it's different here.

Our mission
Our mission is to bring unity to Autism Spectrum Disorder treatment through (1) integrating disciplines, (2) connecting professionals, and (3) building comprehensive programs for our clients and families.

Our Model
The Interdisciplinary Intervention Model (II Model) is a treatment approach grounded in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. The progressive model integrates six disciplines, fundamental to development, to address the naturally inseparable needs and challenges present within the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Our Vision
Our vision is to establish the II Model as an accessible means of treatment for families and a progressive means of training for professionals throughout the world.

Our values

1. Dream big.
2. Speak honestly. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
3. Be respectful and play well with others.
4. Make time. Be present.
5. Be humble.
6. Always be thankful.
7. Work hard; play hard.

Our story:: small bites and big dreams

I didn't understand why Autism Spectrum Disorders were represented by the puzzle piece until I began working in the field in Seattle in the mid 1990's. I quickly discovered the challenges that families face as they work to bring clinicians, schools, and therapists together to collaborate on behalf of their child.  In each case, I found one component to be consistent: every "piece of the puzzle" had his or her own idea as to what the best solution for the child and family should look like. Collaboration rarely came easily. Communication was challenging. Data was difficult - at best. Few of us used the same clinical lingo, let alone agreed on goals. Common practice was (and still often is) each professional treats their respective portion of the child according to discipline. That is to say, one might politely ask a 7-year-old boy to check his maladaptive behavior at the door when going in for a speech session or, vice-versa, and remind him to put his aphasia in his cubby when coming in for behavioral services. It doesn't work that way. I have a couple of Aspie friends on the verge of young adulthood that have shown themselves to be a bit less forgiving as I've attempted to answer their questions as to why we clinicians can't be friends and work together to comprehensively deliver services to one individual. "Who is lacking the social skills in this world?!" 

Rather well spoken, if I do say so myself.

One of my first and favorite clients in the Northwest was a darling little boy by the name of Joshua that could initiate a handful of spontaneous words, complete any puzzle (likely in the dark with his eyes closed) and provide a scientific name for every animal known to man. One rainy afternoon, we worked for what seemed like a decade to expand his eating repertoire to include ONE grain of rice. Seventeen bites later (yes, 17!) I was thinking to myself that it would have been wonderful to collaborate with his Occupational Therapist for a couple of good tips and then add this goal to other clinicians' sessions for increased opportunities to help pick up the pace a bit. As the rain fell outside and the grain of rice somehow managed to survive each nibble he took, I sat at the table thinking about a better way for professionals to collaborate on services for our kids and families. Through much research, the 
Interdisciplinary Intervention Model (IIM) was developed - a behavior-based treatment model integrating each of the disciplines essential to the field of ASD.

Our home:Welcome to spectra
When we opened our doors, Center-based learning was still a relatively new option for families in Colorado, with ours being one of three facilities offering similar services. Significant growth prompted the opening of a second location in Lafayette, Colorado in 2006. Since its inception, services have been provided to hundreds of families throughout the Denver metro area, from Colorado Springs to Greeley, and extending to neighboring states as well.

We rallied and cheered alongside many others as the Health Insurance Mandated Autism Treatment law (HIMAT) was finally passed in late 2010 - permanently changing the way services were to be offered, rendered, and paid for. The HIMAT Law has enabled children birth through 18 years of age with specific types of private group health insurance policies to utilize their private health insurance to cover treatment services for ASD.

'Change' can often be challenging in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Our kids enjoy receiving it about as much as we clinicians and parents enjoy delving it out. It's not easy for most. However, our field is evolving at a rate that warrants acceptance and adjustment on our part - like it or not.  Requirements made by our funding partners have warranted an increase in the type of credentialed clinicians overseeing and implementing programs, forcing our families to face unwanted staffing changes as we have shifted to meet a higher standard of qualifications and billing requirements. 
SPECTRA Autism Center was introduced in the fall of 2012, representing a new level of  treatment, staffing, and service quality. Our commitment remains the same as it was when we began working in the ASD community in Colorado: to give families and professionals around the world access to a simplified treatment solution through the Interdisciplinary Intervention Model. With a commitment to support our families and funding payers, 
Spectra is equipped to provide programming that reaches further into the community for our clients and professionals. 

I take great pride in welcoming you to join one of the strongest teams that I've had the privilege of working amongst. You'll find a wonderful mix of innovation, intelligence, determination, and big, warm hearts. Thank you for being here. We're glad to have you.

Amy K. Gearhard, M.S., BCBA
CEO / Founder
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