In September of 2001, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, along with friends and colleagues in Florida, started to formulate a plan for the ideal treatment center for children with developmental disorders. The model combined medical care, behavioral analysis and education, and clinical and laboratory research under one roof.
The plan progressed with the involvement of Troy and Charlie Ball. The Balls wished to create a tribute to their son Marshall, who has published two books of poetry and won many awards despite his own immense physical challenges. It was Marshall who named the original Thoughtful House, built as a special place for reflection in his backyard. The Balls donated a beautiful piece of land in Austin, Texas for the physical plant, and the project gained momentum in 2004 when Kelly Barnhill and Anissa Ryland joined the team. Working with the founding Board of Directors, Thoughtful House became a reality in 2005 with the commencement of medical, educational, and recreational services for children with developmental disorders.