BERLIN - Families impacted by autism have a new oasis in Somewhere Over the Spectrum, where they can learn, grow and thrive.
The holistic pediatric therapy center opened in late September at 120 Webster Square Rd. Co-owners Alyssa Grieg, Courtney Welch and Christina Welch are now welcoming families to join their growing family.
“Our approach is very unique, holistic and heartfelt,” said Courtney, who is married to Grieg and the sister of Christina.
What separates theirs from other autism programs is the trio’s approach.
“We take the time to really understand each child and each family,” Grieg said. “They show us where they’re having struggles and barriers. They show us what they need. The learning is accelerated. We support the child now and who they want to be in five to 10 years.”
Stepping into the building visitors enter what they like to call “the family room” instead of “the waiting room.”
“It’s a place where parents can be vulnerable,” Christina said. “Share cheers and triumphs but also challenges.”
The whole vibe of the facility is home-like and sensory-friendly, to put families and children at ease. Lots of natural light is incorporated into the environment and play is encouraged as much as learning.
“Kids develop a love of learning in an environment where they feel loved,” Grieg said.
Prior to opening Somewhere Over the Spectrum, the trio worked in another child development center in the Farmington Valley.
“We took the leap and found a really beautiful spot in a really supportive community,” Courtney said.
The 4,092 sq. ft. space is laid out in a full circle hallway featuring lots of rooms and different areas for play, learning, sensory work, movement and more.
They are also creating an outdoor play area on the grassy side of their building.
The center serves individuals from 16 months to 16 years old. They offer ADA and occupational therapy as well as a full-day early childhood program for kids ages 16 months to six years old.
About 15 families have already joined Somewhere Over the Spectrum and staff expect to have a waiting list soon.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a teaching style that the team uses as a foundation, but expanding upon the principles with a more holistic approach.
“We are a land of acceptance, understanding, awareness and love,” Courtney said.
Their logo, a very unique rainbow with stripes of differing thicknesses and colors, speaks to this vision.
“A lot of people don’t know, but a rainbow is actually a full circle,” Grieg said. “People might not see the whole child, that perfect being. Our job is to make sure we uncover those hidden parts to help others and the child themselves see their whole self.”
“Each moment we look at as a meaningful learning opportunity,” Christina added. “There is meaning behind each moment.”
For families that are concerned about the cost of therapy and services, a variety of different insurance carriers are accepted (including Medicaid) and payment plans are available.
For more information visit somewhereoverct.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-420-3800.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at email@example.com.