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{Autism and Asperger resources}

Until recently, most autism groups concentrated their support on people with more visible and profound impairments. People with Asperger's (like me) are often not obviously impaired or handicapped. Despite that outward appearance, many Aspergians struggle, especially in their early years.

Autism Centers and Professionals:

I've been privileged to work with Ivymount School in Rockville, Maryland. The Model Asperger Program there is run by Monica Adler Werner. If you are in the DC area, and looking for a school for your Asperger kid, you could not do better. Ivymount also has a well regarded ABA program for kids with larger autistic challenges.

I've spoken several times at Houston's Monarch School, a place for kids with neurological differences. Monarch was the first school I visited where none of the kids had that hunted animal look I knew so well from my own bad days in high school.

For diagnosis and medical treatment in New England, you can't do better than the Harvard Hospitals (particularly Beth Israel Deaconess, Mass General, Children's and McLean Hospital) and the resources of the Yale Child Study Center. In New York, there is the Seaver Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center and the resources of NY University. Out west, the University of California system also has some brilliant people, particularly at ULCA and UC Davis-Mind Institute. In the Midwest the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the Thompson Center in Columbia, MO are great places.

I can't possibly mention every university-affiliated hospital but in general I would recommend you seek out a teaching hospital that's aligned with a major university whenever you have a major medical or neurological problem. That's not just a recommendation for autism therapy; it's true for any medical need.

In my work as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health I have seen many cutting edge research proposals from these folks, so I know they are state of the art.

 Places my friends recommend:

West Boylston, Mass. - My family wouldn't have made it through the past six years if we hadn't found a new extended family and support from the Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts – Ann

New England - The Flutie Foundation of Massachusetts has been a wonderful help to my family and school – Gene

Western Massachusetts - Community Resources for Autism helped my family. They provide grants and resources for families throughout Western Massachusetts - Brenda

Columbia, Mo. - The University of Missouri's Medical School's Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders really helped my child. They're at 300 Portland St., Suite 110, in Columbia - Linda

Belmont, Mass. - I recommend McLean Hospital (for a proper diagnosis and neuropsych evaluation) and Dr. Charles Morin, Weymouth, Mass. (for his compassion and understanding and unending patience) – Anne

Arlington, Texas - Chapline Fourth Street School and Gateway School, and Key School (Fort Worth, Tex.) have all been fabulous for our son. – Jane

Oklahoma - check out Today's Therapy Solutions run by Dr. Chuck Edgington. They diagnosed my son with Aspergers, and made him feel extremely comfortable during the process. - Anne

Jacksonville, Florida - The Tweed Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at the University of Florida/Shands provides services for families such as workshops, camps, IEP assistance/school partnership, support groups and more. Dr. Mae Barker, PhD runs the program. Wonderful clinicians who are very helpful! - Candi

Lewiston, Maine - Frank Walsh is the best counselor I have ever met! Even though my husband and I are special education teachers, we needed help reaching our son with AS. - Kristina

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Dr. Richard Howlin in Chelsea is an Asperger's Specialist and kind of a miracle worker. He put our family on the right track and our son loves him. - Amy

Detroit - the Judson Center, Autism Connections, and Autism ASK are great resources for teens and adults diagnosed with Aspergers! - Janna

San Francisco Bay Area - in Silicon Valley there is Parents Helping Parents. A non profit that hosts workshops, helps find advocates, has a lending library, will set you up with a mentor parent and countless other resources. - Elisa

Dallas, Texas - For those of us who depend on state/federal assistance--Metrocare Services has been a fantastic resource for us when we needed it most! - Moriarty

 Support Organizations:

I wish there was a solid national autism support organization for people on the spectrum, like AA for alcoholics. However, the current reality is that Asperger/autism support is local and highly variable. A few resources are listed here; I suggest you check the resources section of my website for the most up-to-date info.

In New England we are fortunate to have the Asperger Association of New England, online at They run support groups, seminars, and have an excellent annual conference.

The Global Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership sponsors support groups all over the country, with special emphasis on New York.

On Long Island, I admire the work of Pat Schissel and AHA. Find them at

Easter Seals programs across the country provide a wide variety of interventions that help individuals of all abilities, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Easter Seals currently has a combination of services specifically targeting individuals with the diagnosis of ASD as well as other services that include individuals with ASD among their service recipients.


I always recommend the well-known works of Tony Attwood (Complete Guide to Asperger Syndrome and others) and Temple Grandin (The Way I See It, Thinking in Pictures, Animals in Translation, and others). There are the Daniel Tammett books; Born on a Blue Day and Embrace the Wide Sky. Finally there is the Curious Incident by Mark Haddon. In addition, these less known books may be of help to you:

Atypical: Life with Asperger's in 20 1/3 chapters by Jesse Saperstein, a young Aspergian

Asperger's From the Inside Out, by GRASP founder Michael John Carley

Freaks, Geeks & Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence by Luke Jackson

Of Mice and Aliens: An Asperger Adventure (Asperger Adventures) by Kathy Hoopmann

Blue Bottle Mystery: An Asperger Adventure (Asperger Adventures) by Kathy Hoopmann

Everybody Is Different: A Book for Young People Who Have Brothers or Sisters With Autism by Fiona Bleach

Asperger's Huh? A Child's Perspective by Rosina G. Schnurr and John Strachan

Songs of the Gorilla Nation, by Dawn Prince Hughes

The Sensory Sensitive Child by Karen A. Smith and Karen R. Gouze

Alone Together by Katrin Bentley

The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism and its associated website

Every now and then, people ask why all the first person memoirs of life on the autism spectrum are by less impaired people. The answer is, more severely impaired people don't write books very often. One example is:

The Game of My Life, by Jason McElwain with the help of Daniel Paisner

There are plenty of memoirs from autism parents. Two that I like are:

Making Peace With Autism, by Susan Senator

All I Can Handle, by Kim Stagliano.

I also like Gravity Pulls You In, an anthology of stories about life with autism. Actually, I wrote the introduction.

 Resources on the Web:

Barb Kirby and the people who created the OASIS Guide to Asperger's have a website with quite a few resources. Their site provides articles, educational resources, links to local, national and international support groups, sources of professional help, lists of camps and schools, conference information, recommended reading, and moderated support message boards. The web resources are in addition to the annual conference, newsletter email and phone support provided by MAAP Services.

My son Cubby and Alex Plank have a project called Autism Talk TV. In their films, they meet various people in the autism world and explore their stories. I'm proud of their efforts.

When Alex was seventeen, he decided to form an online community for young people on the spectrum. That community has grown to have 40,000 members, and millions of page views each month. You can join at

Autism Speaks is the largest non profit in the autism world. They are dedicated to funding research to remediate autistic disability; they offer some community outreach as well. I'm proud to serve on their Science Board, where we consider what studies we should be funding, and how we can help people living with autism today.

The Autism Society of America is primarily focused on local outreach, with chapters all over the United States. Their regional and national conferences are really good, with presentations by Stephen Shore, Temple Grandin, Tony Attwood, and other respected people in the field.

 Schools and School Programs:
 Regional organizations with local events and meetings:
  • Greater New York City area » AHA-NY — 4300 Hempstead Turnpike, Bethpage, NY 11714, 516-470-0360
    partners with GRASP — 666 Broadway, Suite 830, New York, NY 10012, 646-242-4003
  • New Jersey » ASPEN-NJ — 9 Aspen Circle, Edison, New Jersey 08820, 732-321-0880
  • Greater Philadelphia area » ASCEND — P.O. Box 531, Ardmore, Penn. 19003-0531, 610-449-6776
  • Local Philadelphia support group » GRASP
  • Central Pennsylvania » ASAN
  • Greater Baltimore area » ASAN
  • Greater Washington DC area » AAGW
  • Virginia Beach area » GRASP local Virginia Beach support group
  • Greater Toronto area » Autism Central
  • Greater Chicago area » OASIS@MAAP
  • Local Chicago, Naperville, and North Central Illinois support groups » GRASP
  • Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area » GRASP local Iowa City support group
  • Greater Denver area » GRASP local Denver support group
  • Greater Salt Lake City area » GRASP local Orem/Provo support group
  • San Francisco Bay area » AASCEND partners with AUTASTICS — 303 Adams St. #409, Oakland, Cal. 94610, 510-444-4777
  • Greater Los Angeles area » GRASP local Los Angeles support group
 Listservs/Newsgroups/Message boards:

Several of the organizations above (ANI, AANE, GRASP, ASAN, AAGW) run their own listservs/message boards. In addition, here are some listservs/newsgroups/message boards that operate independently of organizations that meet in person:

Several of the organizations above (ANI, AANE, GRASP, ASAN, AAGW) run their own listservs/message boards. In addition, here are some listservs/newsgroups/message boards that operate independently of organizations that meet in person:

Websites and blogs:

IRC Chat Channels:

Organizations accommodating all people on the spectrum, but focused on the more autistic end…

  • Autism Network International is a self-help and advocacy organization for autistic people, run by autistic people. They have an annual conference and retreat called Autreat. Find them at
    P.O. Box 35448
    Syracuse, NY 13235-5448
  • Autscape (annual conference/retreat in the UK)
  • AutCom (civil/human rights and access to communication for autistic people)
    P.O. Box 429
    Forest Knolls, Cal. 94933
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