About APF

Our Vision

A world where all individuals with autism reach their fullest potential.

Our Mission

Advancing effective methodology and behavior analytic treatment to improve outcomes of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

A Little About Us

The latest statistics from the CDC are sobering: about 1 in every 59 children receive a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The need for effective and accessible treatment is greater than ever, and the importance of continuing to develop what we know about ASD and how quality behavioral intervention can most effectively address this complex disorder is vital.

The lives of countless children diagnosed with ASD could be changed forever with quality behavioral intervention, but that intervention is out of reach for too many children and their families. To complicate things further, many families receive false promises of interventions with little to no empirical support or of very limited quality. Drs. Ron Leaf and John McEachin understood these problems all too well. Playing an integral role in the seminal work of Dr. Ivar Lovaas on the UCLA Young Autism Project and continuing their work for over 40 years, they had the unyielding hope of reaching those children and ensuring quality, effective intervention could be accessible to all. It is this vision that led to the founding of Autism Partnership Foundation (APF).

RESEARCH

Progressing the effectiveness of behavioral intervention requires careful, well-supported research. The results of this research can be used to inform training, professional standards, and more effective behavioral approaches for individuals diagnosed with autism. Ultimately, intervention informed by research is quality intervention and can fundamentally improve the lives of children diagnosed with ASD. APF’s Research Team is committed to evolving the field of behavioral intervention and is recognized worldwide for its instrumental contributions to the scientific literature in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and ASD. The Research Team continues to develop and evaluate cutting edge behavioral approaches that make fundamental differences in the lives of children with autism. The productivity of the research team is difficult to match, averaging 10 peer-reviewed articles a year, totaling 90 publications in 10 years – in 24 journals and with the collaboration of over 40 different researchers.

THE ACADEMY

As part of our commitment to broadening the community of skilled educators, service providers, and family members, we founded the Academy, a training institute in Seal Beach, California, committed to progressing the field of ABA and ASD by promoting expertise in the application of behavioral approaches. The Academy offers 2-year fellowships to post-baccalaureates, graduates, and post-graduates.

Through its Academy, APF offers direct line services for children diagnosed with autism. The earlier the therapy begins, the better, and children are served as early as 18 months old. Initially, therapy can be intensive, with an average of 40 hours per week. Children work in individual, small, and large group settings, and parents are invited to participate in parent support groups.

CONFERENCE & TRAINING

Providing training opportunities for families, school districts, and service providers is a primary focus of APF. Successful outcomes require parents, teachers, and professionals to have knowledge and up-to-date information about ASD and effective behavioral intervention. APF sponsors workshops, provides consultation, and conducts seminars to make training and support available across the U.S. and around the world.

APF also hosts an annual conference where distinguished experts in the field of ABA and ASD join together for a day of education, discussion, and reflection. Hundreds of behavior analysts, educators, psychologists, speech therapists, and other professionals attend.

REVENUE

APF’s funding sources include insurance payments, individual, corporate, and foundation support, consultation services, and legal work as expert witnesses. Your support is vital to our work. To make a gift, please click HERE. Thank you!

THE NUMBERS

  • 1 in 59 children are affected by ASD; boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
  • ASD is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family an average of $60,000 a year. Their medical expenditures are 4.1 to 6.2 times greater than for those without autism. 
  • While costs keep increasing, only about 0.55% of the NIH budget is dedicated to autism research, with the amount steadily decreasing during the past three years.
  • Without effective treatment the projected costs of caring for those with ASD will soar to nearly half a trillion dollars by 2025.
  • Nearly half of 25-year-olds with ASD have never held a paying job. About 81% have never lived apart from their parents, and 64% have received no education beyond high school.
  • The majority of ASD-related costs in the U.S. are for adult services, with about three times as much as the amount spent on children.

Sources: CDC and Autism Speaks

While these figures are staggering, it does not have to be this way. Effective and life changing training and treatments are possible and should be available. Our vision is a world where all individuals with autism reach their fullest potential.

APF does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.

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