Eau Claire academy doubles as preschool, one-on-one therapy center for young children with autism

Yellow Brick Academy is now in session at 1620 Ohm Ave in Eau Claire. The colorful center is designed to meet the unique and individual needs of children on the autism spectrum.
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 7:18 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -While it may be summer for kiddos, the classrooms at 1620 Ohm Ave are now in session.

Yellow Brick Academy is a multifaceted learning center, on one end of the building, young students at the 4k age are invited to partake in preschool.

“The other half of the building is one-on-one therapy for kids with autism,” explains Dr. Julie Ackerlund Brandt.

Parents of young children with behavioral characteristics of autism and related disorders now have the option of bringing their kids to Yellow Brick for individualized learning.

A vision that Ackerlund Brandt has had since undergrad at UW Eau Claire, alongside a calling for giving back, instilled in her from an early age.

”Very early on it was always kind of this idea in my family to help anybody who needed it, and was maybe not treated as kindly as they should be,” she expresses.

Ackerlund Brandt hopes the center will give children with autism the tools they need to prepare for kindergarten, first grade and the chaos school can sometimes be.

“As those kids are moving through their skills and are ready for more social skills and integration, we can use the preschool to help them slowly get used to being in larger groups,” says Ackerlund Brandt.

A place and resource Amy Konkel was relieved to find for her three-and-a-half-year-old son Brezzi.

“They describe him as a go-go kid,” starts Konkel.

Undiagnosed at his early age, Konkel says his high energy is characterized as a sensory disorder, which is where she says they’ve run into difficulties at other care centers.

“The energetic, the rocking, a little bit of speech delay,” Konkel explains. “It’s hard to fit that into a normal classroom with the distractions and such, and not having help directly for a child.”

Kiddos like Brezzi will be working with board certified behavioral analysts and registered behavior technicians at YBA.

“Seeing the things that they can do when they get services early and they get the help that they need...these kids are amazing and they’re adorable, fantastic,” says Ackerlund Brandt.

A path she says she wants parents to know can help take the stress of learning from the classroom.

“...That there is options for them and that there is someone that can help –and that wants to.”

Yellow Brick has openings with its preschool, as well as in one-on-one therapy sessions. The Academy is also hiring! If you are a registered behavior technician (RBT) give them a call.

To learn more about what Yellow Brick has to offer, you can visit their website here.

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