CHARLESTON, SC - March is women's history month and hundreds of women across the lowcountry are going above and beyond in business, in charity and service to their communities. One of those women is Allison Kane.
If your child is in need of early developmental therapy, you might have crossed paths with Kane at some point or another.
Her business, Tri-County Therapy provides free testing in over 250 schools in South Carolina. They make sure children are hitting developmental and educational milestone, and not falling behind.
The practice began 5 years ago. It now has 6 locations across the lowcountry and upstate where over 50 therapists work with hundreds of kids.
"People often ask us if we planned this growth, or if this is something we envisioned; not at all," says Kane. "not in my wildest dreams."
For Kane, it all started back in graduate school. She was studying speech pathology, where each programs requires an intern year. For her internship, Kane decided to work in public elementary schools and preschools. That was where she saw a need. There were kids who were not meeting the mark in early development. Many of them slipping through the cracks.
"Parents didn't know and if you didn't go to school for early childhood development or some sort of therapy or developmental classes, you don't know."
It was where the vision for Tri-County Therapy would begin.
"More of my passion was because I wanted to reach kids earlier."
After graduation she began working in preschools, but nearly two years in she would start paperwork on her own practice. She planned to see only a few clients and spend more time at home with her two young children, Brandon and Dylan, but a few clients ended up becoming much more.
"The need was just crazy. There were so many kids that were not getting services and I needed help, like right away."
The business was growing, but two years after it began her life would change again. This time it was at home. Her oldest son Brandon, while on track academically, was falling behind socially.
"He didn't make eye contact, he wouldn't responded to his name, he withdrew in social situations."
At three and a half, Brandon was diagnosed with Autism. Allison and her husband Chris were thrown into a new world.
"He was enrolled in speech therapy, but then it was like, okay now you need occupational therapy. Okay you have multiple delays, let's get you into baby net...okay now you need ABA therapy."
It was a process they would begin again. Six months later their youngest son Dylan was also diagnosed.
"He was 18 months old. He stopped saying new words, he started regressing. A lot of the words he was saying, he just stopped."
Caring for her sons would change the way she saw her business. In addition to speech therapy, Tri-County Therapy added occupational, aerobic and feeding.
In the last 5 years 5 new locations were added. Many of them at at capacity.
Kane's family grew as well, they welcomed their 3rd boy, Logan, in 2017. Allison says his chances for Autism are close to 50 percent, but she's thankful for the resources and knowledge they are able to provide.
This full time mom and full time business owner says having 2 children with Autism also gave her business something as well, empathy for the parents that walk through their doors.
"For a parent coming in from the beginning, when you tell them that, it is overwhelming," she says. "They do feel a little bit better when you can relate and understand a little about what they're going through."