WACO, Texas — “Autism isn't an an inability, it’s a different ability.”
BlueSprig Waco operations manager Sean Noranbrock says that he and his team are trying to change the world for children with autism through applied behavior analysis and therapy.
“We provide 1 to 1 therapy, we provide group sessions, we provide pretty much everything that’s needed for them.”
The organization acts like a preschool for younger children and an after-school program for older kids. They currently treat ages two through seventeen.
Clinical Director Neef Crook, says that early signs of autism in children are lack of eye contact, playing with toys in unusual ways and delayed communication. Once clients are referred to BlueSprig, they run an assessment and create a personalized plan.
Crook says the payoff is seeing the results in real-life situations.
"After their first successful trip on the playground or their first birthday party, they're like guess what, I made a new friend and my friends name is this and they're so excited because they see those as celebrations too," Crook said.
April is Autism Awareness Month and Crook and the team at BlueSprig Waco want to spread the word and break the stigma. One in 44 children are now diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, according to the CDC.
A major trait that BlueSprig focuses on is teaching social and communication skills.
“If a kid comes up to one of our clients on the playground, for our child to be able to respond to that, for our child to be able to engage in conversation, real communication, along the spectrum of communication, is probably the most common thing that we work on," she said.
While everyone works on their own timeline, seeing progress and working towards an ultimate goal is rewarding for these therapists and technicians, like Miranda Servey.
"I say these children have a hold on my heart because as I'm working with them, they have these what seem like small goals but are really soo big," Servey said.
If you'd like to participate with BlueSprig Waco or help their cause, you can attend their golf tournament on April 30 at the Lake Waco Golf Course.. Golfers can pre-register or show up and pay.