If you’ve never met Jill McLaury, owner and director of Bright Futures Learning Center, you are missing out on a truly impressive lady! We asked Jill to tell us about all things Bright Futures, and here is what she gave us:

Bright Futures started in 2007 as one of the first Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy providers in the state.  At that time there was no funding for ABA, even though it’s the most effective service for children with autism.  Bright Futures technically started as a private school in my granny’s kitchen for one child, Mike, who’s needs weren’t met through traditional means.  At that time, I provided consultation services to schools in West Virginia and Texas, and was blessed to have Alexis Spence and Teri Leffler working as part time contractors to teach Mike. In the 15 years since their inception, Bright Futures has grown into a private therapy center with 50 employees serving in three programs and a non-profit organization based in Putnam County.

Bright Futures played a pivotal role in helping pass autism insurance legislation in 2011 and 2012. That legislation laid the groundwork for autistic children to receive medical therapy services they had once been denied.

Bright Futures works with national experts who help train their staff to assure our clients receive the most effective, state-of-the art therapy possible.  This has given Bright Futures the reputation of being the best ABA provider in the state. We have clients travel from as far as Parkersburg and Logan every day so their children can be seen at Bright Futures.  The therapy center has also gained national recognition by industry leaders and business organizations.  Bright Futures is the current US Small Business Administration’s National Small Business of the Year.

The autism prevalence rate has steadily grown over the past two decades.  According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 44 children are on the autism spectrum, which puts ABA therapy, especially at Bright Futures in high demand.  Bright Futures is diligently working to increase access to their quality services while providing community outreach through their non-profit sister agency, Community Autism Resources and Education Systems (CARES).

CARES mission is to increase access to evidence based services while providing education, advocacy, and community outreach to empower WV children on the autism spectrum and their families.  CARES hosted their annual “Love Needs No Words” Gala on February 11th at the Valley Park Conference Center.  The CARES Bear Award was presented to Brandy Haid for her years of volunteerism and support for the organization and Bridge Church was presented with the Community Partner Award.  CARES biggest event of the year is coming up on April 22nd.  The Autism SpectRun and Au-some Family Fun Day will take place at Meeks Mountain Trails and Hurricane City Park.  To join the fun or volunteer please visit CARES website WVCARESForAutism.org