Spring's FACES provides resources for families seeking autism therapy services

Co-founders Pat (left) and Larry Wallace and Fundraising Director Lauren McCown run FACES.

Co-founders Pat (left) and Larry Wallace and Fundraising Director Lauren McCown run FACES.

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Foundation for Autism Care, Education and Services
Image description
Foundation for Autism Care, Education and Services
Pat and Larry Wallace’s 17-year-old grandson lives with autism spectrum disorder, a condition with no known cause or cure that affects roughly 1 in 68 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“When he started [applied behavioral analysis] therapy in 2004, it was very expensive, and there was no insurance covering therapy,” Pat said. “We knew a number of parents and grandparents who were mortgaging homes to pay for therapy.”

ABA therapy is research-based and data-driven, with therapists often spending intensive one-on-one time with clients to track their progress, Pat said. Children are positively reinforced for correct behaviors but not punished for falling short of their goals, she said.

In 2007, the Wallaces launched FACES—the Foundation for Autism Care, Education and Services—a group that raises funds for families who cannot afford ABA therapy and provides scholarships for students studying to become ABA therapists. In the last 10 years, the group has distributed more than $1 million among 213 clients.

The Spring-based organization relies on private donations and three fundraising events throughout the year—a golf tournament, a clay shoot and a casino night, Larry said.

Children living with autism have different learning styles than a typical child, Pat said. ABA therapy covers behaviors, life skills and academic skills depending on the child’s needs. Many will go on to graduate from public school and live functionally while others—like the Wallaces’ grandson—have never spoken a word.

FACES is not looking for a cure, Fundraising Director Lauren McCown said. The nonprofit instead looks to address a problem with scientifically proven therapy that gives the greatest potential for learning and growth.

“You can’t take [autism] away, but what we can do is make sure [families] can afford their ABA therapy,” McCown said.

Foundation of Autism Care, Education and Services
18702 Autumn Breeze Drive, Spring
By Danica Lloyd

Editor, Cy-Fair

Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2016. As editor, she continues to cover local government, education, health care, real estate, development, business and transportation in Cy-Fair. Her experience prior to CI includes studying at the Washington Journalism Center and interning at a startup incubator in D.C., serving as editor-in-chief of Union University's student magazine and online newspaper, reporting for The Jackson Sun and freelancing for other publications in Arkansas and Tennessee.