Mom forms Atypical Bites to help support special education in Austin

For many parents and families, the spring was filled with learning about remote-learning.

While kids were studying math, English, and science, many parents were learning what came along with having children home all day long, Austin parents Paige and Colby Gaines included. "Homeschooling was incredibly hard," Paige said.

Paige said while she and Colby were lucky to get to spend more time with their children, Martin, Everett, and Savannah, it was also a difficult time. Martin and Everett are both on the Autism spectrum. Paige said trying to navigate remote learning with resources that they didn't have, that their kids used to having daily, was not easy.

"They regressed with behavior, with habits, with not having the opportunity to socialize with their peers," she said.

In mid-April, Paige said she began to bake as a way to not only relieve stress but as a way to get social interaction. She would bake cookies and deliver them to friends and those she knew in Austin.


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Then Atypical Bites formed. It first started by for every $500 donated, she would bake and give cookies to behavioral therapists still working. Now, donations received are going to the Capitol School of Austin.

The Gaines' kids go to school there, and the school is tailored so therapy is intertwined with the teaching, said Jeannette Young, the director of the school. "Every day of our school day is spent under the instruction of a speech pathologist, so therapy is happening 100% of the time," Young said.

Young also added that the school has seen a number in applicants for scholarships since the pandemic, saying the donations from Atypical Bites would help students. "The desire is to put that money into more kids being able to come so money is not a deterrent for them applying," she said.

Paige said she is going to continue to bake so she can help in any way possible. "I would love to help these families in Austin receive this private specialized education in person this fall and help sponsor those families," she said.

To learn more, or to donate, visit Atypical Bites.


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