2013 Road to Palm Springs

Finalist profile

  • Share

Ann Eldridge
Executive Director of Clinical Services
Susan Butler
Executive Director of Administrative Services
Early Autism Project, Inc.

Entrepreneurs make a difference to both their clients and communities. And making a difference through helping others is at the core of Early Autism Project. Ann Eldridge and Susan Butler started their company as a way to help better the lives of children with autism, specifically by promoting applied behavior analysis (ABA), a therapy scientifically proven to have long-term benefits.

Early Autism Project strives to reach as many families as possible. The challenge lies in making ABA therapy affordable. Starting at the local level, Susan and Ann bartered with school districts to fund ABA programs. They then campaigned against insurance lobbyists to pass Ryan’s Law, the South Carolina legislation requiring insurance companies to pay for ABA therapy.

With a management team of 15 and a therapy staff of 500, Early Autism Project is determined to expand its support of families affected by autism.