About Our Organization

Preparing Children for a Successful Future

About AFA Academy

ACTION FOR AUTISM/AFA ACADEMY 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). ACTION FOR AUTISM/AFA ACADEMY consists of (1) the AFA Academy Therapy & Learning Centers, serving children ages 18 months through 21 years, and (2) Action for Autism, which provides financial assistance to families touched by autism in the St. Louis and surrounding areas.

AFA ACADEMY, with one facility for preschool & elementary children and a second campus for our middle & high school students, provides therapy, academics, vocational training, and functional skills for kids attending the Academy. For more on AFA Academy, please visit our Programs.

ACTION FOR AUTISM provides funding to families within a 250-mile radius of St. Louis who request financial aid for various services, including summer camps, therapy services, equipment needs, assessments, and more, to help their child. To request assistance, please visit Scholarships.

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


J.B. Bryan (Chairman)
Window World

Kristie Bailey
Fireside Financial/Hearth Construction

Brad Beebe
Homestead Financial Mortgage

Alan Berardi
McCarthy Building Companies

Michelle Boehm
World Wide Technology

Nathan Brewer
Kent Corporation

Shelly Clark
St. Louis Ambush/Cardinal Surveying

Darrell Eilers
EFK Moen, LLC 

Melissa Gisi

Stephanie Goellner
Fort Zumwalt Schools

Cynthia Heath
Emerson, Retired

Matt Iovaldi
Midland Optical

John Jones
FCNB Insurance-John Jones

Denise LeGrand
Jacobs Engineering, Retired

Jennifer Ledbetter
Saint Louis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Judge Glenn Norton
Missouri Court of Appeals, Retired

Dennis Wingertsahn
American Water Works, Retired


J.B. Bryan

Sheila Charlton

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 1975 and has been serving families for more than 45 years. AFA Academy now serves 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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