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Parents on a mission helping Las Vegas families with special needs kids

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When a Las Vegas Valley couple learned their daughter has autism, they started a years-long journey seeking out different therapy programs for her. When a Las Vegas Valley couple learned their daughter has autism, they started a years-long journey seeking out different therapy programs for her.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

When a Las Vegas Valley couple learned their daughter has autism, they started a years-long journey seeking out different therapy programs for her.

"From the moment we found out when she was 16 months old, it was our passion and we were very driven to find the best solutions available for her,” Meghan McLean said.

Meghan and Adam McLean said their seven-year-old daughter Madeline is on the autism spectrum.  Since she was diagnosed, they've dedicated their lives to finding the best treatment options for her.

"Your empathy goes through the roof, your patience goes through the roof; you have to learn how to love even when it’s difficult, even when its hard,” Adam McLean said.

The family of four has traveled all over the country learning and trying different programs.

Adam quit his job to care for Madeline full-time. The family has held countless fundraisers to help pay for therapies, and at one time, Madeline and her dad lived in a different city than her mom and sister so she could continue therapy.

"It's endless the sacrifices, but for us it was all worth it because if she could have a life, if she could have friends, if she could go to college, if she can get married someday, it's all worth it,” Meghan McLean said.

Three years ago, the McLean's discovered a program called Neuro-fit and they started noticing a big change.

"She was able to take stuff that she learned, apply it to her little world and come back out and do spontaneous language with us have more conversation loops, develop more vocabulary, longer sentences."

The closest city that offered Neuro-fit was Los Angeles.  Adam and Madeline traveled there twice a week from Las Vegas for months at a time.

"We felt pretty passionately about: kids in Las Vegas need access to this program. We don't need people traveling four hours twice a week to L.A., back and forth to receive services,” Meghan McLean said.

Wanting to share the success they found in their daughter, last Sept., the couple opened their own Neuro-fit center in the valley.

"Neuro-fit is an active program and we want kids to be excited to come here. We didn't want that clinical sterile environment. We want it to be a fun place for them to come and grow and most of our kids run out of the car. They love coming here,” McLean said

At Neuro-fit participants are paired with a coach who leads them through physical exercises to stimulate parts of their brain.

“It enables them to bring information in from their world, process that information and respond to it in a way that they couldn't before. So things you would see before these stress responses are starting to go away, and now kids are interacting in a more neurotypical way. They're able to take in things at school that they couldn’t before,” Adam McLean said.

Naaman and Jasmine Horn were one of the first to enroll their son Carter in Neuro-fit Las Vegas.

“Most of the programs are trying to fix the behavior and this program is actually fixing the problem,” Naaman Horn said.

The Horns said finding autism treatment options so close to home has been a challenge and this program is already making a big difference.

"Having this, we were able to get in really quickly and see results really quickly so it's a blessing it really is a blessing,” Jasmine Horn said.

"It's nice being able to change lives for the better and it's nice to be able to experience and share that joy with these families that come in here as parents. We understand it, we've been through a lot and to be able to give back like this has been tremendously rewarding,” Meghan McLean said.

This story was part one of a two-part series. To see part two, click here

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