Who are we?

Autism Family Education Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Upstate, SC.  Our purpose is to provide educational opportunities for families with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and/or other developmental disabilities to increase their knowledge and competency in caring for a child or adolescent with a developmental disability and assist them in improving their quality of life.  Funds raised provide scholarships to cover some of the expense of these training courses, seminars, and conferences to families in need.

If you or someone you know may benefit from these scholarships, please see the application below.

Interested in donating to or fundraising for our cause?  Information on making donations can be found below and you may contact us about organizing a fundraiser by e-mailing donate@autismfef.org

For more information, follow us on Facebook!

Donate

Paypal

Donations through PayPal are fast, easy, and secure. You choose how much to give and how to give it. If you would like to designate your donation for a particular family or towards a particular conference, please note this in the Special Instructions section when you submit your donation!

We absolutely want to recognize our donors contributions, so you may (if you choose) also let us know who your donation is in honor of and leave a short message.  These will be shown in our donors section below!  If you’d like your gift to remain anonymous, please tell us that as well.

Amazon Smile

Do you shop on Amazon often?  With just one easy change you can donate to us at no additional cost to you!  We are a verified charity with Amazon Smile!  So how does it work?  Instead of using Amazon.com just go to smile.amazon.com to do your amazon shopping (don’t worry, it’s the real deal).  Make sure Autism Family Education Fund is set as your charity of choice and Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase amount to us just for shopping with them!  You can find out more by clicking below.

Shop via the mobile app?  You can still use the app to browse and place your purchase in your cart.  Then when you’re ready to purchase, use your mobile browser to navigate to smile.amazon.com, login as normal, and proceed to checkout!  Once you have us set as your default charity it’s that easy to donate!

Fundraisers

Fundraisers will be hosted locally in the Upstate SC area and online through this website as well as Facebook.  We will post events as they are scheduled!

Upcoming Events:

November 5th – Willy Taco Fundraiser
Printable FlierBuy Tickets

Mail-In Donations

 Please send mail-in donations to:
Autism Family Education Fund Inc.
P.O. Box 1142
Travelers Rest, SC 29690

Apply Now

If you are an adult with autism or a family member of a child with autism needing a scholarship to attend an educational event, conference, or seminar to expand your knowledge about Autism Spectrum Disorders, we want to help!  Fill out the form below to be considered for a scholarship.  Please ensure that all fields are filled out.  Completed forms may either be e-mailed to apply@autismfef.org or mailed to our mailing address in the contact information below. Please allow ample time for consideration.

Please note that while we will consider applicants from a wide area, South Carolina residents who apply and applications to local conferences and education seminars will receive first priority at this time.

Download Printable Word Document

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Upcoming Events

What:

Fiesta for Families – We are partnering with Willy Taco for this dinner and silent auction fundraiser for the whole family!  Come out and join us for a great Mexican style buffet dinner, relax and experience our sensory space, and bid on our silent auction items.  Proceeds from this event will be used to sponsor families for upcoming conferences.  We will have information there for sponsors and donors as well as applications for families in need who may wish to get more information about us in person.  This is a family friendly event, so we encourage you to bring your kids with you!  Additional activities and details will be announced as details are available!

When:

November 5th from 5pm to 9pm.

Where:

Cost:

$12 each for general admission for adults and children ages 11+
$5 each for children ages 6-10
Free for children under the age of 5

Admission covers your entry to the sensory space and your buffet style Willy Taco meal!  You can purchase your tickets online through Eventbrite or send a donation for the full amount to us via our Paypal*.  You may also pay at the door via credit card or cash.

*When donating through PayPal, please be sure to tell us in the comment section how many general admission tickets you are paying for and how many child tickets!  This way we can e-mail your tickets to you!  Tickets are required for admission.

More information?

Have questions?  E-mail us at info@autismfef.org or donate@autismfef.org and we will be happy to answer your questions!

Interested in being a sponsor for this event?  Contact us for more details!

Approved Conferences

The following are educational conferences and seminars that have been approved by the Autism Family Education Fund for applicants to attend.  Choosing an approved conference will help expedite your application process, however it is not required to choose one of these conferences to apply for assistance!

National Converge Autism Summit

Springbrook Autism Behavioral Health invites professionals from across the nation to converge for two days of presentations and breakout discussions covering a wide range of topics related to Autism—from diagnosis, behavioral health and treatment, and therapy results.

For more information or to register visit http://convergeautism.com

Your Conference Could Be Here

Interested in having your educational conference, lecture, or seminar on our website?  Do you have helpful, educational information for parents of children with ASD and/or other developmental disabilities?  Would you like to help us help parents attend your event?

If you answered yes, we invite you to become a member of our approved conference network!  Becoming an approved conference allows us to approve applicants who wish to attend your event more quickly.  You will also be featured on our webpage alongside other approved conferences!  For more information, contact one of our board members or e-mail us at info@autismfef.org with your event information.

Testimonials

We are so grateful when we receive feedback from the families we sponsor.  We love hearing how AFEF has helped you learn and grow!  If you have received a sponsorship, please tell us your story.  We would love to hear it!  You can submit your AFEF story to apply@autismfef.org.  Please be sure to let us know if we can feature your testimonial here on the website so others can see how we can help them!

“The conference was an exciting event to attend. As a parent of a 16 year old daughter diagnosed with autism, I sat with some amazing people in attendance and we shared experiences and found encouragement. From great vendors, atmosphere, speakers and networking: I came away with a better sense of my role as a parent navigating life with my daughter.”

2018 Scholarship Recipient

“I did a lot of reading and research when my son was first diagnosed with autism. four years ago, so the experts at the autism conference really brought me up to speed with the latest scientific research and information. They pointed me to the resources I need to help my son. I walked away with information and ideas that I can use throughout the entire year. I thank Autism Family Education Fund for this opportunity.”

M.J. Simpson 2018 Scholarship Recipient

Board Members

Monique Williams, Treasurer

Monique is an education enthusiast in upstate South Carolina, currently in student services at Clemson University. Education has been a pillar in her life and remains a continuous pursuit. Monique’s career began in continuing education for a legal nonprofit organization in southeastern Pennsylvania, but detoured when she returned to school to earn her master’s degree with a goal of teaching in higher education.  Monique found her niche in student services where she enjoys helping students navigate the complex maze of higher education, and career and personal development. Joining the AFEF board is an extension of her favorite motto, “Knowledge is Power,” and she states, “I am grateful to be a part of an organization that seeks to empower families through education.”

Contact: mwilliams@autismfef.org

Patti Wentz, Board Member

Patti is the Director of Nursing for the RN program at ECPI University in Greenville.   She has been an educator in some capacity for most of her adult life and has a passion for imparting knowledge and wisdom to others.  With a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education and 21 years of nursing experience, helping others learn about the processes happening in their body and mind are important to her.  Patti’s interpersonal skills, desire to help others learn, and willingness to serve in the community have spurned the interest to be a part of the Autism Family Education Fund.  Patti is also a member of the Women of St. Francis, serves as a mentor to ladies with life controlling issues in her church, and serves as a mentor for young nurses with the American Nurses Association.

Contact: pwentz@autismfef.org

Mary Ann Bennett, Board Member

Mary Ann has an extensive background helping autistic children and their families in the community.  She is one of the founders of a local non-profit charter school for children with ADHD, ASD, and learning disabilities, and was pivotal in the transformation of a local residential treatment facility into a behavioral health center for autistic children.  Working in this residential autism center environment and seeing the impact that providing education has had on families dealing with autism has inspired Mary Ann to be a part of the Autism Family Education Fund so that other families can receive the same benefit.

Contact: mbennett@autismfef.org

Carly Bazemore, Board Member

Carly Bazemore is a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) and has been working with children with autism spectrum disorder since 2004. Presently, she works at SpringBrook Behavioral Health in Travelers Rest, SC. Carly has experience in the areas of intensive behavioral needs, functional communication, early intervention, discrete trial training, vocational skills, and social skills training. Carly is passionate about advocating for autism awareness, and working with children and their families to help individuals with developmental disabilities live their best possible lives.

Contact: cbazemore@autismfef.org

Drew McCabe, Board Member

Mr. McCabe is the Dean of Academics at the ECPI University. He has worked in leadership roles in Higher Education for nearly ten years. Prior to that time, he was Division Director for Robert Half International and previously a Regional Manager for Sunbelt Rentals Incorporated. He is responsible for providing proactive leadership to engage all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to support the students’ academic achievement, personal, and social development. In addition to his academic work, he serves as a volunteer for The Family Effect, a philanthropic arm of the Phoenix Center. A graduate of both Clemson University and the University Of North Carolina at Charlotte, Mr. McCabe holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Management as well as a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Mr. McCabe works with the Autism Family Education Fund to help bring awareness of Educational opportunities and services available to individuals and families of individuals with autism.

Contact: dmccabe@autismfef.org

Board Advisors

David Burleson, Board Advisor

David Burleson is a graduate of Anderson University, where he obtained three separate Bachelor of Science Degrees in Marketing, Management, and Finance/Economics.  He has worked as an Economist progressing to Senior Consultant, obtained his insurance licenses with a specialty in Financial Services, and worked as a Staffing Manager where he specialized in executive recruiting for accountants and financial analysts.  As both Autism and Mental Illness have personally affected his family, David joined Springbrook Behavioral Health in 2010 to work with those populations as the hospital’s Regional Director of Business Development.  David has also served on the Board of Directors for Mental Health America since 2013.  David brings his passion and expertise from his professional and personal experiences to the Autism Family Education Fund team.

Contact: dburleson@autismfef.org

Rebekah Wright, Board Advisor

Rebekah Wright is a graduate of North Greenville University where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology, and Louisiana State University Shreveport where she obtained her Masters in Health Administration. Rebekah began her career as a direct care staff at Springbrook Behavioral Health in 2012. Since then she has been able to utilize her talents and now is currently the Director of Patient Relations, Quality, and the Group Living Director. Rebekah has always had a focus on mental health awareness and the drive to advocate for those in need. Rebekah has over 5 years of experience with working with the Autism population and currently is a Registered Behavior Technician. Rebekah brings her skills in process improvements, project management, and advocacy to the Autism Family Education Fund team.

Contact: rwright@autismfef.org