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Autism intervention center Beyond The Spectrum to expand after success in Twin Cities

ST. PAUL, Min. – A call to the emergency number 911 often indicates a crisis. And for some families, crises are common.

Ayub Elmi founded Beyond the Spectrum, an autism intervention center in St. Paul.

“For families with children on the spectrum, sometimes it’s hard for them. They have behaviors, they have triggers. Sometimes they don’t know how to communicate their emotions and feelings, which is very hard for them,” Elmi said.

It can also be difficult for agents, but the protocol has changed. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, the Minneapolis Crisis Team sends mental health workers to the scene, then refers families to places like Beyond the Spectrum.

“Many of these families are not aware of these tools, the services that are offered by us,” he said.

Elmi grew up in Bloomington. He studied international business and human rights, but after seeing a family member with autism make great progress, he opened his own autism counseling center.

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Zach was his first patient.

“Communication, social cues, understanding different things,” says Zach and.

His classmates receive one-on-one tutoring in a diverse environment.

“So the kids can identify with the staff and feel like the program was made just for them,” said Zach.

Means that he says produce results.

“We’re data-driven, we have goals. I see them excel, I see them grow, I see them get better and deal with their autism on a higher level,” said Elmi.

And they enjoy doing it.

“Our goal is to get them ready for the world and give them the confidence that they can succeed in this world, regardless of the diagnosis,” says Elmi.

Soon Beyond the Spectrum will expand to Rochester.

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