To help you gain additional knowledge about autism spectrum disorder, we’ve compiled a list of local, regional and national organizations that can provide support.
Local and Regional Organizations
Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE)
The Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE) is made up of individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), their families, friends and professionals. It is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with AS and related conditions. AANE is overseen by a board of directors. The executive director is Dania Jekel. Its mission is to foster awareness, respect, acceptance and support for these individuals and their families.
Autism Alliance of Metro West
The mission of the Autism Alliance of MetroWest, Inc., is to provide families in the MetroWest area of Boston with information, education and support. They plan and implement programs and events that will aid those families while increasing public awareness regarding autism. To date, they have grown to almost 300 families and 75 specialists in the field of autism.
Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts
The Autism Resource Center was conceived in 1996 by a group of parents to serve primarily as an information and referral service for children and families affected by disorders within the autism spectrum: Autism, PDD NOS and Asperger’s. The center services the eastern portion of Department of Mental Retardation (DMR) Central-West Region. The center encompasses North Central, Worcester and South Valley areas. All totaled there are 63 towns within the Autism Resource Center’s service area, although families from outside their service area may choose to utilize the center. The Center does not recommend any single program or treatment but instead offers information on a great variety of issues giving parents and professionals what they need to make educated choices.
Autism Society of America Massachusetts Chapter
The mission of the Autism Society of America (ASA) is to promote lifelong access and opportunity for all individuals within the autism spectrum and their families and to be fully participating, included members of their community. Education, advocacy at state and federal levels, active public awareness and the promotion of research form the cornerstones of ASA’s efforts to carry forth its mission.
Autism Support Center, Danvers
The Autism Support Center empowers families who have a member with autism or related disorder by providing current, accurate and unbiased information about autism, services, referrals, resources and research trends. In addition, the ASC will provide educational opportunities for families, professionals and our communities; promote networking; increase community awareness; and advocate for services and opportunities.
Community Autism Resources, Swansea
Community Autism Resources (CAR) is a Southeastern Massachusetts-based autism spectrum disorder (ASD) project. They are families and professionals strengthened by their experiences of ASD in their lives, dedicated to supporting individuals with ASD and their families. It is committed to sharing knowledge and information, and enhancing skills to enable persons with ASD to live satisfying and fulfilling lives within the community.
Family Autism Center, Westwood, MA
The Family Autism Center was created in 1996 by SNCARC (South Norfolk County Arc), working with a group of parents and concerned citizens. It has a steering committee made up of family members of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Its mission is to provide advocacy supports and services to people with ASD and to their families. Its affiliation with SNCARC and its Family Support programs provides many benefits – from its strength and broad experience in the field of developmental disabilities to the economic advantages of shared services.
Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools (MAAPS)
The MAAPS Web site is for individuals looking to find more information about private day and residential schools approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education under c. 766, which are members of the Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools (MAAPS). MAAPS is a non-profit association of Chapter 766 approved private schools dedicated to providing educational programs and services to students with special needs throughout Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Department of Education
The Massachusetts Department of Education Web site provides news and information on resources, educational technology and programs.
Massachusetts Early Intervention Consortium
The Massachusetts Early Intervention Consortium formed in 1978 serves as a statewide nonprofit educational and advocacy organization within the early intervention community in Massachusetts. The Consortium Charter lists the following objectives:
- To provide for and improve the quality of services and care to young children and their families, including but not limited to, toddlers, infants, those with special needs and others considered at risk for developmental delay or disability;
- To provide information, advocacy, outreach and support to consumers and providers for the development and appropriate delivery of care and services to the above mentioned group; and
- To facilitate coordination among funding agents, providers and consumers of care and services to young children and their families.
Toward Independent Living and Learning (TILL)
Toward Independent Living and Learning (TILL), Inc., is a private, not-for-profit human service agency established in 1980 that provides a comprehensive range of services throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Its innovative services meet the needs of individuals of all ages with mental retardation, physical handicaps, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, emotional problems, brain injury, behavioral health and other developmental disabilities. Its guiding principle is that community-based working and living arrangements offer the optimal environment for an individual’s self-worth, social acceptance and growth. It designs unique residential, day and support services to help individuals develop their potential to its fullest and to become active participants in their community.
TRANSCEND Research Group at Mass General Hospital
The mission of the TRANSCEND Research Program™ is to generate new scientific evidence about neurodevelopmental disorders. We built an integrative brain and body research tool kit to shed light on real-life issues. Our goal is to bring clarity and find practical solutions to relieve hurt and speak to the hopes of individuals and families affected by neurodevelopmental disorders.
Autism Society of America (ASA)
The Autism Society of America was founded in 1965 by Bernard Rimland, Ph.D. His book, Infantile Autism: The Syndrome and Its Implications for a Neural Theory of Behavior, was written in late 1964 and was one of the first of its kind. In 1968, Ruth Sullivan, Ph.D. became the organization’s first elected president. Over the last 40 years, the society has grown from a handful of parents into the leading source of information, research and reference on autism. ASA is the oldest and largest grassroots organization within the autism community. Today, more than 120,000 members and supporters are connected through a working network of nearly 200 chapters nationwide. ASA membership continues to grow as more and more parents and professionals unite to form a collective voice representing the autism community.
ASA is dedicated to increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with autism, their families and the professionals with whom they interact. The society and its chapters share a common mission of providing information and education, and supporting research and advocating for programs and services for the autism community.
Conference: Annual ASA National Conference and Exhibition
The Annual ASA National Conference and Exhibition is the largest gathering of people with autism, families and professionals with over 200 sessions and 150 exhibitors.
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities and/or the gifted. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides continual professional development, advocates for newly and historically underserved individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.
Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc.
The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc.’s mission is to aid financially disadvantaged families who need assistance in caring for their children with autism; to fund education and research into the causes and consequences of childhood autism; and to serve as a clearinghouse and communications center for new programs and services developed for individuals with autism.
Ladders is a multi-disciplinary clinic dedicated to helping those with neurological disorders. Founded in 1981, Ladders is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide services in the evaluation and treatment of children and adults with autism, pervasive developmental disorder and related disorders.