What Does MAXimum Chances Aim to Achieve?

MAXimum Chances seeks to connect families with 3 exceptional autism service providers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area.


Journey Learning CenterThis facility offers year-round services for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in a school like setting. The purpose of the center is to provide children with ASD the skills to participate in mainstream schooling, which allows them to be more successful in society generally. Treatment is customized to each child’s individual needs and includes Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy, which is considered the gold standard by medical professionals in the behavioral treatment of autism. In addition, Journey Learning Center offers extensive speech and occupational therapy by offering an extremely low staff to child ratio, with individualized programs overseen by qualified therapy professionals.

What differentiates the Journey Learning Center from similar autism centers is their focus on cost containment for affected families. Typical costs of intensive, daily therapy is upwards of $50,000 a year. Clearly, costs of this magnitude are entirely prohibitive for the vast majority of people on average income. Mary Villareal, who founded and operates the center, is committed to keeping costs for each participating family as low as possible. Even with this philosophy, the reality is costs exceed $2300 a month for full time therapy (40 hours a week). Families who support this level of commitment consistently see improvements and results in their children attending the center. The center is a non-profit 501c3 organization and currently relies on both fees and donations.

The aim of MAXimum Chances is to provide scholarships or offset costs to families who cannot afford the intensive therapy as well as potentially offsetting the baseline operating costs of the center.

Learn more about Journey Learning Center

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Center for Therapeutic StrategiesThe Center for Therapeutic Strategies (CTS) is a leader in the DFW area in assisting children with auditory and sensory processing disorders, receptive and expressive language delays and the cognitive communications disorders often associated with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Jane Shook is a dedicated Speech language pathologist and founded this center after more than 30 years of working with the public school system and in private practice.

Jane is a seasoned professional and combines traditional speech therapy with specialist techniques including oral-motor planning (assisting speech and swallowing), cranio-sacral therapy (impacting nervous system imbalance), play therapy (addresses fluency, social confidence and recall problems), as well as interactive metronome (timing and sequencing) approaches among others.

The diverse and comprehensive techniques on offer allow for a truly customized program based on each child’s specific needs. Jane has crafted programs that generate significant improvement and lasting benefit to the patients she works with.

Learn more about The Center For Therapeutic Strategies

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Kotsanis-Institute-LogoWe believe the bio-medical approach to be a critical piece of the puzzle in the overall treatment of autism and which MAXimum Chances would like to offer to other patients. Dr Constantine Kotsanis believes that participating in specific bio-medical treatments can significantly improve the lives of individuals on the Autistic Spectrum.

Dr Kotsanis is an otolaryngologist and Allergist and his treatment of autistic children began back in 1992. His ongoing clinical experiences showed clear evidence that patients having a healthy digestive tract, a strong immune system and specific nutritional interventions had a positive effect on reducing autistic like behaviors such as:

  1. Poor eye contact
  2. Poor social interactions (limited ability to participate in a one on one or group conversation)
  3. “Stimming” (self- stimulatory behavior involving repetitive movements such as flapping)
  4. Echolalia (constantly repeating what they or others say)

In addition, having a healthier body supported efforts to improve vocabulary and assisted other therapies reduce with the above-mentioned socially inappropriate behaviors.

Dr Kotsanis strives to develop an individual metabolic profile and customized treatment plan that will suit a patient’s particular medical issues. The goal is to:

  1. Correct the digestive function
  2. Administer a new diet plan (may include removing gluten and dairy)
  3. Integrate heavy metal detoxification processes and
  4. Help to boost the immune system with allergy testing and superior nutrition for that patient.

Learn more about The Kotsanis Institute

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White Bridle Therapeutic Riding, located at Rocky Top Ranch in Keller, Texas, offers riding programs for many children with special needs including autism.

Research has shown that children with autism who participate in therapeutic riding can benefit in many different ways. The physical connection they may have with the horse when they ride, brush or pat them can help create an emotional bond which is very beneficial for many with autism.

The undemanding nature of horses can teach them a connection and trust that can be harder to form with humans.

For children with delayed communication skills, riding a horse can be a great motivator for learning to follow and give directions and instructions.

Finally, the sensory input that children receive on a horse is incredible. It can assist with balance and spatial awareness and helps activate their vestibular sense organs in the inner ear – which, in turn, helps improve muscle tone, reflexes and visual sensations.

Brook Boleyn at White Bridle is dedicated to ensuring that families affected by autism have access to this amazing facility and helping improve their lives through increased communication, applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and learning social skills. One of Brook’s main focuses is to ensure that children with autism get to experience as much joy in their lives as possible.

White Bridle’s 10-week spring and fall programs (with 8 week summer programs) offer a weekly one-hour lesson. In this hour, 30 minutes is dedicated to therapeutic riding and activity based learning; and 30 minutes is spent in White Bridle’s cheerful, therapy center and outdoor playground.

Learn more about White Bridle

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Autism by the Numbers

The costs of behavioral intervention therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can reach up to $60,000 per child each year.

It is estimated that medical costs associated with caring for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder are up to $20,000 higher annually than caring for a child without.

It is estimated that Autism costs the nation $137 billion per year, no doubt the rising ate of children diagnosed will increase this figure dramatically.

In 2010 the National Institute of Health (NIH) allocated just $218 million of it’s $35.6 billion dollar budget to Autism. This number represents less than 0.6% of total NIH funding.

More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than pediatric AIDS, juvenile diabetes and cancer combined.

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States yet the most underfunded.

Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

While the cause of Autism is still unclear, current studies indicate genetics and exposure to environmental triggers both play a role in the autism prevalence increase.

Families with one child on the Autism Spectrum have an estimated 20% increased risk of having another child affected.

Between 30-5-% of people with Autism suffer from seizures.

It is estimated that up to 40% of children with Autism do not speak.

Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls. More specifically that number is 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.

In 2014 the Center for Disease Control determined that approximately 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the United States. In 2000 this number was 1 in 250 children

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