Community Awareness Training

Autism is now a community issue, based on both its prevalence and economic impact.

The rate of autism is now an astounding 1 in 59 children. At this point, almost everyone has a family member or friend who is touched by autism.

The need for intervention is critical – the earlier, the better. Unfortunately, the average age of diagnosis is 4-years-old, meaning that we are missing valuable time.

Economic Impact:
Without effective interventions, most individuals on the spectrum will require some form of lifelong support, currently estimated at $2.4 million per person.

As individuals with autism age out of school programs, their parents must often leave their own careers to become caregivers.

Individuals with autism have a normal life expectancy; they will outlive their parents. For most, the long-term cost of care will fall to the community.

At Project HOPE Foundation, we have speakers available to present information of a wide variety of topics, including:
· Symptoms of autism
· Effective intervention through Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy
· Educational models for students with autism
· Strategies for successful inclusion of children with autism
· Strategies to support families living with autism
· Community integration of individuals with autism

We welcome the opportunity to speak to your civic, faith-based, or community group.

Parent Training

Project HOPE Foundation wants to equip families to interact effectively with their children with autism. We know that we serve best when we partner with parents, who are living with autism 24/7.

We offer SafetyCare for Families training to aid in Crisis Management.  

As part of our Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy programs, we conduct monthly meetings with each individual family and therapy team. During those sessions, we work together to set goals and to adjust implementation of the therapy program to maximize success. We also spend time demonstrating and teaching techniques to maximize the child’s progress.

We provide periodic group parent training on topics that impact many families living with autism. 

Crisis Management Training

Individuals with autism have difficulty in communication and social interaction. Not surprisingly, challenging behavior often arises.

Project HOPE Foundation offers our employees an opportunity to learn the Safety-Care™ crisis management system. Safety-Care™ emphasizes prevention over management. This system utilizes respectful, humane, and non-coercive interventions for responding to challenging behavior.

Project HOPE Foundation also offers Safety-Care for Families™ as a means of teaching caregivers to prevent and respond to challenging behavior.

Resources for South Carolina

  • Family Connections of South Carolina has a statewide infrastructure in place that includes a network of families and area offices across the state. FCSC has significant practical experience in working with public and private organizations in developing and improving systems that support children with special health care needs and their families in the community through providing access to information, education, and training opportunities.
  • L.U.C.A.S. Network (Loving Unconditionally Children with Autism Support Network) was created in 2007 by Derrick and Sandrine Howle in honor of our son, Lucas, who has autism. We developed a network of parents to help Lorri Unumb, Marcella Ridley, and Lisa Rollins’ two year effort to get Ryan’s Law passed in SC. Through correspondence with many of these families during and after the successful passage of Ryan’s Law in June of 2007, we felt compelled to share our story and experiences with Lucas’ battle with autism with other families in hope of making a difference in the lives of families suffering from this disorder and of making these families battle a little easier. Our Contact information via e-mail is Please feel free to ask any questions concerning advocacy, treatment or details concerning autism in SC. We will make sure we find the answer to your question! Remember that you are not alone and there are others who know what you are going through!
  • PRO-Parents (Parents Reaching Out to Parents) of South Carolina, Inc., is a private, non-profit organization which provides information and training about education to families of children with all types of disabilities.PRO-Parents believes parents can be the best advocates for their children. Experienced advisors assist parents to become more aware of their rights and responsibilities through telephone counseling, workshops and written material.
  • The South Carolina Autism Society provides personalized information to parents and professionals about ASDs and services. SCAS advocates for children and adults with ASDS for system-wide change. The purpose of SCAS is to enable all individuals with ASDs to reach their maximum potential. Throughout the year, SCAS offers workshops geared for parents and professionals, Parent School Partnership program to foster better IEPs, and Service Coordination to identify and obtain needed services to qualified individuals and families.
  • The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) is the state agency that plans, develops, coordinates and funds services for South Carolinians with severe, lifelong disabilities of mental retardation, autism, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and similar disability.

 National Resources

  • The Autism Research Institute (ARI), a non-profit organization, was established in 1967. For more than 40 years, ARI has devoted its work to conducting research, and to disseminating the results of research, on the triggers of autism and on methods of diagnosing and treating autism. We provide research-based information to parents and professionals around the world.
  • The Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy.
  • Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We are proud of what we've been able to accomplish and look forward to continued successes in the years ahead.
  • Autism360 is a unique tool which provides an accurate report that captures the details of your child's or your own individuality and offers treatment options that have worked for others with closely matching records.
  • The mission of® is to reach out globally to families, clinicians, and educators through the internet to provide information related to autism and other neurological disorders. Viewers can watch personal stories, therapies, and the latest medical research 24 hours a day from home, work, or wherever high-speed internet access is available - all for free.
  • Generation Rescue is an international movement of scientists and physicians researching the causes and treatments for autism, ADHD, neurological disorders and chronic illness, while parent-volunteers mentor thousands of families in recovering their children. These conditions are treatable and often reversible!
  • The mission of the National Autism Association is to educate and empower families affected by autism and other neurological disorders, while advocating on behalf of those who cannot fight for their own rights. We will educate society that autism is not a lifelong incurable genetic disorder but one that is biomedically definable and treatable. We will raise public and professional awareness of environmental toxins as causative factors in neurological damage that often results in an autism or related diagnosis. We will encourage those in the autism community to never give up in their search to help their loved ones reach their full potential, funding efforts toward this end through appropriate research for finding a cure for the neurological damage from which so many affected by autism suffer.

Funding Sources for Families


Under Ryan’s Law, certain South Carolina insurance companies must cover Applied Behavior Analysis services.

When did Ryan’s Law go into effect? 
It covers from the first renewal date of the insurance policy after July 1, 2008.

What insurance policies fall under the mandate of Ryan’s Law?
At this time, coverage is clear for two types of policies:

  1. Policies for South Carolina state employees, and
  2. Group policies with more than 50 employees that are written in South Carolina and are not “self-insured” policies.

However, it is worth pursuing coverage with any insurance company because clarification of Ryan’s Law is still progressing.

How do I approach my insurance company?

We suggest that you fill out this form before calling your insurance company about coverage.  For assistance, contact Hope Reach at 864-476-7400.


BabyNet is South Carolina's interagency early intervention system for infants and toddlers under three years of age with developmental delays or conditions associated with developmental delays. BabyNet is funded and regulated through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and managed through South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness.

Anyone (a parent, doctor, caregiver, teacher or friend) can make a referral by contacting or calling 1-877-621-0865.

Children who have received ABA line therapy from their current ABA provider for a minimum of 30 days prior to the child’s third birthday will be able to transition into the PDD Waiver without a break in services. However, to do so, the child’s Early Interventionist must request this transition when the child reaches 33 months of age.

Click here for more information.


The PDD (Pervasive Development Disability Waiver) provides funding for Applied Behavior Analysis services for a designated number of children with autism in South Carolina. To receive PDD Waiver funding, you must apply through the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN). There is currently a waiting list for PDD Waiver slots.

Who is eligible for the PDD Waiver?  The PDD Waiver covers children from age 3 through age 10, who receive a diagnosis of a PDD (includes autism, PDD- NOS, and Asperger’s Syndrome) by the age of 8.

How do I apply for the PDD Waiver? Talk to your service coordinator to walk you through this process. If you do not have a service coordinator, call us at 864-476-7400. Click here for more information about the PDD Waiver.


Under Ryan’s Law, certain South Carolina insurance companies must cover Applied Behavior Analysis services.

What insurance policies fall under the mandate of Ryan’s Law?

At this time, coverage is clear for two types of policies:

  1. Policies for South Carolina state employees, and
  2. Group policies with more than 50 employees that are written in South Carolina and are not “self-insured” policies.

However, we encourage the pursuit of coverage with any insurance company because clarification of Ryan’s Law is still progressing.

We suggest that you fill out this form before calling your insurance company about coverage.  For assistance, contact Hope Reach at 864-476-7400.


The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) provides two main Medicaid Waivers to fund services for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities:

  • ID/RD Waiver (Intellectual Disabilities/Related Disabilities) and
  • Community Supports Waiver.

To receive a Medicaid waiver, individuals with disabilities must receive a Level of Care determination that states that the individual requires the level of care given in an Intermediate Care Facility for the Mentally Retarded (ICF/MR). Services funded by the waivers include, but are not limited to:

  • Behavior Supports Services; Click here
  • Day Supports, including Day Activity services, Career Preparation, and Employment Services;
  • Respite Care;
  • Psychological Services;
  • Nursing Service; and
  • Specialized Equipment.

Of these, Project HOPE Foundation currently offers Behavior Supports Services. ID/RD Waiver participants receive approval for this funding every 5 years. Community Supports Waiver participants receive an approval for funding every 3 years, and Community Supports services cannot exceed $10,986 per year. A Service Coordinator can help interested individuals and families apply for services and learn more about available funding. Service Coordination is provided by each county as well as by private service coordination providers. To request information regarding waivers or service coordination, contact your local county board or the South Carolina Autism Society.

Greenville County Disabilities and Special Needs Board: 864-281-3960 Charles Lea Center (Spartanburg county): 864-472-7461 Laurens County Disabilities and Special Needs Board: 864-984-0355 South Carolina Autism Society: 803-750-6988