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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Family Resourcses: Autism Support Centers


By Kelley Challen, Ed.M., CAS
September 11, 2013

Autism Support Centers are wonderful free support agencies. They are particularly useful for those families who do not have significant financial resources. The Autism Consortium has just posted contact information for all of the state's Autism Support Centers HERE.

Autism Support Centers are funded by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS), but are open to ALL families of individuals with autism spectrum disorders, regardless of whether the family qualifies for DDS at this time.

They can provide case management, resources and referrals for families, and sometimes will offer specialized recreational opportunities, mentoring, employment supports or other programming. They also provide a sense of community, and sometimes have extra funding that they can distribute directly to families to help them enroll in social skills groups, vacation week programming and other activities.

Unfortunately, the resources vary significantly from one center to another, and funding changes from year to year, so families will need to contact the centers directly to find out what is currently available.

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Kelley Challen is NESCA's Director of Transition Services.

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