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Family Initiative works to empower ASD youth and their families

Family Initiative co-founders David Brown and Anjali Van Drie
John Davis, WGCU
Family Initiative co-founders David Brown and Anjali Van Drie

According to the latest available data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate kids in the U.S. diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder has now increased to one in 44 children. The growing rate of such diagnoses has also spurred a growing demand for education, therapy and other services for neurodivergent children and their families.

The Southwest Florida-based nonprofit Family Initiative works to meet that demand with a broad and ever-expanding spectrum of free or low-cost support services for neurodivergent kids and their families. Services range from clinical programs like autism screenings, occupational therapy and Applied Behavior Therapy to community-based programs, social skill groups, parental support, and education and training.

As April marks Autism Acceptance Month, we’ll talk with the organization’s founders Anjali Van Drie and David Brown ahead of Family Initiative’s Autism Acceptance Awards Gala on April 30, and plans for their first ever ASD Summer Camps in June and July.