BC the Mag Fall '21

Page 18

NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT

Rocketing Potential Mission: Kid Success Helps Children with Neurodevelopment Conditions Succeed By Brianna Ruback

Photos by Jacob Chalfant

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hen Priscilla Leto’s son was diagnosed with Autism in 2010, she was told there was nothing she could do to help him. Unwilling to accept that there was no hope, the Lodi resident did a significant amount of research. She enrolled her son in a variety of therapies, changed his diet, tried out natural remedies and dramatically reduced his screen time. Within six months, she saw him making strides, becoming conversational after fiveand-a-half years of having limited verbal skills.

While working at the call center of Brain Balance, a personalized cognitive training program that her son participated in, Leto heard several heartbreaking stories from families who couldn’t afford the services their children needed. Seeing the progress her son made with the resources he had access to, such as functional medicine, cranial sacral therapy and vision therapy, Leto was inspired to give back.

“People would call up [the center] and be like, ‘Oh this Now 15 years old and able to express his thoughts and feelings out loud, Leto’s son has overcome many of the sounds great. I want to do it.’ And then we would talk social and behavioral challenges he experienced as a child. about the money part of it, and people would be crying to me because they didn’t have the money for it, and that always bothered me,” Leto said. “I look back and I say, ‘If we didn’t do all the things that we did, I don’t know what kind of quality of life he would After talking with therapy center owners and the mothers have now,’” Leto said. of children who were in her son’s program, in 2017, Leto However, many therapeutic services and programs geared decided to launch Mission: Kid Success, 501(c)(3) nontoward children with Autism and other neurodevelopmen- profit organization that aids children struggling with actal conditions are not covered or are only partially covered ademic, social and behavioral challenges, due to Autism, by insurance, posing a significant financial barrier to many ADHD and other neurodevelopmental conditions. Continued on page 20 families. 18 | Fall 2021