Success on the Spectrum celebrates Autism Awareness Month with fall festival

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(Bella Li)

To celebrate Autism Awareness Month, Success on the Spectrum planned a fall festival for children with autism to come together at its facility in American Fork over the weekend.

Success on the Spectrum is Utah’s first service franchise for autism.

Corey Astill, owner of Success on the Spectrum, said the facility opened its doors just a few months ago.

“A lot of times for parents, it can be really difficult to have any sort of outings and especially when you don’t know what to expect when you get there,” Astill said.

According to Astill, the goal of the fall event was to give an opportunity for community engagement. Astill wanted to show people that the facility is a place where families with children who experience autism can come and feel safe.

Additionally, it gave the rest of the community a chance to help end the stigma and discrimination some people with autism experience as participants interacted with families.

Astill said she is gratified by parents noticing a difference and quickly seeing progress in their kids with autism.

“What we provide here is ABA therapy. That’s applied behavioral analysis, which is scientific, clinically proven and it works,” Astill said.

Nicole Bangerter brought her entire family to the event. Bangerter’s 10-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with autism.

Bangerter and her daughter have been coming to the facility for a few weeks, but it was the first time for her husband and other children to see the place. Bangerter loved how friendly the staff was and how well they understood her child’s needs.

“What I really love about this stuff is they took the time to get to know my daughter and know what she needed in order to be successful,” Bangerter said.

Bangerter said her daughter’s biggest struggle is reciprocation because she does not understand why people have negative emotions such as sadness and anger.

“What I’m hoping this facility can help her with is understanding facial expressions again, that how she perceives the world may not be the way that other people perceive the world,” Bangerter said.

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