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

My name is Mina Kawasaki. This is my 4th year as a speech-language pathologist, and I joined the Griffin Promise Autism Clinic in May of 2016.

I was born and raised in Japan, and first came to the United States to attend the University of Tulsa in 1991 as an international student. After I moved to Hawaii as a result of changing majors, I completed undergraduate and graduate programs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and returned to Japan in 1999. Acclimating to my own country, after spending so many years in the US, was challenging, and I began to find life in Japan rather stifling. I was offered an opportunity to work as an international student advisor, and came back to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in 2004. I thoroughly enjoyed the work in the academic setting, and slow-paced country life. Unfortunately, the company started to struggle financially in 2009. In September of 2009 I gave birth to my son who was born with Down syndrome. I realized I needed a career change to provide for him and as I watch my son receive speech therapy, speech-language pathology seemed like a good field. It meshed my life-long interest in language and the stability I was looking for at that time. Luckily the local Northeastern State University had a speech-language pathology program, and I did not need to make too many changes to my life. In 2011 after I did some research and talked to a few professionals who were already in the field, I decided to go back to school to become a speech-language pathologist. I poured my heart and soul into the studies and graduated from Northeastern State University with a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology in 2014.

I spent the first 2 years of my career as a school-based SLP. I loved being in the education field again and being involved in the students’ lives in more ways than delivering speech-language service. At the end of the 2016 school year, however, I made the tough decision to leave the school based SLP environment and started looking for other opportunities. I learned the Griffin Promise was looking for an SLP. Ms. Torrie Moreton and I went to the SLP program together, and I always knew how passionately she felt about the Son-Rise approach. I had already met the founding staff of the clinic when I was still in the graduate program. Furthermore, my son participated in the Griffin Promise’s very first summer camp in 2014. All of these encounters helped me feel comfortable at this clinic and about jumping into their unique relationship-based approach. I started out with just a few hours a day, but my caseload has grown quickly.

Becoming an SLP turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I am particularly grateful that the Griffin Promise gave me the opportunity to be a part of this truly dedicated team. Each day offers different challenges and humbling experiences, and I look forward to coming to the clinic every day. Working at the Griffin Promise is one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had, and I cannot imagine myself working at any other place. Relationships I am able to build with each child and their family truly give me a joy in my life.

I am a new speech-language pathologist and a recent graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University. I am very happy to be enjoying my clinical fellowship year with The Griffin Promise.

I have spent several years working with children with social language disorders and other special needs. After graduating with my undergraduate degree, in communication science and disorders, from Oklahoma State University, I worked for Tulsa Public Schools, as an autism paraprofessional.  I enjoyed working with older children, in a self-contained classroom, and assisted with classroom and extracurricular activities, as well as job training, life skills development, and transition planning. In graduate school, I had the opportunity to learn from highly regarded professionals, in the areas of autism and social pragmatic disorders, dysphagia (disorders of feeding and swallowing), alternative and augmentative devices, and language and literacy development within the special needs population.  I also have experience working with children with Brittle Hair Syndrome, Down’s Syndrome, developmental and acquired apraxia of speech, auditory processing disorder, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disabilities. Special interests include Language Acquisition Through Motor Programing (LAMP), play-based therapy, art and theater for children with autism, training respiration for voice, in children with cerebral palsy, and sensory-motor feeding therapy. Favorite past projects include attending and assisting in sculpture and dance classes with students with autism, loading my van up with older teenagers on the spectrum and going to Reasor’s grocery store, where they taught them how to  do jobs around the store, and teaching tai-chi at a summer camp for children with special needs.

I love working with children and am very happy to have found The Griffin Promise.  Everyone that works in the clinic is very passionate about what they do and they are dedicated to helping each client reach their potential. 

Outside of the clinic, I practice kung-fu and tai-chi, read, and spend time with my husband, children, and cats.

Lindsay Roman

MS CF-SLP


I started as a volunteer at the clinic Sept 1 2015.   My family & I had moved to Oklahoma the year before.  I wasn't quite ready to go back to work but I needed to do something. I answered an ad online looking for a volunteers . I knew almost immediately that The Griffin Promise was where I was meant to be . I really liked the people that worked there & I love all the kids.  I love being the 1st person the kids see when they come in the door. Thanks for letting me be part of your journey.


Rashana Edmonds

Executive Assistant

My name is Michelle Noboa and I am a Play Facilitator at The Griffin Promise Autism Clinic. My journey started when my daughter Camyn was born. From the beginning my husband Sean & I knew our daughter was smart for her age, sweet, beautiful, spirited and brave as could be. She was also different than the average child, we just didn't know why. At two years old, she received an Autism diagnosis. At four years old, after two years of therapy, I brought Camyn to meet Stephanie & Lori at The Griffin Promise Autism Clinic. I immediately knew we were in the right place. Camyn connected & spoke to them from the start. They believed in her like we did & we knew they could help us. I attended the Journey Program training they offer families & it changed our lives. Our beautiful little girl has grown in every way. She impresses us every day and we are so proud of her. 

Our children are wonderful and brilliant, when they know we respect and see them it changes everything. 

For the past three years we have been using the  son-rise therapy approach in our playroom at home. I've have volunteer at the clinic's Summer Camp program for the past three summer and I love watching my child and other children grow & connect with each other. Here, I'm surrounded by amazing people who know how wonderful & invaluable our children are & I'm grateful to be a part of other families' journeys.