, music therapy, a licensed counselor who comes in and supports the staff, physical activity, life skills, social skills, coping skills, team work skills and so much more. They are growing relationships here at the center and preparing the kids, to the best of their ability, to be the happiest most functional adults they can be.
Center for ASD is doing important and necessary work for families in southern Tarrant County and Johnson County. They are able to keep the programs and resources affordable and accessible to families, offering flexibility according the families’ needs. There are numerous ways the community can join in to support them. First, they welcome the help of volunteers. There are countless ways to help, even for young people. Whether it is working with students, assisting with tasks such as social media or helping with events, they will find a spot for you.
They are also in a capital building campaign. They are going to need to move from their current location and have exciting plans for the work they can do in a new space. You can look for fundraising events that take place throughout the area. Additionally, you can learn more about and contribute directly to their capital campaign by looking at their website at centerforasd.org.
Center for ASD
400 Eagle Drive
Crowley, TX 76036