Autism Spectrum DisordersThis Wiki is for anyone interested in the many different services focused on recreational activities, funding, and educational information regarding autism spectrum disorders. An abundance of information regarding those topics and many more are what you will be reading and learning about throughout this Wiki page. Enjoy!

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Links and Explanations
Information about Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD's) can be described as a group of developmental disabilities which are caused by abnormalities in the brain. This type of developmental disabilities may cause a person to interact, learn, and behave differently then others their age. Some symptoms of someone who may be considered to be on the autism spectrum may include communication difficulties, repetitive behaviors, as well as problems with social interaction. About 1 in 150 children are affected by autism and are on the autism spectrum. Although there in no specific test to determine if an individual is on the autism spectrum there are ways to help with deciding if they fit the characteristics of someone who is autistic. There are professionals who are skilled in determining if a child is on the spectrum. They look for difficulties in communication, behavioral difficulties, as well as differences in developmental levels compared to that of a normal level for children of their specific age. Behavioral intervention is a form of treatment for a child who is said to be on the autism spectrum. This type of treatment includes intense teaching of skills, which is said to help these children reach their full potential. Some organizations that are targeted toward Autism research and funding are listed below.

The Autism Society of America is a national website that provides information, resources, and support for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), family members, and professionals. This organization is one of the leading grassroots autism organization's in the country. One of their main goals is to increase public awareness regarding autism as well as updating individuals with the latest information regarding treatment, education, and advocacy.

Autism Speaks is a website dedicated to providing awareness as well as advocacy for autism. It was founded in 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright who are grandparents to a child with autism. Mr. and Mrs. Wright also find it extremely important to fund research relating to autism and it's causes, prevention, treatments, and cure. Autism speaks provides many different pieces of information pertaining to family services as well as promoting different events which support autism research and funding. One of these walks includes "Walk Now: For Autism Speaks" which takes place in many different states all around the country.

Six books related to Autism:

1) Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Other ASDs
Author: Chantal Sicile-Kira
Forword: Temple Grandin

2) Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Understanding the Diagnosis and Getting Help
Author: Mitzi Waltz

3) Autism Spectrum Disorders from A to Z
Author : Lisa Jo Rudy

4) Waiting for Benjamin
Author: Alexandra Altman

5) Russell Is Extra Special: A Book about Autism for Children
Author: Charles A. Amenta

6) Autism through a Sister's Eyes
Author: Eve Band
Autism Society of America

Autism Speaks

National Institute of Child Health and Human Developement
Education and Services
Maryland Disability Law Center envisions a world where people with disabilities are fully included in the workplace, neighborhoods and all aspects of community life. To get a free copy of Special Education Rights and wrongs, call MDLC at 1-800-223-7201.

Maryland Technology Assistance Program:
The specialists at MD TAP furnish information and consultation on assistive technology (AT) to aid individuals with disabilities, their family, friends and advocates, state agencies and employers. Information is available on devices and services including: aids for daily living, mobility and transportation aids, augmentative communication and speech aids, assistive listening devices. As well as alerting devices, magnifiers, adaptive computer access devices, home modifications, work place accommodations, and recreational equipment. Information and referral services are handled through each region.

Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services: Disability Information & Services:
Upon approval for respite care Respite Services of Montgomery County will provide a list of private providers and provider agencies or a family may chose a provider themselves; subsidized respite is limited to 164 hrs/yr and based on availability. Disability services will work with families to ascertain eligibility for various funding sources, including Department of Human Resources and Developmental Disabilities Administration funds. Disability services also provides occasional, temporary relief to individuals and families who are giving full-time care to children, adults with disabilities, and seniors. Care is provided by trained, certified care workers in the family's home or in the care worker's home.

Community Services of Autistic Adults & Children:
Diagnostic Evaluation Service: Comprehensive evaluation services are provided for children with autism spectrum disorder or those suspected of having an autism spectrum disorder. Available services include diagnostic evaluations, behavioral assessments, psychological assessments, and psycho educational evaluations. Evaluations will be conducted by a CSAAC psychologist who will consult with other members of the child’s treatment team including pediatricians, neurologists, psychiatrists, and related service providers. Following the evaluation, the psychologist will provide you with a comprehensive report to include specific recommendations appropriate for your child’s developmental level. The psychologist will also meet with you to discuss the results and your child’s behavioral needs. Social skills groups for ages 6 through 12 are also offered.

Autism Service Dogs of America:
Provider of service dogs for children with autism throughout the United States, Autism Service Dogs of America is a non-profit, community based organization . In 2002, Priscilla Taylor, founder and director, incorporated her love of dogs and her background as a special education teacher and formed a service dog agency to serve the needs of children. Ms. Taylor received some of her education in raising and training assistance dogs at Assistance Dog Institute, the only institution of higher education for dog studies in the world.

Jewish Social Service Agency: Autism Spectrum Disorders Across the Lifespan:
JSSA’s Autism Disorders Across the Lifespan services and programs provide support for the whole family (parents, siblings, and other family members) empowering them to make informed decisions and access needed services that maximize the quality of life, development potential, and functioning of their loved ones and the entire family as a unit. JSSA's services offer ongoing monitoring, support and education for the entire family through:
  • Identification and assessment of child and family needs
  • Development of an integrated plan of care
  • Specialized counseling, groups and behavioral support
  • Service coordination with multiple providers
  • Information and referral services
Maryland Disability Law Center

MarylandTechnology Assistance Program

Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services: Disability Information and Services

Community Services of Autistic Adults and Children

Autism Service Dogs of America

Jewish Social Service Agency: Autism Spectrum Disorders Across the Lifespan
Local Support Groups
Autism Society: Anne Arundel County:
The Anne Arundel County Chapter of the Autism Society serves as a resource for residents of Anne Arundel County with autism spectrum disorders and their families through education, advocacy, and public awareness activities. They offer information and support at their monthly meetings as well. Other resources provided by the Autism Society of Anne Arundel County include their newsletter, The Voice; their multimedia lending library, resource and support guide, and an abundance of matrials to assist with planning autism awareness activities in your schools and communities.

Autism Society: Baltimore, MD:
We are a volunteer organization founded in 1976 to serve families of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders in Baltimore County, Maryland, Baltimore City, and the State of Maryland by providing information, advocacy, and support for families and individuals with autism.

Autism Society of Howard County, MD:
The Howard County Autism Society serves individuals on the autism spectrum, their families, and their communities by providing information, support, and advocacy; by promoting awareness of autism that values the dignity and uniqueness of each individual; and by working to improve the quality of and access to services and to educational opportunities.

Autism Society of Montgomery County, MD:
MCASA is a group of parents and professionals dedicated to the education and welfare of adults and children with severe disorders of communication and behavior. Our mission, through advocacy, information, referral, support groups, and financial aid, is to make Montgomery County a better place for persons with autism.

The Parents' Place of Maryland: A Center for Families of Children with Special Needs:
Founded in 1991, The Parents’ Place was created by parents of children and youth with disabilities to help other parents and families facing similar challenges. Today, The Parents’ Place serves families of children and young adults from birth to age 22 with all disabilities.
Autism Society: Anne Arundel County

Autism Society: Baltimore, MD

Autism Society of Howard County, MD

Autism Society of Montgomery County, MD

The Parents' Place of Maryland: A Center for Families of Children with Special Needs
Recreational and Community-based Resources
Autism Theatre Network— This is a network that was created to help unite professionals and parents that want to use applied theatre to help individuals with autism. Applied theatre is defined as “the practice of theatre and drama in non-traditional settings and/or with marginalized communities. It refers to theatre practice that engages with areas of social and cultural policy such as public health, education, criminal justice, heritage site interpretation and development (The Centre for Public Culture and Ideas, 2007)”. Applied theatre helps with body awareness, emotional expression, emotional recognition, empathy, and group dynamics in individuals with autism.

Artstream— Artstream is an organization that creates artistic opportunities for people in the community that are under-served by the arts. Their mission is to help and heal individuals with disabilities, who are seniors, people with short and long term illness, and many others through various art forms such as theatre, visual arts, multimedia, music, or and dance. They don’t limit their services to children and offer activities for adults as well. They have partnerships with many organizations such as Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children and offer services at numerous locations.

Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding— This is a nationally accredited non-for profit organization that offers therapeutic horseback riding for individuals with developmental, cognitive, and/or physical disabilities. Research shows that individuals can benefit from this physically, mentally, and emotionally. There are fees for the different services offered but they also provide financial assistance to a limited number of students each year.

Innovative Piano— A company founded in 2006 that was designed to provide effective piano lessons to individuals with developmental disabilities. They have a method called the “Young Method” designed just for individuals with autism. This is a unique method because the teachers collect data on their students to determine which book they are to use next. Innovative Piano believes that individuals have the capability to learn and experience playing piano but just at their own rate. They work with teachers of all ranges because ASD has such a broad spectrum.

MarTar Swim School— Founded in 1991, MarTar Swim School is a school that specializes in providing quality, enriching swimming education and that gives equal access for everyone to learn at their own pace and abilities. They specialize in teaching individuals with special needs, including children and adults with autism, down syndrome, ADHD, PDD, cerebral palsy and visual or audio impairments, how to swim by employing a variety of techniques including visual aids and sign language. They provide private and semi-private lessons and will even travel to the pool in your own backyard or neighborhood pool.
Autism Theatre Network


Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding

Innovative Piano

Mar Tar Swimming
Funding and Legal/Advocacy Information
Autism Speaks: What We Fund & How We Fund It:
Autism Speaks provided and supports many different funding options. Some of these include grants and fellowships. Autism speaks supports pilot grants, basic and clinical grants, as well as treatment and technology grants. These help researchers gain more information regarding autism and multi-year commitments from NIH. Initiatives gives researchers a chance to come together to work toward a common goal regarding research of autism.

Autism Society of America: Medicaid Waiver, SSI, and more:
The Autism Society of America gives individuals an abundance of information regarding funding and advocacy. The website discusses waiving the medicaid form which would allow a parents income to be waived when determining elegibility for medicaid. The website also has information regarding Supplemental Security Income (SSI) where a federal social security cash benefit is available to a disabled individual who needs financial services. Family reimbursement programs are also benefitial to individuals with a disability because they allow for reimbursements not covered under other services such as Medicaid.

Social Security Disability: Applying for Disability Benefits on the Basis of Autism:
This website provides information regarding applying for disability benefits for individuals who fall under the autism spectrum. There are steps to follow and specific information regarding the explanations that are given under the law. There are comments regarding the information as well as links to other important questions that some people may have regarding the issue of funding agencies and benefits for autism individuals.

CAP4Kids: The Children's Advocacy Project of Philadelphia:
This website which is based in Philadelphia, PA focuses on many different advocacy programs for disabled children. There are sections regarding social security, Health Intervention Program (HIP) for Children with Special Health Care Needs, The Special Kids Network, Parent to Parent of Philadelphia, and many more. These along with many other programs listed on the website are set up to help children and their families better deal with the diagnosis of autism and make the situation easier while helping the individual with autism find appropriate funding and advocacy programs that best suite their personal needs.

Springbook: Making a Difference for People with Disabilities for a Lifetime:
This websites focus is providing resources for parents and families of an individual with autism or a variety of other disabilities. They have a list of different state agencies as well as educational and training resources for families and individuals. They also provide a good list of resources specific targeted toward Autism and different programs related to the spectrum. Some of these include the National Autism Center (NAC), NYATCS, which is a website targeted toward providing information about supports for individuals with autism and their families in New York State. They also have information regarding the Center for Disease Control and Prevention which just launched a new Autism Spectrum Disorders website.

Autism Speaks: What We Fund & How We Fund It

Autism Society of America: Medicaid Waiver, SSI, and more

Social Security Disability, SSI

CAP4Kids: The Children's Advocacy Project of Philadelphia

Springbook: Making a Difference for People with Disabilities for a Lifetime