Autism Advocacy Groups

Instructor: Fola Rae
If you care about autism or you're a member of a family that has been impacted by autism, you'll want to keep yourself informed about available services. Autism advocacy groups work year round to create and sustain programs that lead to more awareness and provide information on things like jobs, housing and education. Read on to learn more about some of the services they provide.

Autism Speaks

Materials for navigating everything from behavioral health and pharmaceutical treatment options to doctors' office visits and financial planning are just some of the resources offered by Autism Speaks.

This organization also provides families with access to a group of resources that can help them when an adult with autism wants to move from the home into a community where other adults with autism live. These resource kits can help parents look into housing options in their state and find information about how to pay for housing and any additional services their child might need. Autism Speaks also makes families aware of the percentage of autism adults whose names are on waiting lists for places to live, and this helps encourage families to start planning ahead.

Resources to help individuals with autism explore their options for going to college are also available, along with multimedia tool kits on finding and maintaining employment. You can find out more on the Autism Speaks website (www.autismspeaks.org).

Autism Society of America

This society works to enhance the life circumstances of people who have been impacted by autism. Available resources include a contact center open during business hours and in the evening to answer individuals' emails, phone calls and letters about services and other important autism matters. The Autism Society of America also operates a referral database that includes the contact information of more than 35,000 organizations offering services to individuals with autism.

Making sure that people with autism are included in all aspects of society is another concern that the Autism Society of America shares with other advocacy groups. This means helping ensure that those impacted by autism can engage in recreational activities, spend time in places of worship, enjoy entertainment and get jobs.

As such, this organization works with companies to help them provide products that people with autism can use and create employment opportunities for people with autism. They also inform employers about any additional services they can provide to employees who support autistic family members. The website for the Autism Society of America offers more information on its work and available resources (www.autism-society.org).

National Autism Association

This advocacy organization is run by parents and offers a number of resources designed to help teachers and parents alike protect children from abuse and prevent wandering. Individuals can also find online webinars, pamphlets and conferences covering such topics as stress reduction, nutrition, sex education and seizures. Additionally, parents are able to apply for financial assistance to help cover the costs associated with medical and therapeutic treatments for their children. The NAA lists contact information for local chapters and support groups as well (www.nationalautismassociation.org).

Autism Resources

Whether you're a teacher or a parent of a student with autism, Study.com offers resources that can supplement your knowledge of autism matters. Many of the courses include interesting video lessons, and you can take as much time as you need to access the resources electronically on a weekly or monthly basis until you've reached your learning goals. Here are some examples of available resources:

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