Greater Tulsa Reporter
A GROWING NEED: Lori Frederick, executive director of The Griffin Promise Autism Clinic and certified autism specialist, works with a child at the Broken Arrow clinic, which opened in 2014. The clinic recently expanded its physical size and its offered services.
Since opening the doors of The Griffin Promise Autism Clinic, 2552 E. Kenosha St., in Broken Arrow, in August 2014, Executive Director Lori Frederick remains surprised by the clinic’s continued growth.
“In summer 2016, we added two therapy rooms and a training room, expansion that we weren’t planning until year five,” she says.
The added rooms allow for additional therapy sessions and family training classes to take place at the same time due to the added privacy.
With the start of the new year, the clinic began offering a number of expanded services, and recently hired a part-time therapist to add to its three full-time therapists to help with the workload.
In January, the clinic officially began administering autism diagnostic testing, called ADOS (autism diagnostic observation schedule), a scientific evaluation to determine if and where a child lies on the autism spectrum.
The clinic also recently began providing space for a local doctor who works with rare diseases and PKU (phenylketonuria).
Additionally, the clinic now offers feeding therapy, which assists infants and children with feeding difficulties.
“Children with autism can be sensitive to taste, touch, smell; they don’t like the way things feel because their senses are heightened,” Frederick says.
“Most people, when they think of autism, they think of people who are sensitive to light and sounds, but it can apply to other senses as well.”
Feeding therapy takes the same approach as the clinic’s other therapies: coaching of the whole family, including parents and caregivers.
“Therapy clinics are not going to be the fixer. It’s about having a team of people,” Frederick says. “Families who come in and train, those are the kids who we see have significant improvement.”
One such family will be honored at the clinic’s first annual gala, to be held April 1 at the Glass Chapel, 1401 W. Washington St., in Broken Arrow.
The Broken Arrow family participated in the clinic’s Journey Program and instituted it in their home for their child who has autism, says Frederick.
The clinic’s Board of Directors funded the family’s table at the event.
The gala will feature interviews with the whole family and provide an opportunity to showcase where our donors’ money goes and showcase the kids, their stories and their families, she says.
Frederick and the clinic’s board members made the decision to offer a gala this year due to the consistent growth in participation and proceeds at its past fundraising events.
The gala will include a three-course dinner, a wine pull, and live and silent auctions, with packages including international travel, tickets to local events and destinations, and autographed sports memorabilia.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with dinner beginning at 7 p.m.