Find more support at these organizations
There are so many resources available it is hard to know where to start. To help you find what you need, our Autism Resource Specialists have compiled a list of organizations that provide resources to families about diagnoses, services, treatments, legislation, insurance, educational options, transitioning to adulthood, applying for grants and more.
Massachusetts Autism Support Centers
Autism Alliance of Metrowest in Natick Serves Metrowest, Middlesex West
Autism Resource Center in West Boylston Serves Worcester, North Central & South Valley areas
Autism Support Center in Danvers - Serves Northeast region
Family Autism Center in Westwood - Serves Norfolk County
781-762-4001, Ext. 310
Community Autism Resources in Swansea - Serves Southeastern region, Cape Cod & Islands
Community Resources For People With Autism in Easthampton Serves Western region
TILL & Boston Families for Autism in Dedham - Serves Greater Boston
Advocates for Autism-Massachusetts (AFAM): A parent-founded and driven advocacy group for increasing the awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the current and pending legislation in Massachusetts.
Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE): A comprehensive resource and support center serving the Boston and New England area for individuals with Asperger Syndrome, high-functioning autism (adults, teens, children) and their families. AANE has an excellent website including a database of support groups, family grants, specialized programs, books and articles, conferences, trainings and more. Staff members include service coordinators for adults, teens, and children. Watertown.
Autism Insurance Resource Center: This Center provides information to the public about insurance coverage under the law, An Act Relative to Insurance Coverage for Autism (ARICA) which took effect in Massachusetts on January 1, 2011.
Autism Special Education Legal Support Center at Massachusetts Advocates for Children: Through the Autism Legal Helpline, callers receive free technical assistance and answers to their questions about educational rights of children with autism. Boston.
617-357-8431 ext. 224.
Charles River Center: This Center provides employment and job training, residential homes, therapeutic day programs, and recreational programs for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The Center also coordinates a travel readiness program with Logan Airport for families of children with autism who have difficulty with airline travel and security screeners. Please contact them for more detailed information.
Doug Flutie Junior Foundation for Autism: Raises public awareness and supports families and organizations through grants. Provides education, resources, and links about autism.
508-270-8855 or 866-3AUTISM
Massachusetts Disability Resources
ARC of Massachusetts: A statewide resource that provides advocacy and support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as autism, through the 22 ARC chapters.
Department of Public Health / Children & Youth With Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) Program: The CYSHCN program helps families coordinate their child’s medical, social and educational needs. This program offers a Community Support Line where Resource Specialists offer technical assistance to parents. The Care Coordination Program has Care Coordinators, who speak both English and Spanish, available to provide services to parents who have a child with complex medical needs.
Early Intervention and Specialty Service Providers: For information about services for children under three in Massachusetts, go to www.mass.gov and type Early Intervention in the Search box or call 800-905-8437.
For information about Specialty Services such as ABA or Floortime, call Early Intervention Intensive Services Coordinator at 413-586-7525.
Family Ties of Massachusetts: A statewide information and parent-to-parent support program for families of children with special needs and chronic illnesses. Offers a comprehensive resource directory. 800-905-TIES (8437) or 617-541-2875.
Mass Family Voices/Massachusetts Family-to-Family Health Information Center: This center is staffed by parents who provide free, confidential assistance to families raising children with special healthcare needs become more knowledgeable about healthcare services and supports as well as receive assistance in obtaining those benefits. 800-331-0688 x. 210
Mass Family Voices Listserv: This listserv allows families raising children and youth with special healthcare needs to share resources and information, post questions and answers, so that listserv members can learn and support each other. Membership is free and confidential. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PAL): Statewide parent support organization for children’s emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs. 617-542-7860 or 866-815-8122, Boston. 508-767-9725, Worcester.
Sibling Support Project: This is a national program dedicated to supporting the concerns of brothers and sisters of people who have special health, developmental, or mental health concerns. There are also local service providers who host workshops, and listservs to support siblings of people with special needs.
Special Health Needs Community Support Line: Under the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services, the support line offers statewide information, help, and referrals for families of children with special health-care needs. Go to www.mass.gov and type Community Support Line in the Search box or call 800-882-1435.
SpedChildMass: This website has Massachusetts workshops and resources for children with special needs, along with pertinent news. www.spedchildmass.com
Special Education Resources
Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts: Provides legal services to low income children, and information and training to parents. 781-581-1977. www.clcm.org
Disability Law Center: Offers legal advice for children who have disabilities; sometimes takes cases for free. Boston, 617-723-8455 or 800-872-9992. Western Massachusetts, 413-584-6337 or 800-222-5619. www.dlc-ma.org/Priorities/index.html
EdLaw Project: Provides legal representation, technical assistance, and training to families of low-income children in Boston who are in danger of not receiving appropriate education services. Call Marlies Spanjaard at 617-989-8150 or visit www.youthadvocacydepartment.org/edlaw/edlaw-about.html
Federation for Children with Special Needs: Updated federal and state special education laws, advice, information, and access to advocacy, IEP development and related resources, parent information guides, and statewide parent workshops.
Boston office 617-236-7210 or 800-331-0688. Western Mass. office 413-323-0681 or 866-323-0681. www.fcsn.org
Parent Training and Information – Spanish www.fcsn.org/pti/espanol/index.php
Parent Training and Information – Portuguese www.fcsn.org/pti/portuguese/index.php
Special Needs Advocacy Network (SPAN): Provides a list of special education advocates. Fees vary. Also offers workshops. 508-655-7999. www.spanmass.org
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Special Education: The state’s official website for parents of children ages 3 through 22 eligible for special education. Provides state and federal regulations, information on IEPs and parent rights, and a procedural safeguards manual for working with your district’s special education department. 781-338-3000. www.doe.mass.edu/sped/parents.html
Program Quality Assurance: Call if you are having problems with the school district and ask to speak to the contact person for your town or city. 781-338-3700. www.doe.mass.edu/pqa/
Parent Advisory Council (PAC): A PAC is a group of parents in your city/town whose children are receiving special education services from the school district. They have information about local services, and offer workshops and the opportunity to network with other parents. To find the PAC for your school district, ask your district’s special education office or visit www.concordspedpac.org/Pacs-in-Mass.html or www.spedchildmass.com/support_groups_sepacs. Also visit www.masspac.org for more information.
SPEDWatch: Grassroots nonprofit social change movement working to secure the educational rights of all Massachusetts schoolchildren with disabilities. www.spedwatch.org
Urban PRIDE: For families of kids with disabilities living in city of Boston. A resource for workshops, parent supports and advocacy. 617-206-4570. www.urbanpride.org
National and State Resources
Autism Society of America (New Hampshire chapter): Offers educational support and resources for parents. Concord. 603-679-2424.
The Birchtree Center: Provides specialized educational services for children and youth with autism. Portsmouth. 603-433-4192.
Department of Education: 603-271-3494. http://www.education.nh.gov/instruction/special_ed/index.htm
Easter Seals Autism Network, Family Support Program: Offers support meetings, parent education, and a respite program. Manchester. 603-623-8863. www.nh.easterseals.com
Jacob’s Bridge Through Autism: Developed by parents, has listing of local and national resources. Plymouth. www.jbtautism.org
New Hampshire Resource Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders: At the Institute on Disability at UNH. 603-228-4230. www.iod.unh.edu/PriorityAreas/autism
Parent Information Center: Information about special education laws and advocacy in New Hampshire. 603-224-7005. www.parentinformationcenter.org
Southeastern Regional Education Service Center: Education and behavioral support programs and services for families and schools; has specific autism services. Bedford. 603-206-6800. www.seresc.net/
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: 401-222-8999. www.ride.ri.gov
Families for Effective Autism Treatment of Rhode Island: 401-886-5015. www.featri.org
Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Council: 401-737-1238 www.riddc.org
Rhode Island Department of Education special education services: 401-222-4600. www.iser.com/state-gov/special-needs-RI.html
Rhode Island Disability Law Center: 401-831-3150. www.ridlc.org
Rhode Island Parent Information Network: 401-270-0101. www.ripin.org
Autism Society of America (Connecticut chapter): 888-453-4975.
Connecticut Autism Spectrum Resource Center: 203-265-7717.
Connecticut State Department of Education: 860-713-6543. www.sde.ct.gov
Hartford-New Haven Community Parent Resource Center (CPRC): 860-297-4358
Stamford Education 4 Autism: 203-322-9767. www.stamfordeducation4autism.org
Autism Society of America (Maine chapter): 800-273-5200. www.asmonline.org
Children’s Behavioral Health Services (Department of Health & Human Services): (207) 287-5060. www.maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/cbhs/index.shtml
Autism Society of America (Vermont chapter): www.autism-info.org
Autism Support Daily: 802-985-8773 www.autismsupportdaily.com
Department of Education: 802-828-5116. www.education.vermont.gov/new/html/pgm_sped.html
Vermont Division of Disability Autism Supports: 802-241-2863. www.ddas.vermont.gov/ddas-programs/programs-autism-default-page
Vermont Autism Task Force: www.autismtaskforce.com
American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/developmental-disabilities/Pages/Autism-Spectrum-Disorders.aspx
Autism, Asperger’s and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: Offers comprehensive information, education, articles, and fact sheets. www.autism-help.org
Autism Society of America: Oldest parent advocacy group. Offers many resources. Provides annual conference and state chapters. www.autism-society.org
Autism Speaks: Funds global research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism; and raises public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families and society. www.autismspeaks.org
Also offers a free comprehensive guide to the first 100 days after diagnosis which is available in English and Spanish. Download it from www.autismspeaks.org/docs/family_services_docs/100_day_kit.pdf
Wrights Law autism information: Special education laws and advocacy information. www.wrightslaw.com/info/autism.index.htm
Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities: Comprehensive list of resources by state for children with all disabilities. www.yellowpagesforkids.com