Top Autism Organizations and Web Resources
Browse this list of organizations and web resources focused on advocacy, information, and support for families and educators of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We've also identified helpful federal agencies and ASD projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.
Searching for autism information on the web can be overwhelming. So, where do you turn to for the most relevant information and resources when there are so many different options? We created this list based on recommendations from leading ASD organizations.
Advocacy, information, and support
The Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association website offers some great resources for those with higher functioning autism. AHANY also provides a set of useful questions to ask when choosing a camp or summer program for your special needs child.
Started by a woman whose son was diagnosed with autism, Autism Highway is both informative and fun. The website is easy to navigate and it provides an extensive list of autism-related events and specialists. In addition, Autism Highway includes interactive games for kids.
Autism Navigator is a collection of web-based tools and courses developed to bridge the gap between science and community practice. They have integrated the most current research into an interactive web platform with video to illustrate effective evidence-based practice. The video clips come from the rich library of video from federally funded research projects at the Autism Institute at Florida State University.
The Autism Research Institute focuses on researching the causes of autism, as well as developing safe and effective treatments for those currently affected by the disorder.
The Autism Society is a grassroots autism organization working to increase public awareness about the day-to-day issues about people across the spectrum, advocate for appropriate services for individuals of every age, and provide the latest information regarding treatment, education, research, and advocacy. Find your local chapter here. The society has also partnered with AMC Entertainment to provide children affected by autism the opportunity to watch hit movies in a sensory-friendly environment, with the lights turned up and the sound turned down. Find a list of upcoming films in your city here.
Autism Speaks is an autism awareness, science, and advocacy organization. The website provides a comprehensive resource guide for all states. The 100 Day Kit for Newly Diagnosed Families of Young Children was created specifically for families of children ages 4 and under. Visit Autism Speaks to see their comprehensive listing of autism websites for families.
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A free social network for parents of kids with autism. With over 30,000 parents registered on the site, you can find parents just like you based on where you live, the age of your child, your child's sub-diagnosis and developmental needs, and gender. Parents share tips, support, and photos, as well as ask and answer each others' questions. In addition, there is a searchable provider directory of over 35,000 autism specialists and autism-friendly providers constantly updated by parents on the site. MyAutismTeam is the official social network and resource guide for Autism Speaks.
Sesame Workshop created Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children, a nationwide initiative aimed at communities with children ages 2 to 5. Developed with input from parents, people who serve the autism community, and people with autism, See Amazing in All Children offers families ways to overcome common challenges and simplify everyday activities. The project also fosters an affirming narrative around autism for all families and kids.
A great site for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities. Early intervention is invaluable because it links parents to services in the community, but it can be hard to find services without a long waiting list. Families can search on their own for providers using the Wrightslaw Yellow Pages for Kids With Disabilities.
Especially for professionals
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. On the ASHA website you can find an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as specific information about ASD for speech-language pathologists.
NASET is a national membership organization dedicated to supporting teachers in the field of special education. NASET offers a rich library of information on a wide range of ASD topics, as well as the publication, Autism Spectrum Disorders Series.
Federal agencies and federally-funded organizations
The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) serves as a central resource of information and products to the community of Parent Training Information (PTI) Centers and the Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs). The Parent Training and Information Centers (PTI) found in every state are a rich source of information and training tailored for parents, including parents whose primary language is not English or themselves have special training needs. In addition, Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRC) throughout the country serve targeted, underserved communities. To find the PTI or CPRC that serves your community, go to the Center on Parent Information and Resources.
The Center is designed to increase the capacity of families and providers to advocate for, acquire, and implement effective assistive and instructional technology (AT/IT) practices, devices, and services. Research-based technologies have great potential to help infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities participate fully in daily routines; have increased access to the general educational curriculum; improve their functional outcomes and educational results; and meet college- and career-ready standards.
The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA), located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, supports the strengthening of state and local service systems to ensure that children with disabilities and their families receive high-quality, evidence-based, culturally appropriate, and family-centered support and services.
The IRIS Center, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs and based at Vanderbilt University and Claremont Graduate University, creates and disseminates resources about evidence-based instructional and intervention practices for preservice preparation and professional development programs. See the Autism Spectrum Disorder self-guided training modules for teachers.
The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder (NPDC) has worked to develop free professional resources for teachers, therapists, and technical assistance providers who work with individuals with ASD. Resources include detailed information on how to plan, implement, and monitor specific evidence-based practices.
When your child enters public school, he or she has rights under federal and state laws. The U.S. Department of Education has information about federal laws and state laws. The Department's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) supports projects that provide information and technical assistance to families of infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. Families can also find a wealth of information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) at OSEP's IDEA website. The website contains the full text of IDEA and the regulations, as well as guidance documents and a wide range of other resources.