About Our Organization

Preparing Children for a Successful Future

About AFA Academy

ACTION FOR AUTISM (AFA) is a St. Louis-based 501(c)(3) charitable organization, founded in 2008, to address the growing need to assist children and their families with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). AFA serves children and families who reside within a 250 mile radius of St. Louis. ACTION FOR AUTISM provides financial support to families, while also facilitating therapy and learning, as well as preparing children for a successful future, within its AFA Academy facilities, providing services for children through age 21.

Our Mission

ACTION FOR AUTISM (AFA) recognizes that nearly 1 in every 68 children born today will be diagnosed with autism. In addition to increasing awareness and educating people about autism, we view our mission as one of continually striving to work with individuals, families, and organizations to see that anyone with autism should, to the extent possible, receive therapies, resources, and support to help them attain their highest potential. ACTION FOR AUTISM entered an affiliation agreement with Howard Park Center in 2010, and Howard Park Center now operates under the AFA Academy name.

Our Board


Judge Glenn Norton (Chairman)
Missouri Court of Appeals, Retired

Mark Alt
Maritz Inc.

Dr. Mel Anderson
Anheuser Busch Agriculture, Retired

Matt Bates
Eagle Bank & Trust

Alan Berardi
McCarthy Building Companies

Keith Ebling
Private Investor

Cynthia Heath

Matt Iovaldi
Midland Optical

Harold John
John & Powers, Inc.

Denise LeGrand
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.

Jennifer Ledbetter
Washington University Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Mike Marks
Fabick CAT

Jim Monafo
Husch Blackwell

William Scheffel
Centene Corporation, Retired

Stacey Starck

Dr. Christine Thayer
Thayer Clinical Psychology

Larry Thayer
PortaFab Corporation, Retired


Brad Buechler

Sheila Charlton

Jim Monafo

Glenn Norton


photo about2Our History

Action for Autism was founded in June of 2008 and is dedicated to helping children and families affected by autism and other neurodevelopmental delays (NDD) attain resources and improve their lives. AFA Academy (formerly Howard Park Center) was founded in 1971 and has been serving families for more than 45 years, and AFA Academy has been expanded to now serve children ages 2 through 21.

Our Team

Action for Autism/AFA Academy’s Teachers, Therapists, and Administration are experienced and well-qualified to help children reach their potential. Please visit Our Team to learn more about our wonderful staff of teachers, ABA specialists, administrators, and therapists.

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