KILLEEN, Texas (FOX 44) — For many families who have children on the autism spectrum, it can be a challenge just to get a diagnosis. Let alone counseling and other resources. ACES is there to help them through that process.

“The reason why we focus on the autistic population is because insurance will only cover this benefit if there’s an autism diagnosis,” Ashleigh Alvarez said, the Killeen Outreach Executive for ACES.

ACES was founded in 1996 in California and spans across nine states. Now, ACES has a center in Bell County.

“It was one of the first things I brought to our administrators of, hey, this is a very under served area in Texas,” Alvarez said. “And I really think I feel very strongly that we need to go up there and start providing services.”

It not only provides specialist recommendations for diagnoses of autism but also has different resources to help families once the client receives that diagnosis.

“We had this role in the family’s life that’s a lot of almost like it’s an ABA provider, but it’s also almost like an advisor in some way,” Matthew Williams said, a Board Certified Behavior Specialist. “So we’ve go to IP meetings with the families. We’ll help connect them with other providers in other areas like pediatric speech pathology, occupational therapy. And so the part that we play with families kind of goes beyond just that, that basic aba kind of family relationship.”

Now that ACES is in the Bell County community, they hope to help people who’ve been there for years and service members with families who have just moved to the area.

“Luckily, we have some really, really, really great clinicians and support systems and we were able to open it up and we have a BCBA who’s been in Killeen for ten years,” Alvarez told FOX 44 News. “Her husband is in the military and very committed to families with special needs children up there.”

Aces does not currently have a clinic in Killeen but does in home and tele-health services. They hope to have a clinic open by the end of 2022 or early 2023. For more information, click here.