In recognition of Autism Acceptance Month in April, Family Initiative is launching a campaign aimed at helping the public shift perspective from awareness to acceptance as the nonprofit organization continues its advocacy for inclusiveness, understanding and compassion. The campaign will run in local media outlets, and on the Family Initiative website and social media channels.

To help kick off #AutismAcceptanceMonth, downtown Fort Myers’ buildings will light up blue starting April 1st to show support for the 1 in 44 children diagnosed with autism in the U.S.

“The campaign features photos of four amazing people we serve who represent those diagnosed with autism and our visual reminder that Family Initiative advocates for ALL people with autism,” said David Brown, MSW, co-founder and president of Family Initiative. “Each family is special and deserving of support that is both evidence-based AND compassionate. That’s where Family Initiative steps in to provide innovative programs and therapies to help children, teens and young adults thrive. Autism acceptance month allows us a platform to shine a light on our families and the amazing success stories that we have to share.”

Throughout April, Family Initiative, as well as local businesses, will host multiple events aimed at fostering acceptance and will conclude with the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Autism Acceptance Awards Gala on Saturday, April 30th at the Caloosa Sound Convention Center in Fort Myers. In addition to raising funds that support the expansion of services for more than 100 youth and young adults on a waitlist, they will present awards to honor local, everyday champions of children, adolescents and families who are impacted by autism spectrum disorder.

Through compassion and innovation, Florida-based Family Initiative provides social skills programs, clinical services and community education for young people and families impacted by autism spectrum disorder, as well as those in the child welfare system. Family Initiative offers a family-centered approach to caring for young people and families that includes evidence-based services, innovative programs, practical training and compassionate support. Funds raised during the gala enable Family Initiative to expand services and help additional families throughout Florida.

“Currently, we have more than 100 youth and young adults on our waitlist to receive the highest quality care from our big-hearted, highly skilled and credentialed team of professionals who are dedicated and motivated to promote their growth and ensure they thrive,” said David Brown, co-founder and president of Family Initiative. “It’s our hope that through the generosity of our sponsors and attendees, this year’s gala will support Family Initiative in expanding our services to meet the growing needs families in our community. Additionally, we look forward to recognizing and celebrating the people and organizations who work tirelessly alongside Family Initiative to make life better for the families we serve.”

About Family Initiative

Established in 2015, Family Initiative, Inc. is a 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 compassionate, personalized approach through Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Occupational Therapy (OT) services, and offers autism play groups, teen meetings, parent education, community conversations and more. In addition, the organization provides child welfare caregiver training and support through its Family Impact Program. Visit fi-florida.org or find Family Initiative on Facebook and Instagram at @FamilyInitiative and on Twitter at @FI_Inc.