The Autism Society of America connects families and individuals affected by autism to community resources and support throughout the US.
One of 106 affiliates of the Autism Society of America, the Autism Society of Texas sponsors special events for families and individuals with autism (including parties, outings, picnics and sensory friendly movies) in addition to offering support groups, education, information and referrals. They also provide advocacy and a voice for these families and individuals in state government.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on South Texas, “Media reports continue to come in of individuals with autism and their families being rescued from the ravages [of the hurricane]…”. The Autism Society of Texas staff have been working overtime to align offers of help and donations with the needs of families and individuals with autism who have been displaced or affected. According to executive director Suzanne Potts, they have providers from Austin, as well as partners in Clear Lake and north-central Houston, heading to shelters to offer resources and support. In addition to gift cards for basic necessities, they are handing out sensory kits, fidget toys, weighted blankets, and even sensory bottles with personalized notes from students at an inclusive school in Palo Alto, California.
The impact of flooding and loss on those affected by autism often goes well beyond safety, clean-up, and relocation. Common additional challenges include the sudden onset of change to a person’s life, loss of routine, and loss of a familiar environment. While providing support in these areas, the Autism Society is also committed to educating members of the community in helping autistic individuals cope and transition out of crisis mode. As the aftermath continues, longer term recovery support will be needed.