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Thank you, American Diagnostic Corporation for donating $20,000

American Diagnostic Corporation’s Story
by Carole Vande Velde

American Diagnostic Corporation (ADC) is one of the world’s premier manufacturers of diagnostic medical products, personal instruments, and accessories for the healthcare industry.

Thirty-five ago, we hired our first developmentally disabled employee. We were a tiny firm, employing fewer than 10, and had published an ad seeking help in our production department. The only candidate to show up was a young man named Glen who rode his bicycle seven miles to our offices. He gave Marc Blitstein, our President and CEO, a note written by his mom asking that we give him a chance. We did, and we’ve never looked back. Today, we’re one of New York’s largest private employers of people with developmental disabilities, accounting for more than 10% of our workforce. This allows us to keep jobs in the U.S. while helping local adults find sustainable employment. These colleagues work in positions throughout production, maintenance, shipping, and quality control. Together, they represent more than 250 years of combined service to ADC.

In 2014, seeking a way to make an impact on a national level, we partnered with a young foundation, Els for Autism, co-founded by the legendary golfer Ernie and his wife Liezl. The foundation is committed to better understanding the aspirations of people with autism spectrum disorder and helping them to fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive, and rewarding lives. Through their high-quality programs and innovative interventions, they’ve become a game-changing resource for individuals and families. Through the collaboration, ADC developed a series of professional grade aneroid sphygmomanometers featuring puzzle pieces, directing a portion of the profits to Els. In 2022 we expanded the collaboration to include five of our Adscope stethoscopes. Today, we donate 10% from the sale of these instruments to Els for Autism, year-round. To learn more about the product line, visit For more information regarding our workforce initiatives, watch our video at

Research Study Published In Peer-Reviewed Journal: Els for Autism Spring into Action Together (SIAT) Program Empowers Caregivers with Skills and Knowledge to Improve Social Communication in Toddlers and Young Children with Autism

Jupiter, FL  (July 1, 2022) Spring into Action Together (SIAT) is an Els for Autism® caregiver-implemented, early education program for children who are 18 months to 3 years of age. A pilot study was conducted to examine outcomes for toddlers and young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or autism symptomatology following the SIAT 4-week caregiver coaching program implemented by trained therapists in collaboration with the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai. The results, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (JADD),conclude that a pilot study of SIAT improved social communication and language skills.

The SIAT program is designed to support communication, social engagement, and play skills by teaching caregivers skills that can be implemented in the child’s natural environment. This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of the SIAT intervention, which ultimately may complement existing treatments by empowering parents with therapeutic skills to support their young children’s development.

Through this study, researchers identified significant benefits of caregiver-directed coaching, which offers increased intervention accessibility due to decreased time demands and strategies that are intended to be generalized to every day environments. The study also found improvement in caregiver knowledge and parental engagement with their child. This study was funded by The Seaver Els Institute with support from the Els for Autism Foundation and the Beatrice & Samuel A. Seaver Foundation.

Els for Autism® has provided programs and services to individuals with ASD across the lifespan, with a focus on early intervention and education, adult services, and recreation. Interventions in these areas are continuously studied to determine efficacy, and the core of these findings are shared worldwide to the individual with ASD, their family, support teams, and other professionals.

Samantha Els – 2022 Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award Recipient

On Wednesday, March 30th, 2022, Samantha Els, better known as Sam, was awarded the Autism Science Foundation’s (ASF) Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award. The ASF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and funding innovative autism research. The Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award recognizes outstanding advocacy by a family member of a person with autism. The award was presented at the ninth annual “Day of Learning” at the New York Athletic Club, and virtually from across the globe.

Sam is an agent of change worldwide for siblings of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She is the Ambassador and moderator of Sam’s Sibs Stick Together, a webinar series sponsored by Els for Autism ® and the Autism Science Foundation. Through her own experiences as a sibling of an individual with autism, Sam helps shine a light on the importance of sibling research and support.

Media Advisory – Golf Legend Ernie Els Breaks Ground for New Building for Adults with Autism

CONTACT: Marlene Passell (561) 281-4014

JUPITER, FL – You’d think golf legend Ernie Els moved his family across the Atlantic from their home in England to Palm Beach County because of its plethora of golf courses. But it was something much more personal – the diagnosis of his young son, Ben, with autism and a search by Els and his wife, Liezl, for the best services possible, that brought them here with Ben and their daughter Samantha.

What they found here were some of the best, high-quality services, but soon realized, like every other family facing similar circumstances, that the services were scattered and, often like finding a needle in a haystack. That changed in 2009 when the Els partnered with publisher Marvin R. Shanken and started the Els for Autism Foundation.

They put together on one 26-acre campus all needed services – from diagnosis through education, vocational training, and job placement — under one roof and to share best practices, research, and curricula internationally. It provides a community for families and individuals with ASD to connect, find support, and engage in cutting-edge programs and services.

And, next week, those services will be brought full circle with the groundbreaking of the Stoops Family Foundation Adult Services building. The new 21,000-square-foot, $7.1 million facility to be completed in 2023, will provide tools and guidance to adults on the autism spectrum needed to navigate their futures.

The Els and Shanken will lead a private groundbreaking event on Monday, April 4 at the campus in Jupiter. You’ll also hear from a man with autism who is now employed by Els for Autism, two donors who together donated half of the needed funds and why they invested so much in this project, and local businesses that have employed adults with autism and why they make great additions to the workforce.

[Media: this event is by invitation only. The Els and Marvin R. Shanken will be available for interviews]

Event details: Monday, April 4 at 10 a.m. Location: 18370 Limestone Creek Road, Jupiter.  33458


Facts About Els For Autism®
with information about the Stoops Family Foundation Adult Services building

Congratulations Employee of the Year – David Asterino!

by Kathleen Barney

Els for Autism would like to congratulate David Asterino for his achievement of earning the award of Employee of the Year at Seawind Elementary in Hobe Sound, Florida.

David has been a huge supporter of Els for Autism ever since Patricia Valentine, a graduate of the Work Experience Program, started working at Seawind Elementary. David has been an outstanding mentor to Patricia and has guided her through any challenges she has faced since being employed. When Patricia was asked how she felt about David winning this award, she responded “I’m so happy for him. He deserves it.”

The employee of the year is awarded to an individual who exemplifies only the best qualities, such as customer service, interaction with his coworkers and willingness to go above and beyond the assigned job duties. When I asked David why he thought he won this award, his response was, “I think it was because I still take my job very seriously but I don’t let it affect the camaraderie with the rest of the staff and the students.”

The Adult Services department at Els for Autism is very fortunate to have coworkers and mentors such as David in the worksites. Congratulations!

A Cup of Success

“We had such a great experience with Els for Autism events, with the community, and with our intern, it was no question if we could make it work with an adult, we were definitely going to give it a try.”

– Amy Duell, General Manager, Oceana Coffee Roasters

Oceana Coffee, Palm Beach County’s first specialty coffee roasting business based in Tequesta, Florida, had been engaged with the Els for Autism Foundation for several years, mainly through events in the local community. Oceana Coffee has been in business since 2009, with 2 cafe locations in the Tequesta area and a growing wholesale business. So, when they heard that there was an opportunity to work with an intern with autism from The Learning Academy at The Els Center of Excellence, they were eager to give it a go. When this rewarding experience with the intern ended, and an opportunity arose to hire an adult through the Foundation’s Adult Services Program, Oceana Coffee was quick to see if they could make it work successfully.

The hiring process started with defining the position and its requirements.  It was then a matchmaking process. They worked with the Foundation to interview several candidates until they found the person who could work well within the defined requirements of the position. The person they hired is Bryan Jaimes.  Bryan has been working at the roasting house since January 2019 and has been a valuable addition to their team. He started out with an eight hour per week schedule, and within two months was given an additional four hours because of his proven ability. Bryan is now working three days a week creating Oceana Coffee’s K-Cups and packaging them into boxes.

“He is super focused, super on point, and he always does a great job,” Amy Duell, General Manager at Oceana Coffee, said.  “He does every K-cup perfectly.”

Bryan participated in the Foundation’s Adult Services Work Experience Program, completing his 18-week program at Jupiter Medical Center. The program taught Bryan specific work skills and he now uses them to help him prosper at Oceana Coffee.

Bryan has a job coach, Paula Facey-Matthews, from the Els for Autism Foundation who visits Bryan at Oceana Coffee to ensure that he is staying on task and doing his job efficiently. Her involvement has faded greatly as time has passed since she went from being there with Bryan for each of his shifts to now visiting him once a week. “He has become very independent,” Paula said.

Amy stated, “The people helping [from the Foundation] are there every step of the way, any time of the day.”  This support level is what has made this process of hiring an individual on the spectrum so straightforward.

Since being hired, Bryan has grown with the company and has helped his co-workers grow as well. “I think every employee has learned patience from Bryan,” Amy says.

Over time, Amy has recognized Bryan’s deeper capabilities. “It opens up your eyes to see what’s possible,” Amy said.  It has been easy to give him more responsibilities and incorporate him into other daily tasks when his K-cup job isn’t as demanding.  “Bryan is a huge part of our team now,” she said.

Amy’s advice to other companies on the fence about hiring an adult on the spectrum is: “Don’t be scared to try it out, meet the individuals that are out there. It’s an amazing opportunity to help someone and to grow your team and your business.”

How to Find the Proper Dentist for Your Loved One with Autism

Author: Dr. Greg Grillo ( (May 2019)

You probably remember your first time going to the dentist and hearing the noise of various drills and tools. This can be an overwhelming experience for anybody, and these fears can be heightened for patients with special needs. As a dentist who’s been practicing for more than 17 years, I know how real these anxieties can be, but before you head to the dentist it’s important to find the right one. I’ve helped many families find the right dentist and have written a list of how you can begin your search.

Ask plenty of questions

As you’re searching for the right dentist for your loved one with special needs, it’s important to ask a lot of questions. You want to find someone who is the perfect fit and this is the only way you’ll know. Some questions to ask prospective dentists are:

  1. Are you comfortable working with a patient with additional needs? 

The dentist you choose should be comfortable caring for patients that have additional needs. If the patient is a child, start by talking to pediatric dentists in your area. Pediatric dentists have 2-3 years of extra schooling and will be able to accommodate better for their visit.

  1. What experience do you have working with patients with special needs?

While speaking to a potential dentist, ask them if they’ve had experience working with patients who have special needs. Ask what their experience was like, and listen for specific examples of how they worked with someone with special needs. Dentists with previous experience will have more knowledge overall of what it’s like providing care to a patient with additional needs. They will naturally be more comfortable working with your loved one.

  1. Can you make any special accommodations during the appointment?

Each patient is unique in their needs and you want to make sure those needs can be met, whatever they may be. Some common accommodations are having specific toothpaste flavors used, reducing waiting room times, and having the dental chair remain in the same position the entire visit. These may seem small but can make all the difference in assuring the comfort of the patient.

These are just a few questions to get you started but be sure to ask any question that’s on your mind. No question is a bad one and you will feel more confident choosing a dentist who can answer any and all questions.

Use referral services

There are quite a few referral services available to you to find recommendations for dentists in your area. A quick google search will be able to lead you to local dental offices as well as other online resources that can help you find the type of care you are looking for.

Another great way to find recommendations for special needs dentists is by talking to your primary healthcare provider. They are a great source for finding the right dental care for your loved one. Friends or other family members that have seen a special needs dentist will be able to provide you with insight as well.

Do not give up

The most important thing to remember when finding the perfect dentist for your loved one with special needs is to never give up. If you’re struggling to find the right dentist, keep searching. There is one out there for you and your loved one. It can be a trial and error process and that’s okay. Embrace the learning experience with you and your loved one and make going to the dentist a great experience.  Keep pushing until you find someone who is just right. Going to the dentist should be a positive experience, not one that’s dreaded. Always keep your loved one’s needs in mind when searching for a dentist and the right one will come along in no time.

Choosing a dentist is an important decision you’ll make for your loved one with autism.  You’ll want to ask the right questions and search for clear answers so you can make informed choices. Use your instincts and choose a dentist who feels right. Use health care providers, friends, and family members to find recommendations and never give up on your search.

Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce names Els for Autism Foundation the 2019 Non-Profit of the Year

(Palm Beach Gardens, FL – –  May 16, 2019)  Els for Autism Foundation was named Non-Profit of the Year by the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce at the Annual Leadership Awards at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. The awards ceremony honored outstanding leaders and businesses making an impact in the Palm Beach North community.

Els for Autism Foundation - Non Profit of the YearNONPROFIT OF THE YEAR: Els For Autism Foundation
The Nonprofit of The Year award is given to an organization whose strategic vision, passion, and perseverance has led to extraordinary outcomes for the community it serves. Recipients of this award generally utilize new approaches in overcoming obstacles to achieve its mission.

Arcis Golf Fund Raises for Els for Autism Foundation during Autism Awareness Month

During the month of April, Arcis Golf, the second largest owner-operator of private, resort, and daily fee golf clubs in the U.S., launched a nationwide campaign at 60 Arcis Golf clubs to raise funds for the Els for Autism Foundation. The “Arcis Round Up 4 Els for Autism” campaign encouraged members, guests, and patrons to “round up” to the nearest dollar on merchandise, food & beverage, or golf purchases as a donation to the Els for Autism Foundation.  Fourteen of the Arcis Golf clubs reached the $1,000+ fundraising goal. The top five clubs were:

“We thank Arcis Golf for partnering with us during April Autism Awareness Month,” Ernie Els said. “We are amazed by the results and sincerely thank everyone who participated.”

Additional contributions will be accepted through September 2019.  Clubs or individuals raising or donating $15,000 or more will be invited to send a two-person team to play in the Els for Autism Golf Challenge Grand Finale event in mid-October.


Arcis Golf Partners with Els For Autism – New Programs Include Fundraising and Awareness Nationwide

DALLAS (March 26, 2019) Arcis Golf —the second largest owner-operator of private, resort, and daily fee clubs in the United States—will launch a nationwide campaign in April called “Arcis Round Up For Autism” that expands its partnership with legendary golfer Ernie Els and the Els for Autism Foundation.

In conjunction with April’s World Autism Month, the “Arcis Round Up For Autism” program at 60 Arcis Golf clubs around the country will encourage members, guests, and patrons to “round up” to the nearest dollar on any purchases of merchandise, food, and beverage, or golf as a donation to the charity. Additional contributions will be accepted through September, with clubs or individuals raising or donating $15,000 or more invited to send a two-person team to play in the Els for Autism Golf Challenge Grand Finale event in mid-October.

“Arcis Golf is proud to support the Els for Autism initiative through the participation of our generous members and guests,” said Blake Walker, Founder, and CEO of Dallas-based Arcis Golf. “Our goal is to promote the tremendous work of the foundation, as well as raise funds for programs that create a better future for people with autism spectrum disorder as one in every 59 children in the United States is affected by autism.”

“The support and partnership of Arcis Golf is truly appreciated,” said Els, who established the Els for Autism Foundation in 2009 with his wife, Liezl, after their son Ben was diagnosed. “By rounding up and engaging golfers in this simplest of actions, we can generate funds to learn more about autism.”

The couple has devoted its efforts to The Els Center of Excellence, a world-class facility hosting leading-edge autism programs and services in Jupiter, Fla. Els for Autism is committed to helping those with autism fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive, and rewarding lives.

The partnership with the Els Foundation is one of several ways Arcis Golf supports organizations nationally. Arcis Golf recently renewed its support of the United States Adaptive Golf Alliance, providing resources at select Arcis Golf facilities around the country including access to golf courses and PGA professionals within the Arcis Golf portfolio, as well as fundraising opportunities through Arcis Golf members.

To learn more about Arcis Golf, visit

About Arcis Golf

Recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, Arcis Golf is the premier operator of public and private golf clubs in the United States with a current portfolio of more than 60 properties in 14 states from coast to coast. An industry leader, providing dynamic direction and unrivaled amenities that complement diverse playing experiences, Arcis Golf is committed to reinventing the golf and country club lifestyle experience to a level of excellence that exceeds all expectations. Arcis Golf’s allocation of more than $60 million in major capital improvements to its facilities has resulted in award-winning clubhouse transformations, golf course renovations, and other upgrades that represent part of Arcis Golf’s industry-leading acquisition investment of $400 million since its formation in July 2015. Arcis Golf is supported by Arcis Equity Partners, LLC, a private-equity firm dedicated to making equity and debt investments in the real estate and leisure sectors. Through strategic acquisitions that build and sustain Arcis Golf as a leader in upscale golf and lifestyle experiences, the complete Arcis Golf portfolio benefits from the commitment of Arcis Equity Partners, LLC. Capitalizing on the resources developed to support its growing portfolio, Arcis Golf also provides professional management services to third-party owners under its Arcis Advantage division. Location: 4851 Lyndon B Johnson Fwy, Suite 600 Dallas, Texas 75244. Phone: (214) 722-6000. Website:

Karen Moraghan
Hunter Public Relations
(908) 963-6013