“It kinda hits you, you don't really know what to expect or what to do. There's no manual for it." 

-Brent, father of a student at Hope Center for Autism

When their son Brysen was 3 years old, Brent and his wife Brandi grew concerned about his development. After Brysen was clinically diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, they went through a lot of testing and internet research in order to find ways to help him.

“It kinda hits you, you don’t really know what to expect or what to do, there’s no manual for it,” said Brent. During their search, they came across a United Way funded program at The Hope Center for Autism and visited the center to meet some of the staff. When they toured the center, it was evident that the staff went above and beyond to spend time with each individual child. It was a really good fit for what Brysen needed at the time. 

“In our experience with Hope Center, it is more of an extended family than a school,” said Brent. “It really makes a difference in these children’s lives and it’s incredible for the support they receive. I know along with the rest of the families here I truly appreciate it.” Brysen has made such impressive gains and is currently enrolled at Bessey Creek Elementary School, which was the ultimate goal. “Brysen has definitely gone through some changes over the last couple of years. It’s really fun to watch. Thinking about where he was versus where he is… he’s one of the happiest kids I’ve ever seen. He’s always smiling.” 

The program at Hope Center for Autism is one of 47 programs funded by United Way of Martin County. Your gift helps put Brysen and thousands of other Martin County children on the path to success. That’s what it means to LIVE UNITED.