Perfect Fit Foundation is founded by Holly Legg, Tatiana Tuchez and myself, Trista Fergerson. Perfect Fit Therapy Clinic came to me when my son Dax entered and began struggling in first grade.
With Autism there are so many factors as to what can make it a good year or a tough year. One thing people don't know about Autism is that poor behavior is often associated with it. Children with Autism have a difficult time controlling their emotions. They feel so strongly and don’t understand the social norms or have the capacity to control what is happening in their mind and body. For all of us, that control is a learned behavior. For children on the spectrum it takes much longer to learn it and it’s much more difficult to teach.
Dax began struggling with his behaviors. Hitting and throwing things at other students and teachers at school became a daily occurrence. Screaming and acting like an animal or a dinosaur when he didn’t want to do something he was asked to do happened at school regularly. My husband and I were getting negative feedback reports almost daily. We had many meetings with teachers offering our suggestions, while they offered ideas to us and nothing seemed to change.
While Dodge City has many things to offer its community members, it lacks in offering services for special needs individuals. What Dax really needed was Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA Therapy) from a licensed and trained therapist that knew exactly how to manipulate his behaviors and help him and us as parents learn to control his emotional. The nearest BCBA to apply that therapy is in Wichita, 150 miles from Dodge City. I called clinics in Wichita to ask about enrollment. How would it work? Would we qualify? Could we make a weekly visit if we had to? Every clinic I called told me they wouldn’t accept Dax for therapy without a minimum of 10 hours a week. That 150 miles started to put a damper on my son getting therapy.
Born and raised in Dodge City, my husband had no real interest in moving. We prayed for answers. We prayed for help. Then, nearing the holidays and planning a visit to Atlanta, Georgia to visit my brother and his family, I talked my husband into the possibility of moving from Dodge City. Atlanta is a thriving metropolis with many therapy clinics and specialized schools for Autism. Dax could go to an all-day school and get the therapy and education he deserved from professionals trained in how to deal with his brain. However, people like what they like. Shortly upon our visit it became evident to us that we did not want to live in Atlanta. We really didn't want to live anywhere except Dodge City.
In the midst of our flight home after Christmas I said to my husband, “I'm opening a therapy clinic in Dodge. I don't know how, but I’m doing it.” His response was, “okay!”
The idea of the Perfect Fit Foundation now has a new purpose and goal. The creation of the Perfect Fit Foundation will be to serve the special needs community of Southwest Kansas in providing multidisciplinary therapy services in the form of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and applied behavioral therapy, in addition to creating a learning center to aid the community in serving children educationally as well. The foundation will fund the not-for-profit clinic and learning center in providing those services. Our goal is to serve all of Southwest Kansas, not simply Dodge City. Being that all fore-mentioned services are lacking in not just the larger cities in Southwest Kansas, but most definitely the smaller towns and communities, Perfect Fit Foundation will strive to reach all individuals that need and deserve services from Perfect Fit Therapy.