Our passion and purpose are inspired by the journey that led us here.
Having flown the earth for 300 million years,
dragonflies symbolize our ability to overcome times of hardship.
They can remind us to take time to reconnect with our own strength, courage, and happiness.
Why the Dragonfly?
Meet our Founder. Hear our Story.
My name is Jennifer Helten, I am the owner and founder of Unique Pathways, and I would like to tell you about the journey that led me here.
I am always asked how I came into Applied Behavior Analysis. The simple answer is, I fell into it.
I moved to Texas when I was twenty years old to work as a nanny. Three months into my employment, the family's third child was diagnosed with Autism. You have to understand, 25-years ago, the diagnosis rate for children affected with ASD was 1 in 10,000 children.
My only knowledge of Autism was based on the movie "Rain Man."
Fast forward two years, and I decided to become a Behavior Therapist. 20-years later, Unique Pathways was founded.
How I came into this profession has a simple answer, but God's intended path for me started nearly 34-years ago if the truth is told.
To understand my passion, it is time for the story behind the story.
In 1986, my family experienced the most significant trauma a family could ever experience, the loss of a child and sibling. I was nine days from celebrating my 11th birthday when a hit-and-run drunk driver killed my five-year-old brother. My entire family's lives changed forever that day.
So much happened during those next few weeks. Countless family and friends visited. We lived in a small farming community in Kansas, so news of my brother's death spread like wild-fire, and within days, the local news station picked up our story. I remember being kept from my parents so they could grieve. I remember news reporters wanting to speak to my parents and the adults around them. I remember it just being about grief; only the adults were allowed to feel.
I asked my parents why people were not talking to my siblings and me? Why was our story not being told? My parents had no response and encouraged me to write the news station and ask why we could not share our story. With their support, I did just that. I sent a handwritten letter to the news station and asked why they did not want to hear from my brother's siblings? I explained that we were all affected too. We were grieving. I waited for a response. I never got one.
I was angry. Why was my voice, and the voice of my siblings, less significant than those of my parents?
I have always been a protector. The more children I have had the privilege to work with, the more I remembered how kids need someone to provide them a voice, much like we did when we were young and grieving.
Kids need someone to meet them at their level, cheer them on, celebrate every victory they have had to work so hard to achieve, someone to support them, reassure them someone finally understands and is going to help them. Still, more importantly, someone is listening and saying, "I want to hear you!"
That is who Unique Pathways is.
We are the team surrounding your child, meeting them at their level, cheering them on, celebrating every victory, supporting them, reassuring them, and giving them a voice.