April is Autism Awareness Month, a time to promote awareness about and support families and individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is a developmental disorder characterized by trouble communicating and interacting with others. Every individual with autism is unique, with their own strengths and challenges. These organizations work to support families with autistic children at every point on the spectrum. For Autism-friendly events taking place this month, check here.
The American Autism Association focuses on both programs for those with autism and educating others about autism. They hold parenting workshops for those with autistic children, although there aren’t any scheduled at the moment. Check their website for more info and to see when an event is scheduled.
The AHRC offers everything from twice-monthly educational family workshops to “Sibshops,” which are recreational groups designed for siblings of those with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association (AHA) offers regular support groups all over the city. They divide groups by age, so there’s one for families of younger kids and a separate one for teens and tweens, for example.
This organization focuses solely on supporting parents of children with disabilities, including autism. Parents in need are matched with a “support parent,” who has faced similar challenges and is trained to offer emotional support.
The Jack and Shirley Silver Center for Special Needs at the JCC Manhattan offers a comprehensive slate of resources for families, from a wide range of support groups to lectures, workshops, and panels for parents and caretakers.
New York Families for Autistic Children is specifically geared towards helping families who are affected by autism. They hold regular sessions for parents to come together and support each other, including outings like “Mom’s Brunch” and “Dad’s Night Out.”
In addition to holding their own events, including workshops on understanding Individualized Education Programs and navigating relationships with other family members, Include NYC helps direct parents to other useful resources on everything to selecting a summer camp to a childcare provider.
Make sure to check out our article on autism-friendly events!