Autism Speaks http://www.autismspeaks.org/
Currently identified as the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research for autism, advocating for individuals with autism and their families, increasing the awareness of autism, and providing support for families. Autism Speaks is an excellent national resource, as it is geared toward families to increase awareness and understanding of autism by providing information regarding what the disorder is, how common it is, potential causes, prognosis, treatment, and local resources available.
Among many resources, Autism Speaks provides:
- A video glossary used to assist parents and professionals in identifying characteristics of autism and red flags that may warrant a screening or diagnostic evaluation.
- Family resources by state organized based on the types of services provided e.g., health services, intervention, advocacy, etc.
- Social story templates created through collaboration with Microsoft Office and the University of Washington Autism Center that can be personalized to address social situations with children with autism and allow families to support their child and address that may occur when engaging in difficult or unfamiliar activities by providing visual and auditory support that assists the child in identifying what to expect in various situations.
- A variety of sponsored events to assist in raising community awareness and funding to support future research. Their events page provides information regarding national events, local events, upcoming walks, and event recaps.
Interactive Autism Network (IAN) http://www.iancommunity.org/
IAN serves as an online support group designed to bring together families affected by autism and researchers to share information and collaborate to create an online research effort that is used to empower community leaders to advocate for services and resources. IAN provides opportunities to engage in research through discussion board forums. On each board, a topic or research question is posted, and members are encouraged to share their experiences, opinions, or pose questions to other community members or researchers. The network serves researchers seeking responses to particular questions, as well as community members, who receive feedback from other community members as well as researches who can provide an evidence based response. Overall, IAN provides a voice to individuals affected by ASD, allowing them to express their feelings, beliefs, and experiences and keep abreast of current research and projects.
The Arc of Massachusetts http://www.arcmass.org/
The Arc of Massachusetts’ goal is to enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through advocacy of supports and services based in the community, education, and outreach. There are national and state chapters, as well as 17 chapters of The Arc of Massachusetts throughout the Commonwealth. These chapters provide services and supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as Mental Retardation, Down Syndrome, Autism, and cerebral palsy and their families on a case-by-case basis. The website also includes information on support groups, assistive technology, training information, health and wellness resources, housing and transportation, advocacy and self-advocacy, and Autism resources. They have a SUPPORT brokers program, in which families hire a support broker to help them find appropriate services and supports to thrive in their community. The Act of Massachusetts also has a program called The Real Friends Project, which is a short-term project geared towards exploring the benefits of relationships between people with disabilities and people without disabilities and providing information about resources to help individuals engage in and sustain those relationships.
Berkshire County Arc (BCArc)
The BCArc is a non-profit organization, which offers a broad range of community-based services to individuals with developmental disabilities, autism, and brain injuries. Berkshire County Arc’s programs are located throughout Berkshire and Hampden counties in Massachusetts, and they include numerous community awareness events and resources for people with autism and their families.
Community Resources for People with Autism http://www.theassociationinc.org/
Community Resources for People with Autism is an organization in East Hampton that provides support, information, and assistance for individuals with autism and their families in Western Massachusetts. They aim to identify effective ways to help families, schools, professionals, agencies, and communities gain a better understanding of autism, allowing them to increase the quality of life of individuals with autism and integrate them into the community. The organization is directed through collaboration of parents, family members, professionals, and members of the community.
Their website lists a range of resources provided to families including:
- A resource center, information specialists, a dedicated website, and monthly mailings to assist in answering family questions and keeping families updated on available resources and events.
- A resource library that allows individuals to rent out materials and provides access to computers, Boardmaker, and a play area for children.
- Parent support provided in a group setting or individually through parent mentoring and specialists.
- Autism specialists who provide resources and help families identify ways to respond to behavioral and communication difficulties, teaching strategies, and community integration support.
- Advocacy specialists to provide support regarding funding, school services, community programs, and assistance during the IEP and Special Education process.
- Training and education workshops geared toward professionals and families to address a variety of topics including the basics of autism, intervention, communication strategies, special education laws, and ways to address sensory, feeding, and personal care issues.
- Community inclusion designed to provide training and community resources to include children with autism in the community.
Speech Language Pathology Resources
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Americans with Disabilities Act Documents Center
Autism Society of America
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
International Dyslexia Association
Learning Disabilities Association of America
National Institute of Health
National Stuttering Association
US Department of Education
Massachusetts Autism Resources
Asperger’s Association of New England
Autism Alliance of Metrowest
(Serving Middlesex West)
Autism Resource Center of Central MA
Autism Society of America (MA Chapter)
Boston Families for Autism, Inc.
TILL Autism Services
Community Autism Resources
(Serving Southeastern MA, Cape Cod and the Islands)
Community Resources for People with Autism
(Serving 4 counties of Western MA)
Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism