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  • Support Autism Tree Project Foundation by shopping on Amazon Smile
  • University of San Diego Baseball Player Mentor Program
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  • Since 2013, LIFT UP LUKE & LIFT UP AUTISM have raised more than $100,000 for ATPF! We are incredibly thankful to our community partner, TRAIN HEROIC and ATPF Supporters Josh & Mary Everett for their hearts and continued support for our mission, programs and services!
  • University of San Diego Baseball Player Mentor Program - Working with the Autism Tree Project Foundation, the USD Toreros baseball team mentors ATPF kids, hosts ATPF families at Toreros events and raises autism awareness in our community.
  • Girls Mentor Program - designed to pair Autism Tree Project Foundation mothers and daughters with National Charity League, Del Sol Chapter, mothers and daughters by providing fun, annual girls-only events.
  • Autism Tree Project Foundation Musical Playgroup - Hosted at our San Diego office each month at no cost to participating families.
  • In 2006 ATPF launched an initiative to provide FREE Early Intervention Preschool Screenings to children in local preschools throughout California for language and developmental delays. Provided by Kara Dodds and Associates in San Diego and Dr. Jean Novak of San Jose State University in the Bay Area, ATPF Early Intervention Preschool Screenings catch warning signs in children, allowing parents to get further diagnosis and treatment at a critical time in their children's lives. It costs the Autism Tree $36 to screen each child. ATPF screens over 2,000 preschool children per year. To set up screenings at your school, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • We are incredibly thankful to our community partner of the decade, CSR CARES. Thank you CSR Real Estate Services & CSR CARES supporting ATPF since 2003.
  • We are incredibly thankful to the Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Foundation for their generous support to ATPF since 2009.
  • University of San Diego Football Mentor Program - Working with the Autism Tree Project Foundation, the USD Toreros football team mentors ATPF kids, hosts ATPF families at Toreros events and raises autism awareness in our community.

Progress to Date

Funds Raised 2019: $172,516

39% of ATPF 2019 Operating Budget

Children Screened: 17,696

SLP Students Trained at SJSU: 2,100

Upcoming Events

Saturday, Aug 24, 2019 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
San Diego, California

Saturday, Aug 24, 2019 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
San Diego, California

Saturday, Aug 24, 2019 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Encinitas, California

Tuesday, Aug 27, 2019 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM
San Marcos, California

Thursday, Aug 29, 2019 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
San Diego, California

See All Events

Supporting Families Affected by Autism

Founded in 2003 Autism Tree Project Foundation (ATPF) is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving communities in San Diego County and The Bay Area by assisting with Education, Advocacy, Early Intervention Preschool Screening, Research and Mentoring for families impacted by autism.

ATPF provides free Early Intervention Preschool Screenings to over 2,000 youth annually with over 17,000 preschoolers screened to date since 2006.

ATPF’s Youth Education and Developmental Services coordinates and provides more than 20 FREE intensive programs, designed to engage youth with autism in a variety of services which aim at improving their confidence, behaviors and their social communications.

Every family tree is touched by autism. If you don't know someone with autism you will. Autism affects 1 in 50 school aged children, ages 6-17.*

*Center for Disease Control & Prevention, 2013.

Latest News

  • Dayna & Garret Hoff in the San Diego Union Tribune

    Written by BRADLEY J. FIKES, May 30, 2019

    Autism never affects just one pereson. It changes the lives of entire households. How well they can cope depends on the condition's severity and the support available to each family. The public, too, plays a role.

    Here are the stories of two affected families:

    Garret Hoff has no problem keeping busy. When he's not at Francis Parker School in San Diego, the 14-year-old is often preparing for a play with San Diego Junior Theatre. On Wednesday, the Point Loma resident went off to England for two weeks with his class. And when he gets back, Garret plans to start interning for state Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Alpine.

    Not too bad for any teen, let alone one with autism.

    "Autism hasn't really stopped me." Garret said during a recent interview at the Autism Tree Project Foundation. The nonprofit group was co-founded in 2003 by his parents Danya and Todd Hoff, after his diagnosis.

    "I've done San Diego Junior Theatre for three years." Garret said. "I'm planning to gear up for another show. I've worked with the foundation since I was 7." 

    The foundation offers autism screenings for preschoolers, so that children with the disorder can recive help early in their lives. The group's services are free.

    The Hoff's got Garret diagnosed early as well. They had turned to Dr. Doris Trauner, a neurologist at UC San Diego. Danya Hoff knew Trauner from her job as a pharmaceutical sales representitive. 

    "(Garret) was using the corner of his eyes (to see), so he was always running into things. So we had him to every eye specialist. We were looking at so many different things," Danya Hoff said. "Finally, Doris speant a couple of hours with Garret watching him play, and diagnosed him."

    Danya Hoff quit her pharmaceutical job and helped her establish the Autism Tree Project. With Trauner's advice, she not only learned about autism, but how to help other parents who have children with autism. To learn more about the foundation, visit autismtreeproject.org or call (619 )222-4465.


    Steven Frischling of New London, Conn., is raising Simon, his 7-year-old son with autism. The boy's emotions can turn violent in an instant, especially if he's thwarted. He's got a great throwing arm, which he may exercise nonstop for hours if he's angry.

    "He is a delightful kid; he loves to give hugs, he loves to give kisses," Frischling said. "On the other hand, he often has no idea what he's saying."

    Simon is also a fanatic about cooking, both as a viewer of TV shows on the subject and in the kitchen, preparing meals with the upmost concentration.

    Frischling said warning signs appeared in Simon's behavior before he was 3.But there was no specific diagnosis at first. "The best answer they could possibly give us was, some things were off," Frischling said. "And I've got two other kids to gauge by this."

    Today, he still struggles to find words for that expreince. "It's hard to explain to somebody until they've actually seen it to inderstand what;'s unusual about it," Frischling said. "One of our neighbors summed it up best: He looks completely normal, until he isn't." 

    Simon also shows a signs of Tourette syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder, but his health care providers haven't made diagnoses. The town's autism program is well--funded, Frischling said, and that may be an issue.

    "They're hesitant to change his diagnosis because it may affect the service he gets," Frischling said, adding that autism services are relatively well-funded by government and private groups.

    Dealing with autism is hard enough. Frischling said it's even harder to take the reactions of strangers who lecture him on how to handle Simon when the child is having a meltdown in public. Hardest for Frischling, though, is when his son gets bullied.

    "I have seen people who are 13, 14 push Simon," Frischling said. "I have seen people make comments about Simon, adults, and I watched his brother walk up, get in their face and educate them on who his brother is. I can;t do that, but if a 9-year-old does, it gets their attention." For all the awareness about autism in the media, Frischling said, there doesn't seem to be enough awareness and sensitivity amongst the public.