We had the good fortune of connecting with Kim and Kyle Spurlock and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kim and Kyle, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We started Out & Out because we felt boxed in by our previous work environment and couldn’t provide speech and language services fully in the way we wanted. We are both big picture thinkers and often knew how we wanted to support the individuals we were working with but had to stick to a prescribed service delivery model. We also found that people often had a very stereotyped idea about what we could provide. We wanted to buck the trend and support people in a way that they wanted and needed but ultimately weren’t getting because of our society’s narrow idea of what speech-language pathologists can provide.
We saw a significant need and gap in services for neurodivergent adolescents and adults. Having both worked in the schools, we saw how important social relationships and connection was for our students. Unfortunately, the inherent nature of the school setting and IEPs (Individualized Education Program) doesn’t make it easy to prioritize targeting those social and relationship-based needs when so many other academic and life skills needs take precedence.
We knew that by starting our own business we could serve as neurodiversity-affirming practitioners and not only provide a needed and sought after service, but also become allies to the neurodivergent community. Our goal is not only provide a service, but also advocate for change and increased understanding of neurodiversity.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We’re Kim and Kyle Spurlock! We are a husband and wife team of neurodiversity-affirming speech-language pathologists (SLPs) (wow, what a mouthful!) who started Out & Out Communication and Relationship Services. We have a passion for working with neurodivergent adolescents and adults (e.g., autism, Down syndrome, ADHD, Learning Disability, Sensory Processing Disorder, etc.).
Our mission is supporting, educating, and empowering neurodivergent adults and adolescents on how to establish and maintain successful, safe, and fulfilling relationships across their lifetimes. We are driven to help individuals find and foster autonomy in meaningful connections including friendships, family and work relationships, and romantic partners.
What sets us apart is that so often speech and language services strictly follow the medical model: define a problem and provide a solution. This way of thinking tends to pathologize communication difficulties rather than view them as differences. That, in turn, can lead to “correcting” and replacing. Instead, we believe our role is to support and empower. We would rather talk about how we can turn your special interest into a perfect date than worry about making eye contact and having quiet hands.
It’s been a big learning curve adjusting from being full-time school employees to being small business owners. We are taking it one day at a time, always learning something new. We communicate with one another and those in our community to work on making this business the best it can be to serve the neurodivergent.
We envision a world in which neurodiversity is celebrated, supported, and universally understood. Where there is no such construct as a “typical relationship.” Where there are various ways to love and be loved. Where every individual, regardless of their difference or disability, is perceived as having the inherent right to a variety of relationships; whatever that may look like for them whether it’s platonic or romantic, in the workplace or in their community. Where we don’t cling to what relationships should be, but instead broadly accept what relationships can be.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Living in Fort Collins, we love the access to outdoor recreation and the brewery scene. We would for sure have a day of biking along the Poudre and around town on all of the amazing bike trails. Of course, pit stops would be needed for food and beverages. Number one on our list would probably be catching a food truck (Caupona!) and grabbing a beer at Stodgy Brewing Co. There’s just something about their front yard patio and being nestled in a neighborhood that just screams community.
Another day would be spent hiking around Lory State Park and paddle boarding the Horsetooth Reservoir. It’s hard to beat paddling into a cove and just relaxing with your friends.
We of course would have to stop at Odell to catch a live band and enjoy the patio.
The adventures are truly endless. We love exploring and finding new spots to support. Between biking to visit the awesome breweries (shout out to Horse & Dragon, Funkwerks, Equinox, Timnath Beerwerks) and chowing down on some delicious food from the food trucks (Project Pizza, Edge Gourmet, Chaulkboard Gourmet Express), we’d could fill up a week pretty quickly.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We want to dedicate this shoutout to the neurodivergent community. Your voices have been what pushed us to think differently. We will continue to ensure that your voices are amplified.