Resources

New Autism Diagnosis

A new diagnosis of Autism can be emotionally challenging for both the individual and the family. The Autism Society is here to help navigate that diagnosis and connect you to the resources and support you need. An Autism diagnosis can help qualify an individual for community and educational services. For toddlers and preschool-aged children with a new diagnosis, they will be eligible for early intervention/preschool services and for direct therapy and behavioral support based on the child’s needs and the family’s preferences. For school-aged children, they may qualify for community services with medical diagnosis and for school-based services with an educational diagnosis of Autism.

For adolescents and adults who are receiving a new Autism diagnosis, this can be a challenging time. Support services are available to support communication, emotional, mental health, and vocational needs, but the individual with Autism will need to choose which therapies and support they find useful. It can be challenging to choose options if you don’t know how the options work and what the support can do to help. Support groups can be helpful to learn from other adults who are experiencing similar situations. Local Autism Society affiliates can help make connections with providers and resources in the community.

Autism Through the Lifespan

Autism is a lifelong condition, and the available, necessary support and treatment changes as Autistic individuals move through major life phases. With many more people being diagnosed with Autism, appropriate services and support are even more pressing. Quality of life for individuals with Autism and their families depends not only on the foundation provided in childhood, but also on ongoing support that is specific to their educational, medical, social, recreational, family, and employment needs. The Autism Society supports people with Autism and their families through three critical stages of life by connecting them to the resources they need, when they need it.

Early Detection and
Intervention

The Autism Society promotes early identification and access to effective treatments before age three. Autism characteristics can become apparent as early as 18 months, and parents should seek screening or evaluation if they suspect Autism or another developmental issue. Early diagnosis of Autism can reduce lifetime care costs by two-thirds, as it allows parents, therapists, and others to begin treatments sooner. Learning as much as possible about Autism is important at this stage.

Building a Strong Foundation
from Childhood Through
Adolescence

The Autism Society helps parents and caregivers build treatment and educational programs so that all children and adolescents can live fully. At this stage, it is important to understand how the school system can help (for example, through an Individualized Education Program) and how to prepare for the transition to adult life.

A Life of Happiness
and Dignity

The Autism Society works to ensure that every adult with Autism has access to services and support that maximize independence and secure the highest quality of life. For many, employment and living in the community are goals to pursue during adulthood. Self-advocacy is also important to many people who experience Autism, as more people are speaking out about their experiences, identities, and needs.

Services

What We Do

Since 1965, the Autism Society, in partnership with our 75 local and state affiliates, has supported millions of individuals and families impacted by Autism. The Autism Society envisions individuals and families living with Autism are able to live fully, are treated with the highest level of dignity, and live in a society in which their talents and skills are appreciated and valued.

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Answering the Call, the Autism Society’s
National Helpline and Autism Source™

The Autism Society provides a National Helpline Monday to Friday from 9 am to 9 pm (US Eastern Time). Staffed by professionals, it is here to help individuals, families, and professionals seeking valuable information on available services and referrals and to better understand issues associated with Autism. Our Autism Source™ online resource database contains over 35,000 listings of Autism service providers throughout the nation.
Many parents say that their first call after receiving a diagnosis of Autism is to the Autism Society, however it doesn’t end with that first call.
We are here through all phases of one’s lifespan, empowering those affected by Autism through a one-on-one connection with our staff of trained Information and Referral specialists.
The National Helpline Is available to take calls, emails, and letters. Connect to our comprehensive service via our toll-free number, 800-3AUTISM (800-328-8476) or info@autism-society.org, and through the largest online referral database of Autism services, Autism Source™.

Local Support Through the Autism
Society’s Affiliate Network

The Autism Society supports the needs of its 74 local and state affiliates through training, advocacy, financial support through grants, fundraising assistance, and much more, to help each affiliate maximize its effectiveness in being a leader of services and support in a community. Autism Society’s affiliates are your best source of information and support, and where the person in need is helped directly.
Through support groups, help with understanding the services in the community or state, local and state advocacy, help to an individual and his/her family to navigate often complex and confusing service systems, and training to local and statewide organizations on being Autism-friendly and responsive, the local or state Autism Society affiliates thrive each and every day. A listing of the local and state affiliates can be found here.

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.
The Autism Society works with national employers throughout the nation to help them advance the hiring and retention of workers who experience Autism. The Autism Society works with companies and other entities to become Autism friendly, meaning their products or services are responsive to the needs of an employee with Autism, they promote and encourage the hiring of individuals with Autism, and they support the needs of their employees who have children or other family members who experience Autism.

Girls and Women

  • Information & Resources for Newly Diagnosed or Recognized Autistic Women & Nonbinary Individuals | AWNN
  • Information & Resources for Parents & Caregivers of Newly Diagnosed Autistic Girls | AWNN

Older Youth and Adults

  • Welcome to the Autistic Community | ASAN

Statistics

Prevalence

Learn about the prevalence of Autism in the United States with these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • About 1 percent of the world population has Autism spectrum disorder. (CDC, 2014)
  • Prevalence of Autism in the United States is estimated at 1 in 54 births. (CDC, 2020)
  • More than 5 million Americans, or 2.2 percent of the U.S. adult population, live with Autism spectrum disorder. (CDC, 2017)
  • Boys are about 4 times more likely than girls to receive an Autism diagnosis. (CDC 2020)
  • Prevalence of Autism in children in the United States increased by 16 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2016 (1 in 54). (CDC, 2020) Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability. (CDC, 2020)
  • Between 2000 and 2016, prevalence of Autism has nearly tripled, from 0.67 to 1.85 percent (based on biennial numbers from the CDC).