August 27, 2019 News & Features » Cover Story

Favorite

Jeff Beck 

Co-founder of AnswersNow, an autism resource for parents

click to enlarge feat35_jeffbeck6a.jpg

Scott Elmquist

Fresh off his Friday morning team meeting, Starbucks coffee in hand, Jeff Beck takes a walk down the cobblestones of Shockoe Slip, a daily part of his to-do list.

Beck is the co-founder of AnswersNow, a resource and blog for parents with children on the autism spectrum, started in 2017. He remembers camping out with his laptop over Panera meals in the days before having office space at Startup Virginia, a nonprofit dedicated to mentoring and supporting entrepreneurial businesses.

Today the team is excited about its upcoming iOS and Android app launch, which provides parents tips specific to the needs of their children and allows them to connect with clinicians over the phone. Beck says the last year and a half has been about fine-tuning and taking feedback. The next step is establishing a virtual parent support group.

Along with co-founder Adam Dreyfus and clinical colleagues, Beck originally used Slack as a way to be an immediate resource when parents had questions. Beck spent years as a clinical social worker, working with children who had attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, anxiety or autism.

The story that stuck with him most was when a mother wanted to know how to encourage her 12-year-old son to say “I love you.”

“It gives me goose bumps because that’s what we’re trying to do here,” Beck says. “I realized that we need to do a better job of really enabling and empowering the parents.”

The current web platform has signed on almost 1,000 parents in the last year.

It has more than 30 clinicians, Beck says, and the hiring process is intensive. Each one is a board-certified behavior analyst with liability insurance prior to going through a series of live interviews and training modules on how AnswersNow works. Some clinicians on the app have 25 years of experience.

Parents sign up for accounts, answer questions about their children and are then paired with an expert best suited for their needs. Soon, each parent will have a personalized news feed on the monthly subscription-based service, in addition to the website’s blog posts with tips specific to them.

“There are families out there who maybe don’t have services because of cost or where they live or because they’re on a wait list,” Beck says. “And Google is not always the best place to turn. We just want to give them that safe place.” — by Sabrina Moreno

Back to The Innovation Issue
Favorite

Tags:

Latest in Cover Story

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Newsletter Sign-Up

The Flash
The Bite
The Scoop

Most Popular Stories

  • Love at Work

    Love at Work

    How a church, two professors and HIV and AIDS survivors came together to form the Valentine’s upcoming exhibit.
    • Jan 20, 2020
  • Recap: Lobby Day and MLK Day of Service

    Recap: Lobby Day and MLK Day of Service

    As 22,000 people rallied in support of the Second Amendment, the Mayor and other city officials celebrated the famous civil rights activist.
    • Jan 20, 2020
  • What’s Happening at the Byrd?

    What’s Happening at the Byrd?

    In recent months, four board members have left and the general manager was fired without reason, he says.
    • Dec 31, 2019
  • Premiere Rivalry

    Premiere Rivalry

    Both having solid years, the UR Spiders and the VCU Rams are about to face off again.
    • Jan 20, 2020
  • More »

Copyright © 2020 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation