Lori Frederick, Executive Director

Board Certified Cognitive and Autism Specialist

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!

enhance.jpg

Our Amazing Team

119990388_3627332097297841_8741857604589

Stephanie Barton, Director of Therapy Services

Torrie Moreton 

Lead Speech Pathologist  & Volunteer Director

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.

118397625_10218139227092366_914193918460

Meet The Team

78958488_2660721104018813_5295624539152056320_n_edited.jpg

Lacey Perryman
Office Assistant

Coming Soon

krystal_edited.jpg

Krystal Amberg

Administrative Assistant

I joined The Griffin Promise in September 2020. My passion has always been working with kids. I was a stay at home mom for many years to my 4 boys, and a preschool teacher for 5 years. The best part of my job is getting to see all the kids and their sweet smiles come through the door. The staff here is so great and I feel so lucky to be a small part of the amazing work they are doing. I am so excited to meet you all and welcome you to the clinic! 

Snapchat-845183845_edited.jpg

Rashana Edmonds, Office Manager

My name is Rashana Edmonds. I am the office manager. I am here to help your child and your family get the help they need. I have an associate degree in early childhood development. While I didn't wind up going that path in my career I used what I learned to help raise my own kids. My son is in college and my daughter is in high school. Since I no longer have little ones at home I really love the time I get to spend with the kids at the clinic. 

I started as a volunteer at the clinic Sept 1, 2015. My family & I had moved to Oklahoma the year before from Kansas.  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 seeing the kids when they come in the door. Thanks for letting me be part of your journey.

118397625_10218139227092366_9141939184608380245_o_edited.jpg

Lauryn Moreton

Office Assistant

I have been a part of The Griffin Promise team for many years. What started as volunteering at fundraising events has led me to helping the office team. I love the time I get to spend with the clients, parents, and staff. My full time job is being a teacher with Union Public Schools. Children are a passion for me and I love being a part of this team making a difference. 

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.

302986_10150383506052513_1528926808_n.jp

Jessica Caruthers

Behavioral Play Therapist

I joined The Griffin Promise Team first as a volunteer in 2015 and then as their behavioral health therapist in 2018. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I attended Oklahoma State University for both my undergraduate and master degrees. In my past work experience, clients would be referred to me for “behavior” problems then as I would work with the client and their families, it seemed to me their presenting problems were more than just “behavior”. I found The Griffin Promise and began my journey of learning how autism, speech-language disorders, and sensory sensitivities could also be contributing to behavior issues. I have completed both the Son-Rise Parent and Educator programs and continue to learn as I work with the kids and families of those affected by autism.  

10391750_1153501673776_4489760_n.jpg

April Lewis

Speech Therapist

I have been a speech language pathologist since graduating with my Master’s degree from the University of Tulsa in 1999.  During undergraduate and graduate school, I worked with children with autism in their home/school therapy programs and developed a passion for these children and their families. After graduate school, my career took me on a different path in the area of speech language pathology; however I always had a yearning and interest to one day work again with the autism population. This continued interest led me to The Griffin Promise and I started working here in January 2019. I love the concepts and therapy approaches we utilize here at The Griffin Promise.  The staff are truly one of a kind and genuinely care and love these children.  I am so grateful to be working here and it’s an honor to be a part of these amazing children and their families’ lives.

20170226_231917~2_edited_edited.jpg

SaraWilcox

Speech Therapist

 I previously worked in the school system until the Griffin Promise Autism clinic became my new and exciting journey.

 

When obtaining my Bachelor's degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Northeastern State University, I became increasingly interested in the autism spectrum. I volunteered at the Griffin Promise Autism Clinic in 2014. Next, I obtained my Master's degree of Speech-Language Pathology. Things really came full circle for me when I found myself back to where I first began exploring my interests. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to be in an environment I am truly passionate about.

Grad%5B17706%5D_edited.jpg

Krista Nissen

Speech Therapist

 I joined The Griffin Promise team in June of 2019 for my Clinical Fellowship. I knew I wanted to work with pediatrics and from the beginning I was hooked. Starting out those years ago, I loved the idea that there are so many areas where I could make a positive impact and create a difference for children and their families.
The biggest reason I love what I do is because I truly feel the most powerful thing people possess is their ability to communicate. Having worked with many children on the spectrum, I embraced every little victory along the way. Moments of eye contact, grabbing my hand and pointing me in the direction of the object they wanted, allowing me to join in on what they were doing, were all major hurdles accomplished and made me feel proud of those amazing kids and what I was doing.  Kids on the spectrum have a need to communicate just like the rest of us, they just need a little more support to make it happen. I am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of that growth.  
I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this inspiring team.  What stands out most when entering the building is just how friendly and passionate everyone is, as well as the eagerness each of them has for continued learning to ensure that every child and family that enters is successful as individuals and as families.  I love witnessing these children’s unique abilities, smartness and possibilities being exposed in every daily little victories and I am so proud and excited to be a part of this team.  

mina.jpg

Mina McClure

Speech Therapist

 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. Next I attended the University of Hawaii and returned to Japan in 1999 only to realize that I wanted to be back in the states.

 In 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 speech-language pathology seemed like a good field. It meshed my life-long interest in language and luckily NSU had a speech-language pathology program.

I graduated with a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology in 2014. I spent the first 2 years of my career in the education system but 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.  The relationships I am able to build with each child and their family truly give me joy in my life.

CUDDY-80_edited.jpg

Lauren Cuddy
Speech Therapist

I joined the Griffin Promise Autism Clinic as a speech therapy intern in January of 2020. During my time as an intern, I fell in love with working with these amazing kids and families as well as our therapy approach here. I graduated with a master's degree in speech-language pathology in May of 2020. I could not wait to come back and be a part of the Griffin Promise team full time. I feel so privileged to be a part of the dedicated staff here and to get to be a part of these incredible children and their families' lives. 

66728917_10100702641617625_5144366292181

Emily Vernon

Occupational Therapist

 I have been an occupational therapist since 2011 and worked in pediatrics for the majority of that time. I love the variety and challenges that children give me day to day, there is never a boring day.

Children on the Autism spectrum have always been some of my favorite to work with because the range of needs vary and just the smallest victories are huge steps. I can not wait to engage and learn from the children at Griffin Promise.

caitlin.jpg

Caitlin Day

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

I love being apart of The Griffin Promise because everyone has the same passion, to assist kids in being their best possible self

MicrosoftTeams-image (45).png

Catherine Carroll

 Therapy Assistant

I graduated from Tulsa Community College in May of 2021, with my Associates in Applied Science, after completing the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. Throughout the program, I learned about the many different avenues that I could take with my career as an occupational therapy assistant, but I have always had my heart set on pediatrics. After graduation, I knew that I wanted to find a work environment that cared for their speciality, clients, and employees, alike. That is when I found out about The Griffin Promise Autism Clinic! Individuals on the autism spectrum hold a special place in my heart, and my biggest dream has been to work in a setting where I can guide them to flourish in their daily lives. Having this setting be in pediatrics makes it all the more fun! I can't think of a more exciting and gratifying environment to teach those important life skills to these amazing kids. I feel so grateful to be a part of this team, and to be a part of so many positive changes and accomplishments with these children and their families.

Dr. Robert Thompson,

SLP (Consultant)

Dr. Robert Thompson,

SLP (Consultant)

MicrosoftTeams-image (33).png

Zoe Skorodin

Speech Therapy Assistant

I graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May 2020. I first came to the Griffin Promise to obtain hours for my SLP-A license in March  2021. I immediately fell in love with their approach and they way they love and value their kids. When offered a job as an SLP-A at Griffin Promise, I could not say yes fast enough. As a student, I did not know much about working with individuals with ASD, but now I could not imagine doing anything else. The environment brought by each staff member is one of love and acceptance of not only our kiddos and their families, but also each other. I am so blessed to be apart of this staff and to have the opportunity to love and cherish these children everyday.

dr bob pic 2.jpg

Dr. Robert Thompson,

SLP (Consultant)

Dr. Robert Thompson  earned his Ph. D in Communication Disorders at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and has been a prominent professional in eastern Oklahoma in pediatric programs.  He specializes in autism (ASD), Selective Mutism, and language disorders in Pre-K children; he uses play therapy techniques and involves parents and caregivers in diagnosis and treatment.

His professional history includes Director of Speech-Language and Audiology at Tulsa Children’s Medical Center (16 years), consultant, Children’s Medical Center at Hillcrest MC (5 years), and consultant to the Pediatric Department at the Cherokee Nation W. W. Hastings Hospital (12 years) in Tahlequah. 

 

Dr. Thompson as been a board member with our Clinic since it’s formation in 2014. and currently assists the director, and clinicians with select patients, parent training, and counseling. 

laney (2).jpg

LeLaine Velazquez

Speech Therapy Assistant

I graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May 2021. I first began my externship at the Griffin Promise to obtain my clinical hours for my SLP-A license, but immediately discovered my passion for these kids. I fell in love with the approach, the staff, and most of all these amazing children. I feel so blessed to be part of such an amazing team who truly loves and cherishes each child. I believe working at the Griffin Promise has truly given me purpose and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.