6 Helpful Orgs Serving People With Autism

Our society introduces challenges for those without disabilities and an infinitely higher number of hurdles for those with. People living with autism, as well as their caretakers, often need support navigating the school system, job market, and other social structures. This list, in no particular order, highlights some organizations working to make the world easier for these differently-abled people.

Autism Alliance of Michigan is #1 on the list. The organization's goal is to ensure that people with autism will lead lives that meet their greatest potential. These advocacy efforts take place in schools, in the job market across several industries, and in independent and supported housing arrangements in the state of Michigan.

On the Autism Alliance of Michigan's website, individuals can find support, information, and resources aimed at improving quality of life. These include access to clinicians, research and best practices, a guide for speaking with children about autism, and more. Additionally, the website hosts a community calendar of events like workshops, skills training, and camps. The organization also offers programs for employers who are thinking of hiring job seekers who have been diagnosed with the disorder.

Next up at #2 is Autism Advisory and Support Service, an Australian charity for people with autism and their families. Services provided range from weekly playgroups for children under the age of six, to help with disability insurance and support for individuals caring for those who have been diagnosed.

Located in Liverpool, Australia,the nonprofit provides music therapy, fundraising, and general advocacy for inclusive practices, with the aim of spreading awareness for those on the spectrum.

Coming in at #3, the Asperger/Autism Network provides individuals, families, and professionals with information, education, community, support, and advocacy. With offices in Massachusetts and New York, the organization offers programs for parents, partners, and families, as well as a diagnostician directory and training for employers.

For professionals, AANE organizes consultations, referrals, networking opportunities, and more. Educators and school administrators, mental health specialists, healthcare providers, attorneys, government agencies and nonprofit organizations are among the many who use these services.

#4 on the list is Canucks Autism Network. The Canadian organization offers programs meant to empower individuals with autism to build the confidence and skills necessary in order to enjoy a lifetime of sport and physical activity. Additionally, it seeks to promote acceptance, accessibility, and inclusion in community spaces across British Columbia so that individuals on the spectrum and their families will feel understood and supported in a range of activities and places.

Canucks Autism Network provides consultation to a wide range of community organizations looking to increase accessibility. Among those receiving training from the organization are first responders, sports coaches, schools, corporations, and more. For kids, teens, and young adults with autism, there are programs to teach movement and motor skills, ice skating and sports, volunteering, and fitness, as well as virtual events for all ages.

The #5 entry is Autism New Jersey, a nonprofit agency providing information, advocacy, support services, family and professional education, and consultation for those with autism. It offers free parent workshops on a variety of topics, such as school services, community housing, and communication skills.

Autism New Jersey’s Transition Conference is tailored specifically to the concerns of families with children from 14 years old and up. It guides caretakers through the planning process of transitioning their loved ones from school to the adult service system and provides legal and financial advice.

Last but not least, at #6, we have The Autism Community in Action, also known as TACA. This organization strives to provide education, support, and hope to families living with autism. TACA has local chapters across the United States; these chapters host educational family events, meetings, seminars, and coffee talks.

TACA offers two in-person parent conferences each year, which feature speakers who focus on medical issues, therapy, advocacy, and other autism-related topics. It also hosts a number of free, online webinars throughout the year to provide information and advice.