Springtide Child Development puts autism in focus at Shrewsbury facility

When the world was shutting down two years ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Springtide Child Development opened its center on the first day of state-mandated quarantine in Connecticut. Now, with five centers total, including a brand-new facility in Shrewsbury, Springtide is continuing its mission of focusing on not only children with autism, but also the entire family, in addition to helping them navigate through life after lockdown. 

An integrated autism care center, Springtide takes a 360-degree approach to children with autism, so that each family receives services targeted to their needs and schedules. The company considers itself a partner in a family’s journey and provides services for children ages 2 through 18 who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The centers in Massachusetts and Connecticut specialize in play-based, interactive applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, which is the “gold standard” treatment for children with autism, said Springtide co-founder and CEO Jia Jia Ye.

Therapist Priscilla DePaula plays with a child while bubbles fill the room at Springtide Child Development.

Part of the inspiration for Springtide came from Ye’s childhood. She and her family lived in Salt Lake City and had a close friend who had autism but had to travel to Boston to work with a therapist there. “There were literally zero therapists in the whole state,” she recalled. 

Finding those services — and then having insurance provide payment — was often a source of frustration for families, and then combine that with the stigmas surrounding autism at the time. “It was really hard to get care. It was really hard to get therapists,” Ye said. “In the past, that was incredibly expensive for families. Even if you did have a diagnosis, if you didn’t have a way to address it, what value is that diagnosis?” 

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