Early Autism Project, Inc., (EAP) a leading provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to children and young adults who have autism spectrum and related disorders, promoted Ann Eldridge to executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Susan Butler to senior vice president of business development.
SUMTER, S.C., Oct. 1, 2013 — Early Autism Project, Inc., (EAP) a leading provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to children and young adults who have autism spectrum and related disorders, promoted Ann Eldridge to executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Susan Butler to senior vice president of business development.
Eldridge, who previously served as executive director of clinical services, and Butler, who was executive director of administrative services, founded EAP in 1995, after Butler struggled to find an effective and convenient treatment program for her son, Collin, who was diagnosed with autism that year. Eldridge, who was then a special education instructor at Collin’s school, was encouraged to create a custom ABA treatment program after Collin showed dramatic improvements as a result of receiving ABA therapy.
By 2007, EAP was serving large public school systems and private-pay patients. In 2009, Butler and Eldridge helped facilitate the passage of “Ryan’s Law” requiring commercial insurers to provide autism treatment coverage in South Carolina. EAP now has 450 therapists providing services to more than 800 children each year. The company operates clinics in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Sumter, S.C., and will open a clinic in Tampa, Fla., this year.
Ernst & Young honored Eldridge and Butler with the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Southeast Region in the services category in recognition of their vision, leadership and achievement.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder.
In December 2012, EAP partnered with Educational Services of America, the nation’s leading provider of K-12 special and alternative education schools and programs for students who are at risk for dropping out and for students with special needs.
EAP provides ABA therapy, which is widely recognized as an effective, evidence-based treatment for autism and is covered by many private and government insurance providers, including TRICARE, for children between the ages of 20 months and 21 years who have autism spectrum and related disorders. EAP provides comprehensive services to children and their families in their homes, in EAP clinics, in schools and at or near military bases throughout the country. For more information, visit www.EarlyAutismProject.com.