When I opened our doors in 2003, I started with a couple of staff, a handful of clients, and a mission to change the world. I had no idea that it would be less than a decade before we were expanding our mission, looking for more facilities, and working as quickly as possible to develop programs that would meet the increasing needs of our community.
I had just returned to my home state of Colorado, having spent the better portion of the last five years in Washington working with children on the spectrum. I was about to become only one of three Center-based facilities in the Denver metro area.
I'd spent years dreaming of a "new and better" treatment with every roadblock I'd hit. I had helped families work to bring clinicians and schools together on behalf of their child. 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) that each professional treats their respective portion of the child according to discipline. That is to say, one might politely ask a 15-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 simply doesn't work that way. I spent years dreaming of a model where clinicians would sit together, speak the same language, and focus on how to collectively treat all aspects of their clients.
My vision came together as the raindrops fell one dark afternoon in the Pacific Northwest. I’d been working with one of my first and favorite clients on expanding his eating repertoire to include one grain of rice. Joshua was a darling little boy 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. 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 therapists' sessions for increased opportunities to help pick up the pace a bit. As the rain continued to fall and the grain of rice somehow managed to survive each nibble he took, I sat at the table and began to fill in the necessary components of what would eventually become the Interdisciplinary Intervention Model (II Model).
Since its inception in 2003, the II Model has served hundreds of individuals with its integrated behavioral treatment approach. Professionals have come from all over the world with an interest in learning about collaboration amongst disciplines and a comprehensive approach to services.
It is with great pride that I welcome you to SPECTRA Centers, Inc. where you’ll find a wonderful mix of innovation, intelligence, determination, and passionate team members.
And it is with great humility that I extend my gratitude to you for the opportunity to serve you and yours. Thank you for being here and welcome to the Spectra family!
~ Amy K. Gearhard, M.S., BCBA
CEO / Founder