Culver City, CA, September 21, 2009 — Autism Spectrum Therapies (AST), an agency providing behavior therapy and other autism services in Southern California, announced the appointment of William Frea, Ph.D., BCBA-D, co-founder and chief clinical officer of AST, to the board of directors of the Los Angeles Chapter of Autism Speaks.
“It is a privilege to be a part of an organization that is so committed to the autism community, and such a powerful advocate for individuals with autism and their families,” said Dr. Frea. “Autism Speaks is at the forefront of this urgent crisis, promoting and funding new research to discover effective treatments, prevention strategies, and, eventually, cures for autism. It is an honor to be asked to contribute to their mission.”
Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research, raising awareness and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. In 2008, the nonprofit was awarded 42 Family Services Resources grants for projects such as training service providers, expanding recreational opportunities, supportive technology and equipment, and employment and college options for adults with autism. Autism Speaks raised over $70 million in 2008 and donated $36.6 million to new research funding. It also launched “AutismVote.org,” a state lobbying campaign focused on mandating private health insurance coverage for autism services. These efforts resulted in legislation in five states that were signed into law, and served as an insurance model for President Obama’s “Autism Treatment Acceleration Act.”
The L.A. chapter of Autism Speaks maintains an extensive database of California providers and community resources, and has a large and growing volunteer base. Recently, it raised over $1.4 million at the 2009 Los Angeles Walk Now for Autism event. In his new capacity as a L.A. chapter board member, Dr. Frea will serve on the board’s newly formed Advocacy and Outreach Sub-Committee, helping to develop programs that focus on outreach to thousands of local families affected by autism.
Dr. Frea is an autism expert with a background in special education, clinical psychology, family therapy, and language development. He created the autism program at California State University, Los Angeles, and secured federal funding to grow it into one of the largest university-based training facilities for autism professionals in the United States. He has served on a number of advisory boards, including: the California State Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism; the Autism Spectrum Disorders Guidelines for Effective Interventions Committee; and the National Standards Project, which evaluates the evidence base for autism treatments. Dr. Frea’s current work with Autism Spectrum Therapies focuses on the development of innovative programs and outcomes research.
For more information about AST’s services, please call (866) AST-1520 or visit www.autismtherapies.com.
Founded by respected experts in the field of autism, Autism Spectrum Therapies (AST) provides individuals with autism with a range of services from infancy through adulthood, as well as comprehensive training and support for parents and families in their homes and communities. AST’s highly trained clinical staff uses scientifically-validated methods grounded in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, with customized services ranging from play-based early intervention programs, to classroom support, to building practical skills for independent living. AST’s intensive family-focused approach facilitates measurable, sustainable progress and helps individuals with autism achieve their full potential. The agency provides services throughout Southern California. For more information, please visit www.autismtherapies.com.