Information about educational institutions, organizations, research, websites, blogs, and other sources of services and support for both verbal and non verbal autistic persons and their families.
Education / Training Resources
Wellspring Guild is an organization of top Facilitated Communication / Supported Typing Master Trainers who are developing a national training system for all that communities that want to improve their support services for their nonverbal autistic citizens.
At the heart of Wellspring Guild is a coalition of communicators, families and professionals, facilitators and trainers dedicated to Best Practice of Facilitated Communication Training (FCT.) Because the Wellspring Guild will offer ongoing support to trainers, coaches and educators, families can be assured of a high-quality standard of training for their nonverbal autistic children.
For almost 20 years, the Institute on Communication and Inclusion (ICI) has been giving a voice and a means to communicate to people with disabilities who may have otherwise been living in silence or isolation by conducting research and promoting support for people with disabilities to communicate in schools and society. ICI is a research and training center that is part of the School of Education at Syracuse University. ICI represents a broadened focus developed over two decades, reflecting lines of research, training and public dissemination that focus on school and community inclusion, narratives of disability and ability, and disability rights, as well as research and training on facilitated communication. Its initiatives stress the important relationship of communication to inclusion.
The Svetlana Masgutova Educational Institute (SMEI) provides health, wellness and educational professionals, parents, and caregivers with non-invasive techniques to address maturational, developmental, and life challenges. Svetlana Masgutova, Ph.D is the originator of the Masgutova Method®, a comprehensive set of programs that focus motor reflex and sensory system integration. The primary focus of the Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI) Method is to support the integration process of primary motor reflex patterns regardless of a person’s condition or age.
AccreditedOnlineColleges.org (AoC.org), an easy to use, credible source for information about accredited online colleges, is a one-stop clearinghouse of information that students could not quickly access on the internet prior to the website’s release in 2013. One of the core functions of AoC.org is to allow students to search for the perfect online program using filter like: by subject, degree level, or school type. The guides they created utilized legitimate research sources for all content, as well as actual college websites. AoC.org publishes a College Resources for Students with Disabilities. In the course of their research, AoC found that most student with disabilities were not fully aware of educational rights, grants, and education resources that were available for them. To fill the gap in available information, they created a user-friendly guide that explores legal provisions as well as a comprehensive listing of scholarships and grants designed specifically to support the higher education pursuits of autistic and other special needs children.
Support / Service / Advocacy Organization Resources
Answers for Autism is an all volunteer organization founded by parents of children with autism. Their mission is to increase and broaden public knowledge and awareness of the behaviors, social issues and emotional needs of individuals on the autism spectrum so that all individuals can participate in and contribute to our community without fear or bias or loss of individuality.
ACCEPTS Inc. – ACCEPTS stands for Assuming Competence in Communication for Exceptional Persons through Typing and Socialization. ACCEPTS represents the belief that no one person has all the answers. Working together to build our strengths and ACCEPT our differences will invoke change. Their goal is an inclusive society for all persons with special needs, and are dedicated to changing the attitudes of school, community, and social settings through informative awareness and advocacy.
Kris’ Camp – For more than 20 years, Tallahassee-based Therapy Intensive Programs, Inc. (TIP) has been providing this innovative therapy program for autistic children and their families. Their approach is a positive, competency-based one in which they provide the least amount of assistance possible to promote the child’s independence and rely on their strengths to promote future successes.
Autism Research Resources
Frontiers in Neuroscience is the #1 most cited and largest open-access publisher in the category of Neuroscience. The journal was formally established by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) in 1975.The journal provides numerous articles about the study of the human brain and the latest neurological research related to autism.
Hopebridge knows that children with special challenges require extraordinary care, and offer a wide range of pediatric outpatient therapy services, including applied behavioral analysis (ABA), physical, occupational, feeding/swallowing, and speech therapies. The Hopebridge program was one of the first of its kind in Indiana. Since opening their doors in September 2005, they have worked hard to build a staff of motivated, highly-specialized therapists dedicated to helping children.
Product and Service Resources
AngelSense is the only wearable child GPS Tracker & Voice-Monitoring app for the parent, designed to create a safe world for children with special needs. The manufacturer has an active culture of supporting and serving the special needs community. The majority of the company’s employees are special needs parents, and their Customer Care Team is entirely made up of special needs parents that use AngelSense with their own children.
Gemiini is a web-based program that utilizes an approach called Discrete Video Modeling, a clinically proven way to increase language, reading and social skills. It breaks down information into understandable and digestible bites, making it an ideal solution for people with Autism, Down Syndrome, Stroke and others. With their online videos and teaching tools, Gemiini not only teaches users information, it trains (or retrains) their brain how to think.
Autism Websites / Blogs
a diary of a mom is the personal blogsite of Jess, the mother of two daughters, fifteen year-old *Katie* “an utterly fabulous, compassionate, generous, creative, loving high school sophomore, and her thirteen year-old litle sister *Brooke*, who is an affectionate, talented, hilarious, autistic eighth grader. According to Jess, “I will be forever grateful to Brooke for unwittingly breaking my insular little world wide open. For allowing me — nay, forcing me — to see the beauty of difference, the light and color and startling depth of dimension in the full range of the human spectrum.”
Willow Hope’s YouTube Channel – this video blog provides a wealth of information about Asperger’s Syndrome and other Autism Spectrum Disorders through Willow’s channel on YouTube, where she has posted a variety of video blog entries that discuss her experience with ASD.
The Autism Blog – The world of autism spectrum disorders is constantly changing and the staff at Seattle Children’s Autism Center are eager to share with parents and caregivers what they continue to learn. This blog is designed to be a resource on autism as well as to give you an opportunity to comment on their posts and engage with their experts. Their intent is to provide information that may be helpful to raising a child with autism.
Life With Aspergers – Before 2006, Gavin Bollard had no idea that a condition called Aspergers even existed, but when his eldest son, then 6, was diagnosed with it he was suddenly thrown into the learning cycle. The more he learned about it, the more it seemed to apply to him rather than to his son. Eventually he talked to a psychologist about the suspicion that he himself might be “aspie” and his suspicions were confirmed. This discovery triggered an ongoing review of his life in the light of this new data. He started this blog as a means of reaching out to others with similar experiences and exploring and promoting the positive side of Aspergers.
Top 50 Autism Blogs And Websites For Autistics And Autism Parents – The Best Autism blogs from thousands of top Autism blogs in our index using search and social metrics. Data will be refreshed once a week.
Documentaries, Movies, and Videos
DEEJ – Abandoned by his birth parents and presumed incompetent, DJ Savarese (“Deej”) found not only a loving family but also a life in words, which he types on a text-to-voice synthesizer. As he makes his way through high school and dreams of college, he confronts the terrors of his past, society’s obstacles to inclusion, and the sometimes paralyzing beauty of his own senses. In this first-of-its-kind collaboration between a veteran filmmaker and a nonspeaking autist, Robert Rooy and DJ Savarese share editorial control as they attempt to navigate the challenges of representing autism. Deej, the result of this often difficult partnership, is a story told largely from the inside, by DJ – not by his parents or autism experts or even the camera.
WRETCHES & JABBERERS – This inspiring documentary chronicles the world travels of disability rights advocates, Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, in a bold quest to change attitudes about the intelligence and abilities of people with autism. (4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon)
Temple Grandin – Based on the writings by its title subject, HBO Films’ Temple Grandin is an engaging portrait of an autistic young woman who became, through timely mentoring and sheer force of will, one of America’s most remarkable success stories. (4.8 out of 5 stars)
Life, Animated – Directed by Academy Award®-winner Roger Ross Williams (2009, Best Documentary – Short Subject, Music by Prudence), Life, Animated tells the remarkable story of how seven year-old Owen Suskind found a pathway to language and a framework for making sense of the world through Disney animated films. (4.7 out of 5 stars)
AUTISM: THE MUSICAL follows the extraordinary and innovative acting coach Elaine Hall, five autistic children, and their parents as they improbably, heroically mount a full-length original stage production. Through trial and error, tears and laughter, these incredible families learn to communicate their feelings in song and performance, finding solace and joy in the act of creating. (4.4 out of 5 stars)
The United States of Autism weaves the tale of a broad spectrum of American life in all its faiths, disparities, colors, and cultures – and the story of one man’s 40-day, 11,000 mile journey across America to find answers for his family and son. What he learns along the way changes not only his life forever, but the lives of those he meets. (4.1 out of 5 stars)
Resources recommended by the Institute on Communication and Inclusion from advocacy, education, legal, and professional organizations and sources.
- American Association for People with Disabilities (AAPD) – Cross-disability membership organization that mobilizes the disability community to be a powerful voice for political, economic and social change.
- American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today (ADAPT) – National grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists in nonviolent direct action to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom, particularly in the community with real supports.
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) – Professional, scientific, and credentialing association for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists in the US and internationally, who work to make the human right of communication accessible and achievable for all.
- Augmented Communication Inc – Publishes resources to keep individuals with communication needs, families, and professionals informed about developments in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).
- Beyond Compliance Coordinating Committee (BCCC) – An organization consisting of Syracuse University students working to foster a more positive climate toward disability that values individual difference in all university settings.
- Circle of Inclusion – A resource for families and early childhood service providers comprised of information about effective practices of inclusive educational programs for children from birth through age eight.
- CAST: Universal Design for Learning – A resource including research, publications, practical tools, policy implications and professional development on Universal Design for Learning; an educational framework designed to enhance the learning experience for all individuals.
- Disability Rights Advocates – A non-profit legal center whose work includes national advocacy through class action litigation on behalf of individuals with all types of disabilities, research and education projects, and publication of resource materials.
- Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) – National civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities which aims to advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities through legal advocacy, training, education, and public policy and legislative development.
- Disability Studies for Teachers – A resource for educators that includes lesson plans and materials designed to help teachers integrate disability studies into social studies, history, literature, and related subjects in grades 6-12. Also includes suggestions as to how to modify these tools for postsecondary environments.
- EveryoneCommunicates – Comprehensive information on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) including foundational knowledge, personal stories, methods and technology resources.
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Data – Public access to information about students with disabilities who are served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), technical assistance materials, analysis and reporting of data, and forms used for collections.
- International Society for Alternative and Augmentative Communication (ISAAC) – Includes projects, research, events and information packets on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) geared towards improving the lives of individuals with speech difficulties.
- Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation – Seeks to contribute to an understanding of autism from a scientific perspective, increase opportunities and services for the autism community, and educate the public about autism by providing grants to fund research, clinical care, policy, advocacy and education.
- National Council on Disability – A 15 member independent policy making agency appointed by the President that functions as an advising body to executive branch agencies, Congress and the President to promote programs, practices, and procedures that guarantee equal opportunity for all individuals with disabilities.
- National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) – A membership organization that works to advance independent living and human rights of people with disabilities.
- National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) – A national resource for information on disabilities, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act& (IDEA), No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and research relating to educational practices.
- PEAK Parent Center – Provides training, information and technical assistance to equip families of children with disabilities from birth through age twenty-six with strategies to advocate successfully for full inclusion in educational and community environments.
- Ragged Edge Online – Disability Rights online magazine, formerly printed as The Disability Rag. This site includes current, as well as archived issues of this publication.
- Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) – National self-advocacy organization working to advance the rights of and empower people with disabilities.
- Speaking For Ourselves – A grassroots organization run by and for people with developmental disabilities that aims to help members run organizations, develop leadership skills, work together collectively to address issues, and increase self-sufficiency and independence.
- TASH – An international association of people with disabilities, families, advocates, and professionals fighting for a more inclusive society. TASH is most concerned with and disseminates information on human dignity, civil rights, education, and independence for all people with disabilities
- U.S. Department of Justice ADA Page – Provides information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- WAPDAH – A private, non-profit organization located in the Whittier, CA area that supports individuals with a variety of lifelong disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down’s syndrome and related medical and/or behavioral disorders. This agency has a strong foundation in communication services and offers training, resources and support.
- Whole Schooling Consortium – A program of Wayne State University that advocates cultivating educational environments to help children hone skills that maximize their opportunities and to develop active, effective citizens for democracy.