The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is increasing. The CDC estimates that approximately 1 in 44 children in the U.S. suffers from autism (www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html), up from 1 in 54 in 2016 and 1 in 150 children in 2000.
The CDC also states that ASD, “occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, but is about 4 times more common among boys than among girls.” They add: “There is currently no cure for ASD. However, research shows that early intervention treatment services can improve a child’s development” (www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html).
Autism creates a bewildering world for both the child and his or her family. It involves difficulty understanding and interpreting social communication and is often combined with restricted interests and/or repetitive behaviors. An inability to function successfully at home and school often compromises social and academic progress and is disheartening to all.
ABA is a treatment approach that focuses on increasing appropriate behaviors, celebrating successes, and minimizing attention and energy on inappropriate behavior. ABA therapy is a data-driven system of teaching that emphasizes breaking down skills into their component parts and teaching each one through prompting and reinforcement.
By building skills in a coordinated fashion, ABA has been shown to "rewire" brain circuitry in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. However, a typical protocol costs as much as $5,000 per month, making this powerful intervention out of reach for many families.
FACES Autism provides hope and evidence-based services by providing ABA scholarships to families without sufficient resources to cover the costs. In 2021, scholarships were awarded to 41 Houston area children with autism totaling $233,194.
Larry is the visionary leader as Co-Founder and President. A devoted family man, he has been married for 55 years and has two grown children. In addition, he has four grandsons who are very important to him.
Larry’s first grandson, Hunter, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at the early age of 14 months. He and his wife Pat founded FACES Autism in 2006, taking a proactive role in supporting the treatment and care of Hunter and other children with ASD, helping families living with autism.
Larry earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Lutheran College. He is an active member of Trinity Klein Lutheran Church, and enjoys golfing, hunting, cooking and spending time with family.
Dr. Radcliffe is an educational leader with in-depth skills and expertise that greatly assist the Board. She is the President/Educational Consultant for Radcliffe Resources and has conducted professional development training for teachers and administrators in more than 200 public and private schools with a focus on differentiated instruction, meeting the needs of diverse learners, instructional coaching, and services for gifted and advanced students.
Other areas of emphasis include evaluating curriculum and instruction programming and developing plans to improve teaching methodologies for campuses and districts. Her comprehensive model for staff development targeting systemic change has been utilized throughout Texas.
Nancy received a Bachelor of Science in Education at Baylor University, a Master of Education in Administration at the University of Houston, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University. She received the 75 Diamond Award from Klein ISD for being one of the most influential contributors to the district in the seventy-five years since its inception. She has also served as President, Vice-President, and Secretary of the Klein I.S.D. Board of Trustees.
Nancy and her husband, Ross, are also active in both community and church affairs and are the proud parents of three sons, as well as two granddaughters and three grandsons.
Deane brings solid financial analysis experience to the Board as a financial advisor with Saxon Financial Group. After graduating from Texas A&M with a major in Management Information Systems, he spent eight years in the oil and gas industry. He earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston in 2001 and became a financial advisor in 2004.
Deane is married to Caroline and has two children—Michael, who is autistic, and Katherine.
Dr. Spencer brings a successful and longtime career of advocacy for children and families to the Board. He started his professional journey in San Antonio, and has served in a variety of capacities, including principal at a diverse high school in Houston of 3,500+ students to the Executive Director of Human Resources for the Klein Independent School District. Among his many gifts and talents, he is also fluent in Spanish.
Known for being a mentor and role model for those seeking to pursue degrees in education, L.S. has served as an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University, Prairie View A & M University, and Concordia University. He has also been appointed to advisory councils for Lone Star College, Region IV Education Service Center, and Texas Southern University, among others.
When not working to improve the lives of children and families, L.S. enjoys playing golf and being actively involved in his church.
Justin brings expertise in insurance to the Board. As a native Houstonian, he graduated from the University of Houston summa cum laude with a degree in Political Science. Since 2003, Justin has worked in the insurance industry and is currently the Vice President of Hipson Investments, LLC, a private investment and independent insurance brokerage.
Justin became aware of the special insurance coverage needs for the autism community through his wife Lanay, a behavioral therapist for children with autism. As part of his business he focuses on helping families find ways to obtain coverage for the therapies their children need.
He and Lanay have two daughters, Charlotte and Leia, and they are dedicated to improving the lives of people around them. Justin previously served as Treasurer for FACES Autism and as Treasurer and Deacon for Berean Baptist Church.
Lauren McCown is the Executive Director for the Foundation for Autism Care, Education and Services. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Houston, the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. Her early career focused on the hospitality industry, building skills, and specializing in successful special events, weddings, conferences, and corporate meetings.
Lauren was introduced to FACES Autism through her husband, who works at an Applied Behavior Analysis center. She began learning a great deal about the world of autism and the life-changing impact of ABA therapy.
In January 2015, she was invited to become the first full-time staff member for FACES Autism and gladly agreed. Lauren shares: "FACES Autism has allowed me to become somebody who works on behalf of others, to help those in need, to improve lives and outcomes. Children with autism spectrum disorder and their families often struggle. It's rewarding for me to be part of an organization that provides key therapy and resources to truly change lives for the better." Lauren also loves spending time with her family and traveling.
Kevin provides key help to the Board as an attorney and the managing partner of his Houston based law firm. He is board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is primarily engaged to assist corporations with employment issues and to provide general counsel services.
Kevin is married to Shawn and they have two sons, Jake and Alex. Together they try to prioritize faith, family and service to others. Kevin spends a large portion of his time volunteering for local youth organizations and he enjoys fishing, barbecuing, and traveling. He serves on the Scholarship Committee.
Todd Mohr is a life-long Houstonian who graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management & Managerial Studies. During his time at Rice, he played Defensive Tackle on the football team, helping Rice go to its first bowl game in more than 40 years and achieve its second 10-win season in program history.
In 2009, Todd began work at a local independent insurance agency and has been helping the needs of his clients ever since as a Property & Casualty Account Executive with Higginbotham Insurance Agency, a large independent insurance brokerage firm in Texas.
Since 2016, autism spectrum disorder has held a special place in Todd’s heart, the year his daughter was diagnosed with autism. Since then, his family has seen how much ABA therapy can help a person on the autism spectrum. His main focus as a Board member is to help raise awareness of this disorder, educate families dealing with autism that there is help, and to tell his daughter’s story and how ABA therapy has changed her life in such a positive way. He serves on the Scholarship Committee.
Todd lives in Cypress with his wife Megan, their two children, McKenzie and Ethan, and their dog, Marley.
Kathy brings substantial experience in early childhood development to the Board. She has been the Director of the Early Childhood Center at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church for more than 25 years. She loves working with children and families and leading an outstanding staff team. Kathy has been involved with children through her church, scouting, and her community.
She received a Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology from Wichita State University. Her career as a Speech Pathologist began in the Alief School District. Later, she worked with young children in a preschool setting as a teacher and was promoted to the Director position. Language development--both verbal and non-verbal--has always been of interest to her.
Kathy has been married to her husband Mark for 40 years, and they are parents of a son and a daughter that reside in Houston. When not working or serving, her interests include sewing and baking. She joined the Board to help children and families gain access to the resources they need to experience success.
Annie brings a health practitioner’s perspective to the Board. Born and raised in Houston, she graduated from the University of Texas at Tyler with a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing and serves as a Director of Quality/Case Management/Clinical Systems at The Woodlands Specialty Hospital. Throughout her career as a Registered Nurse, Annie has had the privilege of working in large organizations and has practiced in numerous specialties.
She and her husband have a sweet two-year-old daughter named Scarlett who brings them infinite joy. She is passionate about family. For many years they did not think it would be possible to have a child when they were blessed with this delightful little girl. As a full-time working mom, she understands the need for help and how the right resource can make all the difference. Anything she can do to help other families throughout their journey would be a real honor. She serves on the Scholarship Committee.
Joe brings a Supply Chain background and a heart for children and families with autism to the Board. He is a Supply Chain Professional in the Oil & Gas Industry and worked for Halliburton for 22 years and held many roles within their supply chain. Joe currently works for Universal Pressure Pumping ( a division of Patterson UTI) as a Supply Chain Manager - Procurement & Materials.
He is a graduate of Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma and was a member of their 1987 National Championship Football Team. Joe earned several athletic honors both at his High School in Duncan Oklahoma and at Cameron. Most recently Joe was a 2018 Inductee into the Duncan High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Joe and his wife Sharla have been married for 28 years and have lived in the Houston area since 2004. They are parents to Dillon and Taylor. Dillon was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of 12 and they have been his advocates to ensure his needs are met. He is very passionate about the autistic community and ensuring that the services that this community needs are provided. Joe enjoys fishing with Dillon at their family farm in Oklahoma as well as athletics and cooking outdoors.
Kristen brings important marketing and event planning expertise to the Board, with more than ten years of this experience for the offshore oil and gas industry. She began her career in 2008 as Marketing Coordinator at DOF Subsea, a global subsea service provider. In 2012, she joined Benthic Geotech, a start-up geotechcompany, as Marketing Manager and established their marketing department from the ground up. Kristen left Benthic in 2016 to work as a consultant for legal tech provider YerraSolutions where she managed their global events team. In 2018, Yerra was acquired leading Kristen to rejoin the Benthic team where she manages global Marketing and Communications today.
Kristen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Houston and lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and supporting her favorite charity, FACES Autism.
The Foundation for Autism Care, Education and Services (FACES) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 foundation. FACES is dedicated to raising funds to directly support and promote ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy, education, services and treatment for children with Autism and their families.
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