SpringBrook Brings Hope to Families


I once read a post on Facebook from a father whose teenage autistic son was struggling. He was unable to communicate his wants and needs and had chronic health issues that the medical community couldn’t seem to get ahead of.

At that time, my own sweet son was a few days shy of age six. He had similar struggles. The father went onto explain that they had reached the end of the road when it came to help. Their son was very aggressive towards himself and others. So much so that they tried to work with the local rural hospital and immediately could tell it wasn’t the right setting for him. He couldn’t find anyone or any place that would help him help his son. This wasn’t the first time I heard this sentiment from a parent.

The comments in response to the father’s plea for help were a mixed bag, as they usually are online. Sympathy, praise for good parenting, attacking for being bad parents. I read it all.

And my heart broke. It broke for the family, the boy, and all the people out in the world going through similar struggles.

Where is the help? 

A few weeks ago, I attended The Converge Autism Summit in South Carolina, a conference held by SPRINGBROOK Behavioral Health.

The lineup of keynote speakers for the event was second to none. Temple Grandin, autism self-advocate, and Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, bestselling author and the founder of Sidekicks, technology used to support those with autism and their families. Also joining was Peter Vermeulen, Ph.D., internationally respected autism researcher, founder of Autism in Context and author of more than 15 books on autism published in several countries around the world.

I also had the privilege of learning about SpringBrook, their mission, and what they offer to families in crisis.

When I sat down with their Administrator, Mike Rowley, I was amazed by his knowledge and compassion for families in crisis.

He spoke of how there is nothing that makes parents feel more helpless than not being able to communicate with or effectively help their children. And when a child is acting out, engaging in self-harming behaviors, becoming aggressive with others, or exhibiting any of the maladaptive behaviors associated with autism and other related diagnosis, the dedicated team at Springbrook can help.

He spoke of help, hope, and actively getting children back to their homes and families. That’s the part that spoke the loudest to me.

Getting kids back to their homes and families. 

Springbrook is a state-of-the-art behavioral health center with a well-developed program for the treatment of autism in children ages 5-21. Their therapy programs for autism rely on the latest findings and the most effective research methods, and their therapists and other staff members meet regularly to discuss a child’s specific progress, goals, and challenges. They offer residential treatment and acute short-term options. And they do offer out-of-state placements. You do not need to live in South Carolina to receive help.

Parents, on your most challenging parenting day…there is hope. Remember that.

To learn more, visit their website at Springbrook Multisite | Autism Behavioral Health (

Or for 24/7 confidential help and referrals call 864-834-8013.

I’ll leave you with a testimonial from their website:

“I wanted to take a moment to try to express how much Springbrook means to us!

Springbrook has been a life saver literally (ours and our son)! We have a totally different son now and it is thanks to Dr. F and the treatment team. Our local hospital here in Atlanta denied us care (our case was too difficult) and at the time it was soul crushing, but we are so glad now that it happened because we found Springbrook! Springbrook did more for our son in 40 days than anyone here in Atlanta has done in the last 4 years!!!!!!! We now drive every month 3 and half hours (each way) just to see Dr. F as outpatient! We cannot begin to thank you enough!!!!!!! Thank you, D.M”

Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson lives in Minnesota with her husband Jamie, and four children, Cooper, Sawyer, Harbor and Wynnie. Kate launched Finding Cooper's Voice from her couch while her now 11-year-old son Cooper was being diagnosed with autism. Back then it was a place to write. Today it is a living, thriving community of people who want to not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Forever Boy, will be released, April 5, 2022.

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