Welcome to Awetism Wonderland! We are so happy you’re here! We are an autism therapy center located in St. Augustine, Florida. Our facility isn’t open just yet, but we will be opening our doors this summer! We’ll announce a date closer to when we know for sure.
In the mean time, we’d like to tell you a little more about us. Awetism Wonderland was created by Dr. Stephanie Vavilala, founder and CEO of Therapeutic Expressions and author of ‘Sabita Finds Her Voice.’ Stephanie’s daughter, Sabita, has autism and is non-verbal.
In the upcoming blog posts, we’ll expand more on our offerings and visions, but for now, we’ll leave you with how Awetism Wonderland came to be.
After Sabita’s autism diagnosis, it felt like the world came crashing in on us. Not knowing what the future would hold was a scary thing. Not knowing or fully understanding autism made it seem like an impossible situation, however, I have always been the kind of person that says, “Ok, what we can do to make this situation better? How can I learn as much about this as possible to help my daughter to the best of our abilities?” So I decided to go back to school. I was already a licensed mental health counselor with my own practice and was a registered play therapist supervisor. I had worked extensively with children and knew what the development of a neurotypical child looked liked. So, I went back to specialize in behavioral analysis therapy to learn as much as I could about autism and how to help my daughter, Sabita.
I realized very quickly that I needed a place to go to get my daughter all of her therapy, all of her education, social interactions, vocational skills, music therapy, art therapy…. everything. I needed a little slice of heaven right here for my daughter and all of the other kids like my daughter where they can come and get it all. I needed adaptive learning for my daughter that traditional learning centers could not provide. Thus, the idea of Awetism Wonderland was born.Dr. Stephanie Vavilala, Ed.D, LMHC, BcBA, RBT-S