Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or autism, is a 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
The effects of autism can be managed with personalized support and care.
There are many resources available for people with autism. Some resources are also designed for parents and families of children with autism.
Each state has its own autism resources and benefits. The federal government also offers resources available to everyone, no matter where you live.
Read on for some of the best autism resources. This list is not exhaustive, but it can help you find the advice you need to navigate the disorder.
Autism management requires ongoing access to a variety of healthcare professionals. Several state and federal resources can help provide this care.
State resources for health
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 may also offer autism benefits.
Typically, these programs can help:
To find health agencies in your state, visit the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Autism website. The page lists agencies and councils in each state.
Federal Health Care Resources
Several national resources are also available to access health care.
Medicaid: Medicaid provides medical care for people with limited incomes. It is a federal program, although each state operates its own Medicaid services. Visit the Medicaid website to find your state’s Medicaid office.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): CHIP is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services. This is a federal program that provides health coverage for children from families not eligible for Medicaid. CHIP is available in all states.
The following resources are for children on the early childhood and middle childhood spectrum. These tools can help children discover their feelings and practice communication in a fun and engaging way.
National Autism Resource Toys and Gifts: Toys designed to help young children on the spectrum build their developmental skills.
Autism Speaks Virtual Activities: A diverse collection of virtual games, music, videos and activities for children with autism.
Do2Learn: A collection of interactive online activities, including songs, picture cards and games.
Visual Calendars and Social Stories: A visual support app that helps children on the spectrum communicate at home and at school. It is available for Apple and Android.
Speech Blubs: This speech therapy app has over 1,500 educational activities that help kids improve their communication skills.
Support groups provide safe environments for people with autism to connect with each other. This can provide opportunities to foster mental health and develop social skills.
Online support groups are convenient because you don’t have to leave home to attend meetings. But if you want to find in-person support groups, your state’s health departments or disability agencies may have local options.
Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network: A community for women, girls and non-binary people with autism.
Asperger’s/Autism Network Support Groups: Online support groups and community sessions for adults and teens.
Grupo Salto: A support group for Latin families with children with disabilities, including autism.
The Color of Autism Foundation: An organization dedicated to providing support to African American families with children on the spectrum.
The federal government provides 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 the care of children and adults who meet certain conditions.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI is another federal Social Security Association program. It provides benefits to people who have worked in the past.
Autism is a complex disorder. Symptoms also vary greatly from person to person. Therefore, it is important to create an intervention plan or management plan that provides personalized support and care.
Fortunately, there are many resources on autism. Examples include information guides, online communities and access to medical care. With the help of these resources, people on the spectrum can live happy and fulfilling lives.