BY YOUR SIDE: The Early Years
In 2009, Brad was having dinner with a friend who was a Speech-Language Therapist. He learned that she not only provided a very rewarding program to help students with autism, but that there was a dramatic rise in children being diagnosed with autism. When Brad learned about the lack of resources and increasing demand for services, he completed nearly a year of due diligence, drafted a business plan, and raised the funds to get things underway. Brad mentioned, “At the time, I saw it as a responsibility. There was a huge need, I knew what to do, and it would be satisfying to help a community that was desperately needing resources.” With all the due diligence and work that had to be done to get things off the ground, I asked Brad how the name and brand came about. He said, “We needed a name that was synonymous with a group that would always be there for our parents and kiddos – we would be ‘by your side’ every step of the way.” Knowing autism was a 24/7 condition where parents were challenged consistently trying to find the care their child needs, he responded, “our mission, our name, and logo were a natural fit.”
Matt Croke, BY YOUR SIDE Director of Client Relations, has been a key asset to the BYS team from the beginning. “Whatever the needs were for the company at the time, that’s where I went,” he said. Starting with the first therapy center opening in Burr Ridge, Matt’s initial responsibilities were billing and scheduling for all clients. “As we grew, we realized what was missing were the parent connections. We recognized that this was important to hold onto, so I moved out of billing and into Client Relations where I now handle all parent communications.” As a company with hundreds of clients, this position requires a lot of relationship building and coordination, but Matt is a motivated employee who is dedicated to helping those in need. Matt says, “What’s motivating about coming into work every day is knowing that there are things that need to be done and people that need attention, so having my day filled with helping those families is what keeps me going.”
Brad agrees and adds that what he finds most rewarding are, “The mini-miracles that we see every day. There’s never one event that symbolizes success, it’s every day that there are kiddos accomplishing things they’ve never done before, things that we take for granted…but to be able to celebrate those miracles every day is amazing.”
BY YOUR SIDE: The Future
With the foundation of BYS established and a direction for continued growth, what is in store for BY YOUR SIDE’s future?
“Servicing the autism community cannot only happen with live one-on-one therapy or group therapy. There are many families that are not fortunate enough to afford, be near one of our centers, or close enough to receive in-home service,” Brad said.
“There are multiple other ways for us to branch out to educate and work with kids, adults, and young adults on the spectrum and I feel it’s a responsibility we have to do so. Being able to provide quality therapy with meaningful results within a network of centers and in-home services is only a portion of the overall mission of BY YOUR SIDE,” Brad continued.
In addition to providing direct therapy, BYS is launching projects to provide online educational content via a monthly subscription model providing modified lesson plans generated by BCBAs as well as possible future virtual therapy efforts.
“It’s going to keep evolving and growing and there will be multiple divisions and opportunities for our employees to grow, contribute, and lead,” Brad mentioned.
Matt added, “What I’m excited about is the level of knowledge we have at this company and what we’re going to do with it. We are learning so much and we’re adapting, opening new centers in new states, plus other mediums. The knowledge and talent that BY YOUR SIDE has acquired is full of potential. To look forward and see how we’re going to use that potential is very exciting!”
While celebrating 12 years, we here at BY YOUR SIDE are excited to continue to grow, learn, educate, and support the autism community wherever needed most.
In his closing statement, Brad indicated, “It’s personally satisfying to know that we are at a point now where we are supporting 400-500 families that are impacted by autism spectrum disorder and we’re able to help them accomplish meaningful outcomes and impact their lives. We are graduating kids and there is not a more exciting time to be in this space because the road is wide open, it is so satisfying to help, and the impact we are making is life-changing.” Here’s to the next 12 years!
Join the BY YOUR SIDE Family!
If you have a child on the autism spectrum or know someone who is looking for autism services, call (866) 429-7543 or visit byyoursideac.com to schedule your free consultation.
Looking to join our growing team? We are looking for dedicated individuals, so apply today! Visit byyoursideac.com/careers to apply.