Silver Anniversary Letter
10th Anniversary Kick-Off Celebration Concert
Van Cliburn Recital Hall, Fort Worth, Texas
As we come together to celebrate our tenth anniversary, I am reminded of why I founded the Brent Woodall Foundation for Exceptional Children in 2003. My mission was simple: to empower parents of children with autism and developmental disabilities and to encourage their involvement in their children’s therapy. With relatively few Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs available in the United States, parents either become impoverished as they pay their private therapists, or are unable to find any therapists at all. There are a number of schools that offer ABA, but they are few and therefore their waiting lists tend to be quite long.
Dr. Lovaas, the first to apply ABA therapy to children with autism, strived to teach the layperson how to run an ABA program by enlisting the help of family, friends, or young people with the energy and enthusiasm necessary to do this demanding work. His attitude was, “Anybody can do it.”
My own experience has shown me that while youth and energy are excellent indicators of how well a newly-trained therapist will work, the depth of a parent’s love for their own child is the best indicator of who will work to make the biggest impact in a child’s outcome. The Brent Woodall Foundation is unique because its mission builds upon this love to make ABA therapy a part of each family’s daily lifestyle. Our mission is simple, but it takes both the expertise of the Brent Woodall Foundation and the love and dedication of the parents to make a difference in the lives of children affected by autism.
Tonight I hope you will enjoy the story of the Brent Woodall Foundation’s journey in its pursuit of making a world of difference for families affected by autism here in the United States and around the world.
Tracy Pierce Bender
Founder and Executive Director