The Oxford Recovery Center in Brighton and Troy breathes new life into children with autism and brain injuries through hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
From delayed learning and speech, to cognitive impairments and social functioning, autism affects every aspect of a child’s life.
What if there was a therapy that could work at the core of the autism diagnosis, healing the brain and helping children live the most productive lives possible? Oxford Recovery Center has techniques and therapies that work.
Oxford Recovery Center was founded by Dr. Tami Peterson, whose daughter suffered a serious brain injury after contracting viral encephalitis. Peterson’s journey of finding healing for her daughter has now given hope to hundreds of individuals and families struggling with an autism diagnosis.
“(My daughter) JeAnnah Rose was left physically and cognitively impaired, legally blind, unable to walk or talk and plagued with seizures,” Peterson says. “When your child is suffering, and continuing to regress, you will do anything to save them.”
“I was in an online support group and another mother from Malaysia emailed me telling me that hyperbaric oxygen therapy had helped another child similar to my daughter. That was all I needed to hear,” Peterson says. “Although hospitals had been using oxygen therapy to increase healing for years, no hospitals in the United States were utilizing this type of therapy for brain injuries.” This gave her the glimmer of hope she needed to find answers for her daughter.
Finally, Peterson found one physician who let her try hyperbaric oxygen therapy for her daughter. She had to find a way to pay for these treatments up front, but her family rallied behind her to follow this path of hope.
“After one hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment, JeAnnah was able to kneel, hold a ball and begin to speak. All of this she was unable to do the day before,” Peterson says. “After one week, she no longer needed occupational or speech therapy.”
Just three months after treatment, JeAnnah was dancing “The Nutcracker“ ballet. Peterson not only had her daughter back, but she knew she had found hope that she needed to share.
Peterson opened Oxford Recovery Center’s first office in 2008 in South Lyon. She quickly realized that hundreds of individuals were in need, and opened a second location in Troy in 2010.
After seeing the results from hyperbaric oxygen therapy on patients with neurological conditions, parents started requesting the therapy for their children on the autism spectrum. This led her to research and get her PhD doing an IRB Research study, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Children with Autism.
“Medically, there is evidence that autism is caused by inflammation in the brain,” says Casey Diskin, Director of Oxford Recovery Center’s Autism Recovery Thru Synergy (ARTS). “HBOT medically addresses the issue by reducing the inflammation. The ARTS program is a multi-therapy approach to treating autism. We believe in creating a synergistic approach that allows us to treat the medical issues of our clients while simultaneously teaching functional socially significant life skills.”
“Our locations in Brighton and Troy are now home to 50 students who attend ARTS daily. While they heal internally from HBOT, they work one-on-one with our team each day to develop the functional skills such as potty training, putting on their shoes, making friends or persevering through tough tasks,” Diskin says. “Applied Behavior Analysis has to change your life. Our program works on the skills needed for success at school and in the home.”
With a growing need for the center’s integrative approach to healing and recovery, Oxford Recovery Center relocated its headquarters to a 30,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Brighton in 2018, bringing Dr. Christian Bogner on as medical director. Bogner specializes in genetic testing and can address core issues associated with autism.
Families across Michigan and around the globe are turning to Oxford Recovery Center and finding answers for children with autism. With genetic SNPs testing, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, neurofeedback, nutrition coaching, Applied Behavior Analysis and physical, speech and occupational therapies, Oxford Recovery Center has become an environment that offers hope, healing and recovery. The team of more than 80 professionals includes a medical doctor, nurses, occupational therapists, behavior analysts, a speech therapist, a culinary arts chef and over 30 technicians.
“To hear your child say ‘momma’ for the first time is the most incredible feeling,” says Christina Andrews, whose child benefited from Oxford Recovery Center’s services. “Our son went from few words, to singing songs. He can now tell me when he’s not feeling well.” Christina’s son Eli, who is 2 years old, received hyperbaric oxygen therapy, ABA, nutrition coaching, genetic testing and occupational and speech therapy, all under one roof.
Peterson’s hope is that more families will find the hope she was given. The synergistic approach created at Oxford Recovery Center has become her passion, and she connects with every person who comes through the door.
“I have spent my life learning more so that we could share this gift with other families,” Peterson says. “We never want a family to have to ask ‘what if,’ reflecting years later on missed opportunities for their child. We want them to come here and begin the journey of recovery with us.”
Oxford Recovery Center
7030 Whitmore Lake Road, Brighton
165 Kirts Blvd., Suite 500, Troy