DALLAS - It may look like any other school from the outside, but on the inside, you`ll see something a little different.
"I found her to be phenomenal and the intensive therapy that she does at Rainbow kids, and they`re a low cost therapy center," says Nika Arastoupour, founder of Rainbow Kidz, after years of searching for a great therapist for her son, Mazy, who was diagnosed with autism in 2012.
She says at the beginning, most parents don`t know where to turn.
"I realized quickly the cost of therapy and how expensive it is and a lot of times insurance doesn`t cover it, so I knew there was a need for it. I just called up a few of my girlfriends and I said let`s give back, let`s do something [...] We had our first gala in 2013 and raised $12,500 in one night we just invited a bunch of people to my girlfriend`s house."
And thus Heart of Autism was born within a group of friends - many of which are alumni from SMU. The grassroots non-profit has since taken off!
"Our total goal for the year is $60,000, we raised $50,000 last year, this year is $60,000, our goal for Rainbow Kidz is $25,000. We`d like to award about 15 year long scholarships to underprivileged students here."
If you didn't know, an hour of therapy can normally cost about $75 and run up to $140 dollars!
With 40 hours a week needed in some cases, well, you can do the math! It even touches the hearts of those not touched by autism.
"It resonated with me, it`s children, it`s underprivileged families," says Juhy Aurora, Heart of Autism Board member. "I can related to those things, I`ve got children, if I had to pay for therapy I don`t know how I would do it."
The heart of autism gala this year is at the end of September, and they say any contribution goes a long way.