Each kid is special. Each family, unique. Each staff member is committed. Each supporter, kind. In the community, we each have an important part to play.



Kids with ASD are just like anyone else. They want to have friends and be accepted for who they are. Family Initiative group programs teach life and social skills while having fun.


Family time can be the best time of your day. Our experienced clinicians craft an individualized plan for your family, using best practice therapies and tools to help your child and family bond and grow.


Find insights that parents, caregivers, and community members can use to better understand ASD, build trust with children who have experienced trauma, and gain parenting tips to strengthen families.

PRIVATE SCHOOL – Thrive Academy

Family Initiative is focused on children with ASD, their future, their talents, their hopes and dreams. Fi’s Thrive Academy will empower ASD youth and young adults while providing an opportunity for students through an individualized approach to learning. Academics will focus on English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science that will follow standards-based instruction.

“I felt alone and fell into a little depression. When I found Family Initiative, they really helped me with all aspects of my life. I feel like they’ve helped me as well as my child.”


There are few things as rewarding
as being a parent.

There are also few things as demanding. And being the parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) comes bearing even more challenges – unique challenges that require the full application of one’s time, abilities, attention, and resources. And navigating the systems of support for families – especially in Florida – can be complicated, adding to a parent’s frustration.

Parents and caregivers want to know:

  • Which daycare center is best for my child?
  • What school has programs for autism?
  • Are they any good?
  • Will they accept my child?
  • Will she fit in?
  • Will we see results – will my child grow?
  • Will they love him?

Is there somewhere we can go for help and guidance?

Family Initiative is that place

one that will help both your child and your family.

In the Beginning

Driven by compassion and innovation, David Brown, MSW, and Anjali Van Drie, MA, LCSW, BCBA wanted to build an organization that would challenge traditional thinking and provide more effective support and hope to Florida families seeking help.

Hope, love, change, improvement, transparency, acceptance, progress, and understanding – these words helped define their belief system. And a desire to make a difference helped bring David and Anjali’s creation – Family Initiative – to life.

Their vision is to bring something different to our region — a cutting-edge approach to supporting both children and young adults on the spectrum by offering a family-centered approach that meets the needs of everyone in the household.

We went from, we were done to okay, we can do this one more day. Like our entire house was on fire, then add in our adoptive son with the traumas he had, and the two of them were combusting. We couldn’t find enough information out there to extinguish that fire.

Danielle WrightFoster Parent

The Autism Play Group is something he can enjoy without feeling like he is working. Since he started that, his socialization in school and other groups has really perked up quite a bit.

Mark and LillianParents of Dylan

What I think is different about Family Initiative is they have taken the whole picture and they have covered every element, from training to understanding to in-home example setting and then working through that and making sure the foster parent is wrapped around with all of the knowledge they need to take care of that child.

Jill SteinerSafe Children Coalition

Family Initiative is a valued partner of our local United Way achieving transformational results helping children with autism gain independence and thrive.

Jeannine Joy, President and CEOUnited Way Lee, Hendry, and Glades

Our Promise to Families

At Family Initiative, we promise to empower ASD youth and families and those in the child welfare system – By equipping them with foundational skills needed to build friendships, families, citizenship, and a sense of belonging – Through evidenced-based therapies, innovative programs, practical training, and compassionate support – So that every child and every family have the chance to thrive.

– David and Anjali, Family Initiative