Services: What We Do
Since 1965, the Autism Society has been the national leader in serving people on the autism spectrum, their families and professionals. We continue to be passionately committed to changing autism today and in the future. Our vision for the future of autism is that every individual with autism and their families receive early identification of the condition, appropriate treatments and supports, and a quality of life that helps each person achieve their potential. We provide real help people need right now.
Answering the Call, the Autism Society’s National Contact Center, Autism Source
Many parents say that their first call after receiving a diagnosis of autism is to the Autism Society. But it doesn’t end with that first call; we are here through all phases of life, empowering those affected by autism through a one-on-one connection with our staff of trained Information and Referral specialists. Our Autism Source™ online resource database contains over 30,000 listings of local autism service providers. Our national contact center is available to take calls, emails and letters seven days a week from 9 am to 9 pm. Connect to our comprehensive service via our toll-free number, 800-3AUTISM (800-328-8476) or firstname.lastname@example.org, and through the largest online referral database of autism services, Autism Source.
Supporting locally through the Autism Society’s Affiliates Network
Autism Society’s affiliates are your best source of information and support, and are the embodiment of the founding principles of the organization. Most affiliates are volunteer-led by parents, care providers, and other professionals. We have affiliates in nearly every state supporting individuals with autism and their families. Our affiliate leaders are there for people to turn to for help, guidance, and resources in their communities.
Building Autism Friendly, Inclusive Communities
Inclusion is one of the Autism Society’s Quality of Life Indicators. The Autism Society’s vision is to increase the quality of life of everyone living with autism. When we say “quality of life,” we’re talking about basic human rights that allow people to interact with one another and the world on their own terms. The Autism Society believes that individuals with autism deserve to live, work, play, socialize, learn and worship in the setting and manner of their own choosing. Click on the links below to learn more about initiatives creating better communities for those with autism:
Educating and Training, the Autism Society’s National Conference
For over 40 years, the Autism Society has hosted the largest conference on autism spectrum disorders each July. We bring together individuals with autism, their loved ones, and professionals from multiple disciplines including- educators, behavior analysts, social workers, speech and hearing pathologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, registered nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and physicians- attendees from across the country with a range of experiences and needs, creating a wonderful and unique opportunity to learn, network and share ideas. The collective expertise and experiences of family members, professionals and individuals on the spectrum, provide attendees with the place to be to learn from expert presenters and each other about how to more effectively advocate and obtain supports.
The Autism Society’s historic publication, the Autism Advocate, offers a diverse collection of the latest issues in autism (e.g., employment, education, environmental health, therapies/interventions, adult issues, care giving, etc.), Autism Society news, personal perspectives of families and individuals living with autism, and tips from parents and professionals. The Autism Society’s offers incredible printed resources such as our “What is Autism?” brochure and our Living with Autism series. These four page booklets provide easy-to-understand, practical information related to the autism spectrum for a broad audience on a wide range of educational topics such as “Building our Future: Educating Students on the Autism Spectrum” or “Transition to Middle School” as well as daily life topics such as sleep, siblings and puberty. The series has also been expanded to support Victims of Crime as part of our Safe and Sound® program with resource materials for Law Enforcement and First Responders, Attorneys, Judges, Counselors, and other community leaders.
Raising Awareness, Acceptance and Appreciation
Raising awareness of autism is part of everything the Autism Society does. We founded National Autism Awareness Month, which helps focus attention on autism in April of every year. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community and foster acceptance and appreciation of individuals on the autism spectrum as the valued members of our community that they are. The Autism Society is also the home of the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon, one of the most recognizable cause-related symbols.
Advocating for All Affected by Autism
The Autism Society’s public policy and advocacy efforts have continually improved the lives of those affected by autism. From in the 1970s, when we contributed to IDEA which mandated free and appropriate educational services to all children, to today and the passage of two landmark pieces of legislation, the Autism CARES Act and the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The Autism Society works to make real, lasting systems change that improves the lives of all affected by autism.