10 Charities Supporting Autism You Should Know About

Autism, which affects approximately 1 in 68 children, can be difficult to live with and even harder to deal with on a daily basis. Families coping with autism are often looking for support to help them along the way and provide them with some relief from the challenges they face daily with their autistic loved one. As hard as it may be to find organizations that provide this type of support, there are some places where you can find both emotional and financial support from those who have already been through the challenges of having an autistic child in the family.

1. Autistic Self Advocacy Network

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a national non-profit organization run by and for autistic people. The ASAN mission is to empower autistic people across the world to participate in their communities, pursue opportunities and live independently with dignity.

2. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI’s mission is to build better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI provides information, education, and support; promotes recovery; and advocates for systems change.

3. Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is the largest autism science and advocacy organization in the world. They have committed more than $1.4 billion to research and develop services for people with autism and their families, including programs such as TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children), CATS (Community Access Treatment Services) that provide training, consultation, therapy, recreation activities, respite care and other support services to help improve the quality of life for autistic individuals.

4. Children’s Tumor Foundation

The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) is the world’s leading organization in funding and undertaking research on neurofibromatosis, or NF. The CTF has been funding research since 1982 and has helped to find treatments for the disease that are now saving lives.

5. The Mockingbird Foundation

The Mockingbird Foundation’s mission is to help individuals on the autism spectrum achieve their full potential. They believe that through education and awareness, they can help create a world in which all people with autism can live, learn, and work productively alongside their peers. One of the most popular programs offered by The Mockingbird Foundation is their Summer Camps program, which gives children with autism the opportunity to be a typical kid for a week.

6. Cure Autism Now

Cure Autism Now is a national, grassroots organization dedicated to funding biomedical research into the causes and potential cures for autism. Caring for children with autism is costly and difficult, often requiring long hours of care that families cannot afford without help. 

Children living with autism will grow up to be adults living with autism, so it’s important that we do what we can now to fund research that will lead to better treatments, therapies and ways of improving quality of life.

7. Walk For Autism Awareness

The Walk for Autism Awareness is a fun event to get involved in if you want to support autism. It’s a day-long walk that raises money for organizations working on the research and treatment of autism, such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, The Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and the MIND Institute at UC Davis.

8. Light It Up Blue (Global Autism Public Health Initiative, GAPHI)

Light It Up Blue is a global public health initiative that aims to increase awareness about autism and create a greater sense of community. The campaign was started in 2009 by the GAPHI, an organization made up of parents, clinicians, advocates and autism researchers with the goal of increasing knowledge about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) around the world. The campaign also raises funds for research on ways to diagnose and treat ASD.

9. Planet Walk For Autism Awareness

Planet Walk For Autism Awareness is a non-profit organization that has been raising awareness for autism and supporting children with autism for over 10 years. We are a grassroots organization that was started by two parents, who were inspired to make a difference for their own son who had recently been diagnosed with autism. Planet Walk is made up of people from all walks of life who come together to make the world a better place for all those touched by autism.

10. The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (GRASP), Inc.

GRASP is a leading nonprofit organization that provides global and regional programs for people with Asperger syndrome and related autism spectrum disorders (ASD). GRASP’s mission is to improve the lives of those affected by ASDs through support, education, training, and research. We focus on the needs of individuals who have the condition; their families; and professionals who work with them.

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