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Tips For Finding Autism Resources in Your Community

June 4, 2024

As a person on the autism spectrum with co-occurring mental illness and depression in the past, I find community resources helpful. It helps me get the resources I need to live a happy life. But how do you find autism resources in your community?

I found that if you talk to people, they are willing to help. Sometimes, however, certain ideas people have about mental health get in the way of them being helpful. Hurtful, preconceived notions may include doubts about intellect and ability purely because an individual is on the autism spectrum. 

In addition to such prejudice, the community you’re living in may not have the resources you are looking for, as they do in larger communities. These are unique challenges. It may take a long time to find appropriate community resources, which was certainly the case for me.  

I did research and got support from friends, churches, and agencies. Use your strengths to find resources in your community. Now that I know how to find them, I can share my tips to help you find what you need.

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Tip 1: Support groups

Find the right support group for mental illness, autism, or whatever is bothering you. Include 12-step programs. You can share your story and learn from peers.

Tip 2: Special education

Find a school with a good special education department. Find learning centers to help you grow and learn more about yourself. Look until you find the right person to talk to. 

If you find a disability center where you can learn to work or do other projects, get training. Some disability centers have independent housing. If you want independent housing, get on the list.

Tip 3: Hearing centers

If hearing is a problem, find a hearing center. They can get you squared away if you are worried about this issue. 

You may need a hearing aid. If you can’t get hearing aids in your community, find a larger community where they can help you with the necessary resources to aid your hearing appropriately.

Tip 4: Sign language centers

Sign language is a valuable tool. Find a place to learn sign language if this skill would be helpful to you or your child. If possible, find a program in your community that appeals to you and your family.

Tip 5: Speech centers

Your physician can make a referral for speech therapy. This can help you or your child learn to communicate better.

Tip 6: Your doctor, the overseer

Find a doctor who will oversee your health plan. They will help with diagnosis and referrals. They can refer you to eye doctors and other specialists.

Tip 7: Service and therapy animals

If a service or therapy animal is helpful, locate an agency that provides them. Service or therapy animals may help with many areas of struggle.


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Tip 8: Library

Your local library is an important resource. In addition to books, they have computer training, activities, and groups to learn more about a subject. You can also volunteer.

Tip 9: Churches or religious organizations

In these organizations, you will find people who will listen and help you with food, shelter, or socialization.

Tip 10: Farmers market

You can find fresh produce, baked goods, and other food at your farmers market. They are usually outside and provide opportunities for walking and making new friends.

Tip 11: Local Department of Children and Families (DCF)

Each state or province will have an agency like this. Names of such organizations may vary. Such agencies may help you with programs and activities, finding jobs, providing interview clothes, food resources, funding for energy resources (gas and lights), and medications.

Tip 12: Workforce center

These centers have computers and people to help you find a job.

Tip 13: Local gyms 

If you want to exercise or lose weight, find a local gym. Physical health is integral to mental health; exercising is a great way to reduce stress, frustration, and even aggression.

Tip 14: Technology centers

In addition to libraries, there are stand-alone technology centers where you can learn to use computers.

Tip 15: Food banks

Free food is provided, along with volunteer opportunities at food banks.

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Tip 16: Community dinners

In many communities, churches or religious organizations provide free meals. When communities offer these, it is a valuable resource.

Tip 17: Food donations

In some communities, organizations gather food from restaurants, grocery stores, or manufacturers and give it away in parking lots.

Tip 18: Housing authorities

If you need help with housing, find a local agency that will help. You will need to fill out paperwork for rent or other housing accommodations.

Tip 19: Volunteer agencies

There is usually an umbrella organization that can help you find a volunteer opportunity that interests you.

Tip 20: Mental health services

Find an area mental health association. You may find a therapist or psychiatrist this way. I have found this helpful. You may find a case manager or peer support helpful to solve problems.

Tip 21: Pharmacies

Search for a pharmacy that will take your insurance (US). Wherever you are, find a pharmacist who is knowledgeable about your condition, patient, and helpful.

Tip 22: Local public transportation

Public transportation can be a lifesaver, getting you to jobs, health visits, and everywhere else. Research routes nearest to your location.

Tip 23: Community events

Watch for flyers posted at grocery stores and businesses for community events you will enjoy.


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Finding autism resources near you

Navigating the vast landscape of autism resources in your community can be a transformative journey for individuals and families alike. By employing the tips outlined in this article, you empower yourself to discover and access the support, services, and information essential for the well-being of those affected by autism.

Remember, a well-informed and connected community plays a pivotal role in fostering understanding and acceptance and creating an inclusive environment for individuals on the

spectrum. Take the first step, explore the resources available, and embark on a path of empowerment, education, and support for a brighter and more inclusive future.

FAQs

Q: What resources are available for people with autism?

A: Educational support programs, therapeutic services, and community-based organizations are just some of the many available autism resources. Online platforms can offer a wealth of information, forums, and networks for individuals and families seeking guidance and connection.

Q: How can you help the autistic community?

A: To support the autistic community, it is crucial to foster awareness and understanding, promoting inclusivity and acceptance. Offering resources and educational programs and creating sensory-friendly environments can contribute to a more supportive and accommodating society for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Q: What resources are helpful for a family with a child with autism?

A: For families with a child with autism, helpful resources include special classes or schools that understand and support their needs, therapy services designed for them, and groups where they can connect with others facing similar challenges. Access to reliable information, workshops, and advocates can make a big difference in supporting the child and their family.

Q: What state has the best resources for autism?

A: Colorado, New York, Maryland, and Connecticut are commonly recognized for their high-ranking support and benefits for individuals with autism across various age ranges. They consistently stand out as leaders in providing assistance to people on the autism spectrum.

References:

Ning M, Daniels J, Schwartz J, Dunlap K, Washington P, Kalantarian H, Du M, Wall DP
Identification and Quantification of Gaps in Access to Autism Resources in the United States: An Infodemiological Study, J Med Internet Res
https://www.jmir.org/2019/7/e13094/

Johnson, K. R., Ennis-Cole, D., & Bonhamgregory, M. (2020). Workplace Success Strategies for Employees With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A New Frontier for Human Resource Development. Human Resource Development Review, 19(2), 122-151. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534484320905910

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