Social skills group coordinator Aaron Weintraub has seen too many children on the autism spectrum and their families sent across the Connecticut River to pursue the therapies and care that they need.
So in an effort to guide locals to services that already exist in the area, Weintraub and a group of diverse business owners and professionals are supporting the formation of a Spectrum Services Cooperative, an informal network of providers available for those on the spectrum in Tolland County.
"We're laying the ground work to make Tolland County a place known for its quality services," Weintraub said.
Weintraub, who runs the Kids Cooperate social skills groups, has been reaching out to local school districts and doctors offices to let the community know that a network of support is nearby.
"We all care about the family and kids getting the services they need," he said.
And there are already a number of great services established in the area. Some of the providers who are also part of the cooperative include:
- Kimmie Borovicka, MT-BC, who runs Musical Pathways in Ellington. She provides musical therapy in schools, homes and in the community for those with special needs.
- New Beginnings LLC - Amy Eisner, MA, is a former special education teacher and a special education advocate
The cooperative is also working to widen its provider network through partnerships with organizations like Success SEPTO, a special education advocacy organization and the ASRC, which provides recreational activities for children and young adults on the autism spectrum.
Weintraub said members of the cooperative offer recommendations to their clients based off of each family's needs. For example, if a child responds to musical activities in Weintraub's social skill groups, he will let the parents know about Musical Pathways to further their child's development.
At present, Weintraub said that the group will remain an informal network of businesses.
For more information on the Spectrum Services Cooperative, visit the Kids Cooperate website.