The Edward Pierce Center for Autism was incorporated Feb 16, 2016 and opened its doors to provide services starting June 2016. The founder Tracy Pierce is a mother to a son with Autism, PhD candidate, adjunct professor and Marine Corps veteran who served in Afghanistan. Tracy struggled to manage employment as a public school teacher and professor while meeting the high demands of raising a child on the spectrum. She decided to use her experiences in an effort to close the gaps in service delivery in order to create more therapeutic and educational opportunities for children on the spectrum. All while normalizing the parent's life. As the center progressed a growing need developed towards adults on the Autism Spectrum. Tracy being diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism in 2015, decided to pursue the development of an innovative adult program aimed at providing a social group setting as an aid to transitioning adults into independence. Tracy holds a firm stance that Autism is the reason for her successes and with the right support anyone on the spectrum can achieve their full potential including her son, Eddy, for whom the center was named.
Tracy supports the neurodiversity movement and has a profound commitment to ensuring that key decision making includes input from individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Tracy holds a firm stance that service implementation does not limit its focus on "normalizing" the individual and instead focuses on providing skills to help support the individual safely pursue independence with their unique gifts and talents intact.