New York State is home to a number of non-profit organizations and charities that support individuals afflicted with autism and their families. Herein is a comprehensive overview of some of these organizations and a look into the autism-related work that they do.
Autism Speaks, based in New York City, is one of the largest ASD advocacy organizations not only in the state of New York but the entire US. Bob Wright, General Electric’s vice-chairperson, and his wife Suzanne founded the organization in February 2005.
It was one year following the diagnosis of their grandson Christian. Autism Speaks funds autism research and conducts outreach and awareness activities targeted at the public, families, and the government.
Autism Speaks raises public awareness for ASD research and directly raises funds for research. The organization sponsors research in several key areas, including:
- susceptibility genes, and maternal viral infections.
- focus on brain development and includes the Autism Tissue Program
- early diagnosis, epidemiology, and biomarkers.
Autism Speaks also supports the Clinical Trials Network (deals with new pharmacological treatments) and the Toddler Treatment Network (develops intervention for toddlers and infants). The organization has been involved in numerous awareness programs. These include the Walk for Autism Research Program, Light it Up Blue campaign, and the annual world focus on Autism function.
The New York Families for Autistic Children (NYFAC) was founded in Queen, New York, by five families back in 1999. The organization offers a range of person-centered and individualized services through government partnerships. NYFAC supports and empowers children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.
- community-based instruction in socialization, communication, physical activities, and money management, as well as creative and culinary arts.
- Programs for afflicted individuals and their families.
- a program focused on daily living activities, community integration, socialization, self-care, money management, and mealtime skills.
NEXT for AUTISM, formerly known as New York Collaboration for Autism (NYCA) is a not-for-profit organization that addresses the needs of individuals with ASD and their families. Harry and Laura Slatkin and Ilene Lainer founded the organization in 2003. NEXT for AUTISM is well known for opening the very first New York Charter School that exclusively serves students with autism.
Every two years, NEXT for AUTISM partners with Comedy Central for an autism benefit termed Night of Too Many Stars.’ This event features performances from notable comedians and celebrities, including Jon Stewart, Tina Fey, George Clooney, Conan O’Brien, and Amy Power.
The organization founded Project SEARCH Collaborates for Autism. This program helps autistic high school make the transition from school to employment. In June 2003, NEXT for AUTISM opened the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain (New York Presbyterian Westchester). The facility provides clinical help to individuals with autism and other developmental disorders.
Other autism-related programs the organization is involved in include corporate employment consulting, Hunter Autism Research, Practice, and Policy Center, NEXT for NEIGHBORS, Autism disability visual integration company experience, BOOST After School program and Advancing Funds for Adults with Autism.
AHRC New York City is a family governed organization that focuses on discovering ways for people with developmental disabilities to live fulfilling lives supported by community partners, dedicated families, and staff members. Ann Greenberg and several parents of children with developmental disabilities found the organization back in 1949. They found the available services at the time to be inadequate for their children.
AHRC NYC’s mission encompasses the education of children with ASD and is represented by the acronym HOPE. H stands for their Humanistic teaching approach. The organization recognizes that every child is an individual and thus encourages incidental learning and spontaneity. They take into account each child’s temperament, past experiences, support needs, and frustration levels.
The O stands for Opportunity. AHRC NYC strives to maximize on the window the opportunity at the crucial of an autistic child. Their school-age programs emphasize socialization skills, communication skills, functional academics, and other adaptive abilities.
The P stands for Partnership. AHRC NYC encourages active family involvement and partnerships with professionals. The organization collaborates continually with parents, teachers, administrators, and therapists
The E stands for Expertise. AHRC NYC employs certified and licensed professionals who are experts in their fields. The organization only utilizes strategies, treatments, and programs that are research-based and proven to support people with autism.
The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) is a not-for-profit organization that funds and supports research into ASD. Alison Tepper Singer and Karen Margulis London founded the organization in April 2009.
Alison Tepper is a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) and a former executive of Autism Speaks. Karen Margulis is the co-founder of the National Alliance for Autism Research. Both co-founders are parents of autistic children.
Their Programs and Work
Since 2009, Autism Science Foundation has sponsored and supported the International Meeting for Autistic Research (IMAR). The organization has interviewed numerous developmental disorder researchers at the event. ASF provides travel grants to the IMAR. These grants are offered to people with autism and their family members to attend the event.
The AFS also sponsors pre and post-doctoral researchers. In 2011, ASF was named a top non-profit startup in the disability section by charity review site Guidestar.
In 2019, the president and co-founder of ASF joined the National Council on Severe Autism, a non-profit organization that advocates for recognition, solutions, and policy reforms for individuals and families affected by severe Autism and related disorders.
There are other organizations and charities based in the state of New York that help and support people with autism and related developmental disorders. They include the Global Autism Project (GAP), Gallop NYC, and the Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region (ASGCR).
Please reach out to these organizations if you or a loved one have been affected by autism, or if you would like to show your support for the work that they do.