The Griffin Promise....

At 18 months old my son, Griffin, stopped talking and looking at us. He was still a lovable little toddler, but there was something different. We started searching for answers and after almost 2 years of being told that he didn't fit the Autism Profile, we diagnosed him ourselves. It wasn't too long before our developmental pediatrician agreed with us. Though we had a diagnosis on paper, we still didn't have any new information on how to help our special little boy. We continued to search the internet, talk to other families, try everything thrown at us in forms of diets and therapies. We stuck him with needles, forced him to stop stimming, anything to try and make him "normal".

We were clueless! Griffin's doctors and therapists would tell us that he is "right there", so why can't we get through to him? Finally we stumbled across the Autism Center of America © website and called for the free video. Watching those documentaries we realized that it was almost too good to be true. 


Over the next few years we were able to attend classes in Massachusetts multiple times. Through our training we built a team of volunteers and watched as our son grew and began talking and interacting with us. Griffin is part of the Broken Arrow Schools Autism Program where he loves playing with his friends and learning. He is so close to being almost fully recovered!


Through friends and volunteers, the story of Griffin quickly spread as more families were needing information on autism therapies. We spent countless hours talking to parents and caregivers. We were invited to speaking events at local universities with other therapists and teachers sharing our knowledge. We continued our training and experimented with ideas in the classrooms, homes, and therapy practices. Overtime, we started being asked to run programs and give training for others. 


We knew there was more that we could do for our community and felt it was time for our team to take it to the next level. In conjunction with our training, our experience, and our education we developed The Griffin Promise Autism Clinic. 


Our mission is to help other families and offer them guidance and HOPE for their journey!!!! This program is worth it and we would love to help. 


Whether you are looking for autism information, therapy solutions, want to be a volunteer, want to donate, or need training we are happy to be a part of your journey!!!

 

Thank you,


Lori Frederick

Executive Director, Certified Autism Specialist

My name is Stephanie Barton and I have been a Speech Language Pathologist for 14 years. I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself and share a little of my history that has brought me to where I am today. I served as lead Speech Pathologist at Hillcrest Children’s Medical Center Developmental Pediatrics Clinic from 2006 to 2010. I worked almost exclusively with children diagnosed with Autistic Disorder. 


In 2007 I met a very special family; Lori and Greg Frederick and their son Griffin. He was a beautiful child that appeared to be physically normal. Griffin had been referred by one of our developmental pediatricians. Upon meeting him for the first time, I knew that something wasn't quite right. He was smart and could identify pictures, items by color, and assemble puzzles with ease. However, he was rigid, isolated, and had some oddities of motor behavior. It wasn't much longer after I started treating Griffin that the doctor finally diagnosed him with Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and then eventually Autistic Disorder. I wasn't surprised, but had hoped for something different. I knew that treatment with these kids required intensive sessions that would continue for a long time, progress would be slow, and therapy was rigorous. Griffin was non-verbal, didn't interact or play imaginatively with toys, and engaged in odd motor behaviors that were repetitive. He was not toilet trained and he used his parents as an extension of himself to meet his needs. During treatment sessions with griffin, I tried all my tricks to get him to talk: modeling, with-holding items, oral motor prodding and manipulation, mandatory interaction with toys and games of my choice. None of my approaches worked. My treatment approaches failed to make any changes in Griffin. I wanted to help him, but didn't know how. 


Lori and Greg continued to research Autism to find other available resources and treatments to help him. They visited a variety of doctors and endured diet changes and chelation among other things. One day at our therapy session, Lori told me about the Son-Rise approach to Autism. I had heard of it, but didn't know anything about it. Lori was excited and optimistic that she had found something that would actually work. I was initially reluctant to believe that there was anything out there that could resolve autism symptoms, but was hopeful that she had found an answer. She immediately started raising money to send Greg and herself to the Autism Treatment Center of America©. They attended the start-up program in Massachusetts and immediately implemented strategies upon returning. They continued to visit my clinic once a week which I was grateful for because I had grown quite fond of that little guy. Lori and Greg shared all the information that they had learned, and I too implemented the same approach every week when I saw Griffin. It was amazing how fast he started to change, almost overnight. Griffin started to communicate with words and interact with us for brief periods. His affect was dynamic at times and he learned to use the potty too. I couldn't believe that I was seeing a miracle take place right before my eyes. 


Lori and The Griffin Promise team raised money to send me to Massachusetts to learn the son-rise approach. I went to the start-up course and began implementing the approach in my sessions and sharing information with other families. I loved all the changes that I saw in my clients. I noticed that the more involvement from the caregivers and through this approach the more growth we would see in these children. Over the next few years, I went on to work both in a school setting and at another clinic. I used the training and my experience together to work with my clients, but found that the set up of the session rooms and the time constraints made the treatments less effective. 


Children’s Medical Center has since closed its doors and left many families with one less place to take their child for help. But not for long, The Griffin Promise is opening our facility in 2014 to meet the ever growing needs and challenges that these families face. I am more than excited to be returning to my passion; offering hope and love to children and families dealing with autism. With a supportive team, training, and resources at your fingertips, you too can be equipped to help your child on their journey of growth and recovery.


I look forward to working with you, 


Stephanie Barton

Lead Speech Pathologist

My name is Torrie Moreton and I just completed my Clinical Experience Year as a Speech Language Pathologist. I attended Northeastern State University for my Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees.

In January 2009 I began volunteering with a special young boy, Griffin Frederick, in his in-home Son-Rise® therapy program. Upon meeting Griffin I was immediately attached to his sweet, innocent demeanor and I knew that I needed to be a part of his journey. When I began playing with Griffin he had less than 50 words, but he quickly progressed and was soon playing simple games and interacting with us in ways that doctors had said he would never be able to. Griffin and I quickly became inseparable. We became more than friends, he was like my brother.

In December of 2009 Griffin’s parents invited me to accompany them to their intensive training program at the Autism Treatment Center of America™ in Massachusetts. This training confirmed my passion and love for these perfect children on the spectrum.

After volunteering with Griffin for over a year and attending the training in Massachusetts, I knew that I needed a profession where I worked with children on the spectrum on a daily basis. After speaking with Griffin’s mother, Lori Frederick, and Stephanie Barton, who was Griffin’s Speech Pathologist at the time. I was directed to the field of Speech Language Pathology. Immediately I enrolled in the program and began working on my degree.

During my undergraduate career, I began working with two young brothers in their home therapy program. In a short time I fell in love with them and eventually became their schedule coordinator for other volunteers and myself. Lori helped me to train their family and volunteers so they could begin utilizing some SonRise© principles in the program. Like Griffin, the boys quickly began making progress. Their grandmother and father wanted to learn more and decided to attend a training program at The Autism Treatment Center of America™ in Massachusetts to further their education on this approach and help the boys reach their fullest potential.

I continued to volunteer with Griffin every Monday night for three years until I moved away for school in 2011. While I was away I continued to work with The Griffin Promise Non-Profit by participating in fundraising and speaking. The Griffin Promise Autism Clinic opened in June 2014 which was perfect timing for me to complete my externship experience at the clinic. I graduated with my Master’s Degree in May 2015 and immediately came on staff to join the team.

I continue to learn new things each day with these brilliant children. They often teach me more than I feel I teach them. As a therapist here at the clinic, I look forward to working with you and helping your family on your journey.

Torrie Moreton

Speech Pathologist/Volunteer Coordinator