Since the organization began, its mission has been to advance Autism awareness/education, to provide financial support, and raise community awareness on behalf of The Autism Place at Illinois State University to further their mission of serving families living with an autism related disorder.
All activities benefit of The Autism Place and participating families representing a wide range of social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, by distribution of its funds for those purposes, and particularly for providing financial support to The Autism Place.
The Friends of The Autism Place (FOTAP) was founded in 2009 by parents who had family members receiving services from the Autism Place. Their initial goal was to reduce the number of families on the waiting list for services through increasing financial support and awareness through fundraising efforts.
In September of 2015, FOTAP was notified that due to the budget stalemate holding up critical grants, The Autism Place would close in November 2015. Thanks to volunteers and the generosity of the community, money was raised to move the program to a smaller, less expensive location and fund the program until state funding was partially restored in 2017. Even then, FOTAP covered the cost of the lease and assisted with supplies to cover any shortfall The Autism Place faced.
In 2020, The Autism Place was again faced with uncertainty as COVID restrictions forced a non-renewal of the lease. FOTAP partnered with ISU to find a new location and moved the program with help of many volunteers.
FOTAP will always be there to support The Autism Place as they have always been their for our families. However they cannot do it alone and need your help to support the ongoing lease commitment and other programmatic expenses.