In the late 1990s, a group of parents of children with autism in Ocean County, New Jersey banned together with the intent of improving educational programs for children with autism. In 2001, these parents hosted a two-day conference at Georgian Court University (Lakewood, NJ) that featured the world’s most prominent speakers in the field of autism intervention. An overwhelming majority of teachers that attended the conference felt that their greatest need was for more targeted training in applying the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) in the classroom.
The energized group of parents answered this need by scheduling teacher training workshops throughout 2001-2002. Special education professionals that participated in this targeted training responded enthusiastically and collaborated with each other to develop an 8-part training series. Combined, these professionals presented 120 free trainings throughout 2002-2003 for parents and special education professionals. Through the tireless efforts of many, this program continued to expand into new areas over the next few years, benefiting many teachers, parents, and individuals with autism.
In May of 2007, the Foundation for Autism Training and Education (FATE) was formed by some of the original members of the core parent group and professionals in the field of special education. The important work of providing training for teachers, therapists, and parents of individuals with autism continues. FATE is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives, education, and future successes of individuals with autism