The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. They encompass all ages and more than 100 different diagnoses including autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and various other developmental disabilities.
The Arc works to protect people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families on the federal level through their public policy efforts.
On the local level, chapters of the Arc provide supports and services including: Information and referral services; individual advocacy to address education, employment, health care and other concerns; self-advocacy initiatives; residential support; family support; employment programs; and leisure and recreational programs
The Autism Research Institute is a network of researchers, adults on the spectrum, parents, and professionals who support an all-encompassing approach to understanding autism and promoting high quality education, medical care, and life opportunities for individuals on the spectrum and support for their families. ARI believes autism is treatable. They conduct research, collaborate with other research centers, and awards grants to support “research that makes a difference.” The website offers many resources for the biomedical treatment of Autism.
The Autism Society of America provides advocacy, education, information and referral, support, and community at national, state and local levels through their nationwide network of Affiliates.
They have an extensive on-line resource database, Autism Source™, and National Contact Center (800-3-AUTISM) that provide information and service referrals.
Autism Speaks is dedicated to advancing research into causes and better treatments for autism spectrum disorders and related conditions, increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorders, and working toward solutions for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support.
They have an extensive Resource Guide and a series of Tool Kits, including The Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit designed to help families of children between the ages of 5 and 13 recently diagnosed with autism during the critical period following an autism diagnosis.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network was created to serve as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the autistic community run by and for autistic Americans, advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power. Their staff work to educate communities, support self-advocacy in all its forms, and improve public perceptions of autism. They have chapters in many states.
The National Autism Association is a parent-led non-profit organization. Their objectives and resources center on the most urgent needs of the autism community: Strengthening autism families by providing support in areas of greatest need, such as safety, therapy and medical services; providing the latest information pertaining to research, education, legislation, safety, and therapy and treatment trends; funding impactful research studies aimed at real progress for our children; raising awareness about the autism epidemic
They have excellent safety resources and toolkits.