Los Angeles, CA, September 5, 2023 — Today marks a significant milestone in the history of The Help Group as we announce the retirement of our Founder, President and CEO, Dr. Barbara Firestone after 48 years of unwavering commitment and pioneering leadership.Widely recognized for her vision and innovative spirit, Dr. Firestone has dedicated her life’s work to helping young people with special needs more fully realize their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives.Under her leadership, The Help Group has become one of the largest and most comprehensive nonprofits of its kind in the United States. Over the years, Dr. Firestone has spearheaded The Help Group’s expansion efforts to acquire and develop five significant, state of the art campuses to open the doors of opportunity to countless children.Through her public advocacy efforts, Dr. Firestone has been a prominent force for change on the local, state and national levels. Her collaborative endeavors with universities and thought leaders throughout the country have contributed to the advancement of research and professional training. She is widely recognized for her efforts in advocating for young people with autism spectrum disorder and served as the Vice Chair of the California Legislative Blue Ribbon Committee on Autism. Dr. Firestone’s highly acclaimed books, Faces of Promise and Autism Heroes, provide a lifeline of hope and support for families.We extend our deepest gratitude to Dr. Firestone for dedicating her career to The Help Group and for her exceptional contributions both within and outside of the organization. We honor her life’s work as she assumes the title of Founder and CEO Emerita.  We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Susan Berman will assume the leadership role of The Help Group effective October 23rd. Dr. Berman has been an integral part of The Help Group’s history for 40 years, most recently serving as our Executive Director. As Co-Founder of The Help Group, her vision, strategic acumen, and deep belief in our mission has played a pivotal role in the growth and development of our programs.We are confident that under Dr. Berman’s leadership, and with the collaborative spirit that exists amongst its 700 staff members, The Help Group will continue providing innovative educational, therapeutic and vocational opportunities as well as implement exciting new initiatives for those in our community who seek our broad range of services.On behalf of The Board of Directors, we honor Dr. Firestone for her lasting legacy to the agency, we congratulate Dr. Berman on her well-deserved new leadership role, and we thank you for your ongoing support of The Help Group.  Together, we will continue to thrive and uphold the values that inspire us, “because everyone deserves a great future”.