LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Jennifer Hamrick and Julie Harris from The Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research are filling a void for autistic kids and their families.
“We feel privileged that we’re living in the city of Lubbock.”
They’re offering help on wheels in rural West Texas.
“We want to give those services to people who don’t have easy access.”
The mobile service called The Mobile Outreach Clinic for Autism comes from a $300,000 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and will be free of charge.
“There’s going to be some initial assessment to determine what the needs are for the family, so if there are skill deficits that we need to address, we’ll try to work with those. It can be even be just mental health services. That’s another component that we’re adding because having a family member with a disability can cause a level of stress sometimes for parents. Schools have even been reaching out to us that have students in their schools that they know the families do need some additional support,” said Jennifer Hamrick, a behavior analyst, within the Center.
Julie Harris knows the impact on a personal level.
“I know from experience… I have six year old with autism. At the age of six, it wouldn’t be unusual for a neurotypical - which is what we call those folks that don’t have autism - for them to just rush in and start playing with one another. My six year old doesn’t understand that concept. So, one of the things we can teach with ABA, which is applied behavioral analysis, is give specific instruction and skills of how to join into that kind of play,” said Julie, an associate within the Center.
The mobile clinic will start soon. If families and communities want to be put on the list to receive services, they can do so now. Head to www.burkhartcenter.org/mobileclinic for more information.