Autism Speaks Community Outreach

Being active and known in local communities is important to Autism Speaks. Each year, staff and volunteers do hundreds of presentations to people with autism and their families, local groups, businesses and local organizations. We also work with key partners in the market on autism friendly activities or other collaborative experiences.

Interested in learning more about Autism Speaks resources and initiatives? Seeking to raise awareness about autism within your school or community? Connect with the Community Outreach Team for info, tools, and events!

Contact us: outreach@autismspeaks.org (or see link to chapter/market pages for assigned territories)

Types of Events in the Community

Town Halls bring together young adults and adults with autism, families, and service providers to examine needs, explore opportunities, and connect with available resources and expertise. This national series of events focuses on New Diagnosis and Timely Interventions, Engaging the School Community, Transition to Adulthood, Adult Services, and Advocacy. Events usually include a panel discussion, resource fair, and networking opportunities.

Town Hall Topics

New Diagnosis and Timely Interventions

TOWN HALL GOALS

The New Diagnosis and Timely Intervention Town Hall assists families of children recently diagnosed by providing information about autism, its characteristics, tips for dealing with a child’s diagnosis, what therapies and treatments are commonly utilized, and critical resources to help parents and caregivers seek support and become organized.

TOWN HALL OBJECTIVES

Attendees of the Newly Diagnosed Town Hall will learn about:

  • How Is Autism Treated
  • Getting Your Child Services/Timely Interventions
  • Finding Support: You, Your Family and Autism
  • Autism Speaks Newly Diagnosed Resources and Tools

For a parent of a child recently diagnosed with autism, asking for help is an important turning point in a long journey. Many families report mixed feelings when their child is diagnosed, some feeling very overwhelmed but also relieved to know that their concerns are valid. Thousands of parents share this journey. Now that you have the diagnosis, the question is, where do you go from here? Autism Speaks is here to help guide you.

Enhancing the School Community

TOWN HALL GOALS

The Enhancing the School Community Town Hall provides helpful information about supporting the needs of students with autism, and tools and strategies to achieve positive interactions and increase learning for all members of the school community.

TOWN HALL OBJECTIVES

Attendees of the School Community Town Hall will learn about:

  • Defining Your Child’s School Community
  • The Team Approach - Supporting Learning in the Student with Autism
  • Using Positive Behavior Support
  • The Rights of the Student with Autism
  • IEP development and troubleshooting
  • Leading the way to Inclusion
  • A Success Story

Transition to Adulthood

TOWN HALL GOALS

The Goal of the transition town hall is to better understand the transition process of a child with autism, as he/ she transitions from adolescence to adulthood; and to provide education and the tools needed to begin this process.

TOWN HALL OBJECTIVES

Attendees of the Transition to Adulthood Town Hall will learn about:

  • What is transition
  • Why is it important
  • Where do you to begin
  • What legal matters need to be considered
  • Employment and other options
  • What tools and resources are available while going through the process of transition

Adult Services

TOWN HALL GOALS

The Adult Services Town Hall brings together a broad range of community members to address the unique needs of adults with autism. Utilizing an interactive approach, moderated panel, Q&A and resource fair participants will discuss issues related to employment housing, and community life.

The overall goal of the Town Hall is to hear diverse group of individuals and a shared agenda to learn about the availability and range of services for adults with autism. We want to empower Town Hall participants to commit to addressing the needs of adults with autism so that they can initiate and be active in their own communities.

Advocacy

TOWN HALL GOALS

Autism Speaks is the leading autism advocacy organization working with policy makers to improve the lives of people with autism and their families. ​ We champion legislation to ​promote the well-being, financial security and equal opportunity ​for children and adults on the ​autism spectrum. Autism Speaks Town Halls on Advocacy will inform and engage people with autism, their families, and the autism community about Autism Speaks’ advocacy efforts at the state and federal level, including ways to get involved and have your voice heard.

TOWN HALL OBJECTIVES

  • Gain new and useful information about Autism Speaks’ advocacy priorities
  • Facilitate deeper engagement in state and federal advocacy efforts, in support of people with autism
  • Attendees will feel empowered to use new tools and resources for advocacy
  • Expanded partnerships with local legislators, policy-makers, grassroots advocates, etc.​

Autism Research Series: Discovery to Solutions

Autism Speaks invites the public to free local presentations of its “Autism Research Series: Discovery to Solutions,” featuring Chief Science Officer Thomas Frazier or other senior members of the Autism Speaks Science Team. This presentation explores important new scientific advances in support of people with autism and their families.

Research Series events include either “town hall” style discussions with local research partners, or presentations about Autism Speaks current and future Science initiatives that will best improve lives today and accelerate the delivery of personalized therapies and other services in the years ahead.

The Autism Research Series is open to all, with a special welcome to people with autism and their families, researchers, educators, clinicians and policy makers, in addition to members of the local community

Autism Speaks launched this highly popular series of research discussions in 2017. The 2018 summer schedule below includes hyperlinks for details and free registration to each event.

From the Comfort of Your Home: Tele-learning

Autism Speaks has a series of live webinars so you can “participate” from your phone or computer without leaving your home or office. Join Autism Speaks virtually through our Tele-Learning Programs! These presentations for families, provide information about Autism Speaks and the free resources available to individuals with autism and their families. These free programs are held bi-monthly with two rotating topics – navigating an autism diagnosis and preparing for the transition to adulthood, and our most recently launched topic, Enhancing the School Community, which will be offered quarterly.

Register for a Tele-Learning Program today!

Navigating an Autism Diagnosis-For Families with Young Children

Has your child been recently diagnosed with autism? Many families report mixed feelings when their child is diagnosed, some feeling very overwhelmed but also relieved to know that their concerns are valid. Thousands of parents share this journey. Now that you have the diagnosis, the question is, where do you go from here? Autism Speaks is here to help guide you. Join us for a tele-learning program for families with a newly diagnosed child and learn about the best steps to take after receiving an autism diagnosis.

The “Navigating an Autism Diagnosis- For Families with Young Children” Tele-Learning Program will highlight information about Autism Speaks, how to access helpful, free resources, and tools to help you and your family navigate the diagnosis.

See a recap of the Navigating and Autism Diagnosis-For Families with Young Children here

Preparing for the Transition to Adulthood

Do you want to learn more about how to best prepare and support your child in the transition from adolescence to adulthood? It's never too early to start planning. Join us for a tele-learning program for families with transition-aged youth (ages 12-22) and learn the best ways to support your loved one on his/her own unique path to adulthood. The “Preparing for the Transition to Adulthood” Tele-Learning Program will highlight information about Autism Speaks, how to access helpful, free resources, and valuable transition tools for you and your family.
See a recap of the Preparing for the Transition to Adulthood here

Engaging the School Community

There are many important roles that help shape the look of your child’s school community. Each member of your child’s team or (community) brings a unique perspective and set of observations and skills, all of which are helpful in assisting a student with autism and their various needs. Think about how these important interactions are involved in YOUR child’s school community. The “Engaging the School Community” Tele-learning Program will provide you with helpful information about how, with the support of the entire school community, students with autism can make great strides and become valued members of the student body. *Please see select dates as this program is currently being offered quarterly.