Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or autism, is group of neurological and developmental disorders. Autism affects communication, social functioning, learning, and behavior.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism affects
Autism’s effects can be managed with customized support and care.
There are many resources available to people with autism. Some resources are also designed for parents and families of children with autism.
Every state has its own autism resources and benefits. The federal government also offers resources, which are available to everyone, regardless of where you live.
Read on for some of the best resources for autism. This list is not exhaustive, but it can help you find the guidance you need to navigate the disorder.
Autism management requires continuous access to various healthcare professionals. Several state and federal resources can help provide this care.
State resources for healthcare
Each state has its own health agency or disability council. These organizations often have programs that provide support for children and adults with disabilities, including autism.
Your county health agency might also offer autism benefits.
Generally, these programs can assist with:
- autism screening
- early intervention services
- obtaining financial aid for healthcare
To find the health agencies in your state, visit the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee website. The page lists agencies and councils for every state.
Federal resources for healthcare
Several nationwide resources are also available for accessing healthcare.
Medicaid: Medicaid provides medical care for people with limited income. It’s a federal program, though each state manages its own Medicaid services. Visit the Medicaid website to find your state’s Medicaid office.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): CHIP is operated by the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s a federal program that offers health coverage to children in families that don’t qualify for Medicaid. CHIP is available in every state.
The following resources are geared toward kids on the spectrum in early and middle childhood. These tools can help children learn about their feelings and practice communication in a fun and engaging way.
National Autism Resources Toys & Gifts: Toys designed to help young children on the spectrum build developmental skills.
Autism Speaks Virtual Activities: A diverse collection of virtual games, music, videos, and activities kids with autism.
Do2Learn: A collection of interactive online activities, including songs, picture cards, and games.
Visual Schedules and Social Stories: A visual support app that helps children on the spectrum communicate at home and school. It’s available for both Apple and Android.
Speech Blubs: This speech therapy app offers more than 1,500 educational activities that help children improve their communication skills.
Support groups offer safe environments for people with autism to connect with each other. This can provide opportunities to foster mental health and build social skills.
Online support groups are convenient, as you don’t need to leave home to attend meetings. But if you’d like to find in-person support groups, your state health departments or disability agencies may have local options.
Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network: A community for women, girls, and nonbinary people with autism.
Asperger/Autism Network Support Groups: Online support groups and community sessions for adults and teens.
Grupo Salto: A support group for Latin families with children who have disabilities, including autism.
The Color of Autism Foundation: An organization dedicated to providing support for African American families with children on the spectrum.
The federal government offers benefits for people with disabilities, including autism.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI): This is a federal program administered by the Social Security Association. It provides financial assistance for care for children and adults who meet certain qualifications.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI is another federal program from the Social Security Association. It provides benefits to people who have worked in the past.
Autism is a complex disorder. The symptoms also vary widely from one person to the next. As a result, it’s important to create an intervention plan or management plan that provides customized support and care.
Luckily, there are many autism resources available. Examples include informational guides, online communities, and access to medical care. With the help of these resources, people on the spectrum can live happy and fulfilling lives.