The Ezra B. Smith Foundation Grant is a tuition/therapy grant for financially disadvantaged children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder that live in the state of Utah*. Early diagnosis and treatment, between the ages of 2 and 8, is crucial to making a long-term impact on a child's ability to achieve his or her full potential. Autism is treatable, yet many families cannot afford to provide their children with the Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) treatment recommended by the Surgeon General. Numerous studies have proven the benefits of ABA treatment for children with Autism. Close to 50% of children with autism who receive ABA treatment are able to be "mainstreamed" in the public-school system by the age of 5. Unfortunately, most insurance companies will not cover ABA treatment and the public school systems in the state do not offer this service. ABA treatment requires an intensive 1 to 1 student to teacher ratio for 30 hours or more per week to be fully effective. Tuition for private schools who offer ABA based treatment is financially out of reach for many Utah families. Therefore, the mission of Ezra B. Smith Foundation Grant is to make ABA based treatment available to financially disadvantaged children. We accept applications and provide grants directly to therapy providers on behalf of the children.
The Ezra B Smith Foundation for Autism Therapy and Education is a non-profit foundation that seeks to provide financial assistance for therapies and education of autistic children in middle income families. The foundation was started in 2009 by Marilyn Smith and was named in honor of her grandson Ezra B Smith. Ezra (our son, brother, nephew, grandson & loved one) was diagnosed with Autism at age 2. He has struggled with this disorder to the extent that he is low functioning, which includes being non-verbal, lack of motors skills, self-help skills, and social interaction. We love Ezra and we know that he needs the support of everyone that surrounds him in order to become self-sufficient and reach his fullest potential. We started this foundation after experiencing first-hand the struggles that come with providing for a child with Autism. The foundation targets middle income families because we have found that they fall into an area where additional help is not available. These families usually have an income that places them above thresholds for government assistance and below threshold to be able to pay for treatment out of pocket.
Autism therapy is most effective when started early and with intense intervention. Our goal is to provide this therapy and education to as many autistic children as possible each year. We strive to raise funds for the foundation by private donations, vehicle donation, corporate partnership, and a charitable dinner.
*Regrettably, as it stands today, the Ezra B Smith Foundation only has grants available to those residing in the state of Utah.