Axis started as just a dream. Kristin Hanson had a dream of creating a place for children and families living with autism and special needs to come where they felt welcomed, valued, and seen for the amazing individuals that they are. She wanted to create something bigger than herself – a place that would have a positive impact for Iowa families. She wanted this to be a place where children and families could come for support for everything they needed along their journey – whatever that may look like. She didn’t just want this to be a clinic to these families, she wanted this to feel like a second home and a second family to them – their ‘Axis Family’.
As a child, Kristin struggled with OCD and ADHD. As she got older, she developed a curiosity and became intrigued with learning how the brain worked and why people behaved in certain ways. As she continued her education, pursuing a degree in psychology, she knew she wanted to work with children with special needs. Her wish was to help other children that may be experiencing the same things she did as a child. As she began her master’s program, she completed an applied research project titled “Identifying Early Signs and Symptoms of Autism in Infants and Toddlers.” This was her first introduction to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. After working as a behavior technician at an ABA clinic is Sioux City, where she had the privilege of working directly with children on the autism spectrum all day, every day, Kristin realized this was her passion. Witnessing the impact of significant positive change in the lives of the children and families was above and beyond anything she had ever felt in her entire life. Kristin knew that this was what she was meant to do for the rest of her life and her destiny was solidified.
After passing her boards and becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Kristin moved back to her hometown. It was not long until Kristin noticed the extreme need for quality ABA services in the state of Iowa.
At the time, Kristin knew nothing about starting or running a business. But luckily, she is part of a family that is very well-versed in the entrepreneurial world. Her mom, Sonja, her brother, Eric, and her sister-in-law, Rachael, encouraged Kristin to take a leap of faith and promised to support her to help make her dream a reality. So, the family pooled together their finances, and with a loan from her grandparents (thank you Grandpa Tom and Grandma Karen), and the unconditional support from her family, Kristin’s dream came to life and Axis was born.
Axis opened the first clinic in November 2017 with Kristin as the sole BCBA, with three behavior technicians, and six clients. Within three months, Axis began offering Speech Therapy. Within a year and a half, Axis added Occupational Therapy to their services. As of today, there are currently three Axis locations.
After four and a half years of building and growing Axis, literally from the ground up, Kristin, Eric, Sonja, and Rachael couldn’t be prouder of the team, culture, and organization that Axis has become. Kristin is thankful each and every day for the amazing staff that have chosen to be a part of the Axis team as she is blessed to live out her dream on a daily basis.
As a family helping families, their mission is to create a legacy that will have profound lasting impacts and produce life-changing outcomes – for clients, families, and team members – for generations to come.
Axis would not be what is it today without the staff or families that are a part of the ‘Axis family.’