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Rockingham, NC: Autism therapy center opens

Jan 11, 2023, Richmond County Daily Journal: Newly-opened clinic to support families with children who have autism

ROCKINGHAM — Two career educators cut the ribbon for Early Start Interventions, Inc., a therapy-based clinic for families with children who have autism, on South Long Drive Wednesday afternoon.

Dr. Amber Watkins, former director for the Exceptional Children’s Department of Richmond County Schools, and her husband, Derrick Watkins, principal of the Ninth Grade Academy, were joined by their sons, Elias and Derrick Jr., for the unveiling.

Early Start Interventions will be the only Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) clinic dedicated solely to Richmond County residents.

Dr. Watkins said they’ve been thinking about opening this facility for about three years. It started when their son, Elias, was diagnosed with level 3 autism.

“When we saw the challenge of us getting our own child services, especially with both of us being educational leaders, we knew that that was an opportunity to support families and do more in the community and to provide parents with the support that we didn’t feel like we had in terms of community networking,” she said....

Chairman of the Richmond County Board of Commissioners Jeff Smart called the new operation “much-needed.”...

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