SARRC is celebrating its 25th anniversary! For 25 years, we have met so many individuals and families and have been honored to be a part of their autism journey. To celebrate this milestone in SARRC’s history, we reconnected with some of the families that were involved with SARRC from the early days to see how they are doing now!
We spoke with Stacy Strombeck-Goodrich and her son Lance as our first 25-Year “Blast from the Past” families!
Lance’s family first heard about SARRC through their family friends and enrolled Lance in a few SARRC programs including JumpStart® and the Community School as a young child.
Lance is now 16 years old and working at the family business, Atypical Blooms, an online flower shop delivering exclusively to the metro Phoenix area. The family established Atypical Blooms in 2021 during the pandemic and has allowed Lance to experience vital job training while building his employment skills. The name “Atypical Blooms” is a deliberate pun to highlight their unique, atypical bouquets and give an affectionate nod to Lance, who is also atypical and constantly blooming!
Read below to see how the family came up with the Atypical Blooms name and how the skills Lance learned at SARRC are helping him in his current life!
What were some of the biggest changes and skills Lance learned while at SARRC?
Lance was non-verbal when we started at SARRC. The Community School team, along with his speech therapist, started him on PECS, or Picture Exchange Communication System, and then Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Having communication tools made a huge, positive difference in his behavior.
The ABA training we received was also a game-changer. Programs that were successfully implemented included a sleep program, a feeding program, a haircut program, and a stop program, to keep him from running off. All of these things made a huge difference in the quality of life for Lance and for our family.
What is Lance’s day-to-day look like at Atypical Blooms?
Lance is responsible for shopping for flowers at our wholesaler, doing all of the prep and clean up, and delivering the bouquets to each of our clients. The largest focus for the business is supporting Lance’s social and job skills. There are organic opportunities for this when we are shopping for and delivering the flowers.
How are the skills Lance learned at SARRC helping him in his current life?
I can’t imagine where Lance would be if he didn’t have a successful foundation from SARRC. SARRC started him on the path to being able to communicate and the ABA skills we learned kept him safe and healthy.
When your kids are little and diagnosed with autism, the future feels really uncertain. I distinctly remember sitting in a JumpStart training, and (SARRC clinician) Rachel Anderson said, “The sky is the limit for your kids.” We’ve held that close to our hearts over the years, and it’s true!
Learn more about Atypical Blooms
If you’d like to support Lance’s family business and contribute to Lance’s employment growth, you can order beautiful custom florals through Atypical Blooms!