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Family Initiative aims to improve acceptance of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through “Understanding Autism” presented by Florida Weekly and ABC7.
WHAT: “Understanding Autism” Panel Discussion
WHEN: Thursday, July 1, 2021, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
– 5:00-5:45 p.m. Check-in and networking
– 5:45-7:00 p.m. Panel Discussion
WHERE: The Collaboratory, 2031 Jackson Street, Fort Myers
WHO: This event is free and open to the public but registration is requested at
PANELISTS: Florida Weekly’s Eric Radatz moderates panelists that include:
– National autism expert Dr. Michael Morrier of the Emory University
Autism Center
– Board-certified behavior analyst Anjali Van Drie, Vice President and
Co-founder of Family Initiative
– Autism advocate and parent Kyle Cohen
– Autism advocate Sean Sullivan
– Contributors to Florida Weekly special section coverage of autism,
Betty Wells and Mary Wosniak
CAPE CORAL, Fla. — June 28, 2021 — What exactly is autism and why is ASD on the rise? Where can I find help? What happens at school? Family Initiative hosts an expert panel to tackle these and other important questions related to autism, family, and the community. Discussion centers around an investigative special section published by Florida Weekly in partnership with ABC7 to be released later this week.
“Autism spectrum disorder affects so many in our South Florida communities that we wanted to learn more,” said Jeffrey Cull, Florida Weekly’s executive editor. “The result was this 24-page special report ‘Understanding Autism,’ which took nine Florida Weekly journalists and two from our partner ABC7 more than two months to complete. We hope it helps change our prospective of this disorder.”
“We’re incredibly grateful to Florida Weekly, ABC7, and the panelists for shining a light on autism,” added Family Initiative president David Brown, MSW. “We believe this hallmark discussion that brings the autism community and area residents together will lead to a greater understanding and acceptance of Southwest Florida friends and neighbors who are impacted by autism spectrum disorder.”
About Family Initiative, Inc.
Established in 2015, Family Initiative, Inc. is a Southwest Florida-based 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to supporting children with autism and strengthening their families. Its team of clinicians serves children from a humanistic approach through Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Occupational Therapy (OT) services, and also offers autism play groups, teen meetings, parent education and more. In addition, the organization provides child welfare caregiver training and support through its Family Impact Program. To learn more or donate, visit

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