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Meet Brandi Freeman-Potter of Texas ABA & Child Development Services in Garland

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandi Freeman-Potter.

Brandi, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Sometimes, I find it difficult even to know where to begin. There were so many arrows in life, pointing and guiding me in the direction of wanting to serve others. I could tell you that life has been a menagerie of only pitfalls and struggles. However, it has also been as equally beautiful during those same moments in my life. I was raised in Kaufman, TX, which is a small town about 30 minutes east of Dallas. I was born the oldest of four children and spent most of my life under the direction and guidance of my maternal grandmother. I was raised in the church and taught that the fundamentals in life were rooted in service to others, so I would say that my servant attitude stemmed from my up-bringing.

I am where I am today, because of grit and determination and good old-fashioned hard work. I was taught that anything worth having would require commitment and dedication. I always knew that I wanted to own my own business. I made an attempt at opening my first company in 2013, called “Pandora’s Vault,” which was a retro-inspired consignment shop. After only three weeks of being in operation, I had to permanently close my doors when my 3-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disorder called NMDA-anti-receptor encephalitis. Her condition was so unique and rare that, at the time, there were only five reported cases in the United States. During the climax of her condition, she became aggressive to herself and others and required inpatient hospitalization at Children’s Hospital in Dallas for four months. Out of sheer desperation to help my child, I explored career options that would aid in helping me understand the principles of behavior management, and it was then that I found out about the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a specialized therapy that uses empirical techniques and data to drive the direction of therapy. What makes it unique is that I can quantify how much progress a child is making while receiving therapy by measuring the change from where the child was at the onset of treatment. In essence, I can use quantitative measures to “prove” that behavior change has occurred. ABA Therapy has continued to grow in popularity over the years. It has quickly become the “go to” therapy prescribed by physicians to help treat symptoms related to Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road to entrepreneurship is never a smooth one. However, I have learned so much along the way. I was not able to qualify for a business loan of any kind, so I had to navigate through the start-up process by investing my own money and doing everything that I could do myself including providing clinical services, accounting and any other need that arose during the first few months of opening. After opening my doors, I received so much unsolicited advice from well-meaning business owners that it would be impossible to start a company without at least 100K working capital and a business partner. I started my company with less than 10% of that and I am still the sole owner. I have had so many small business owners reach out to me to ask questions about my business strategies as they have taken notice of how quickly we are growing. They can more closely relate to my situation as compared to a larger company with more financial backing. I think my biggest challenge at this moment is scaling. Being smaller, I have to take things a lot slower to help minimize risks. However, I have always heard that “slow and steady wins the race ” so I’ll continue to test this theory.

Texas ABA & Child Development Services – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am the proudest of my staff and clients. They keep me grounded, and they make me want to be a better clinician. What sets us apart from other agencies is that we teach our children through the use of Natural Environment Teaching (NET), which places and emphasis on teaching children how they learn best through play. We are a smaller provider and offer a family-friendly and collaborative approach to therapy. We encourage our families to be actively involved in their loved-ones care. We are a team with one focus to help our Learners grow and thrive in every environment.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I measure our success by looking at each team member on an individual basis. I take the time to develop good relationships with all of my team members and I enjoy identifying and cultivating their interests. For example, one of my team members enjoys art, so we are collaborating to develop an art-inspired social skills groups for adolescent learners starting this summer. This not only strengthens the relationship of our team, it makes my employees feel valued and also gives us a competitive edge by providing services that some other agencies may not have considered. If my therapists are growing, then naturally so are my clients. It’s a win-win for all of us.

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