Understanding Autism: Information, Resources, and Support
Founded in 1965 by a handful of parents, the Autism Society of America has grown into one of the leading sources of information on the disability. ASA is the oldest and largest grassroots organization, with more than 120,000 members and nearly 200 chapters nationwide. ASA provides detailed information on autism, and offers a resource directory to find a support group near you.
Autism Education Network is a comprehensive virtual resource center, offering expert opinions, downloadable PDFs, and free e-mail updates on important issues. AEN also has a Parent Directory in which parents of autistic children can locate other local families for support.
In addition to providing background information on the disorder, Autism Today has an interactive forum to share information and ask questions, and an expert panel of over 75 coaches specializing in clinical psychology, social skills, and learning disabilities, among other things.
Talk Autism is a virtual community in which one can reach out for informational or emotional support. Local resources can be found with an interactive resource directory, and a message board allows you to communicate with autism professionals or other autism-affected individuals.
The National Autism Association runs a Helping Hand Program, which provides single parents with financial assistance for treatments and services for their autistic child. The NAA also runs the All Access Computer Project, which is dedicated to providing families of autistic children with temporary Internet access so they can make use of the innumerable autism resources available online.