Finding Your Community

Over 20% of the inquiries our Autism Speaks Autism Response Team (ART) receives are for information about autism and community services. Common requests are for connections to peer groups, recreation, and parent support groups, among others.

Board game social club

Finding community matters. It creates a sense of purpose, provides a means to build social connections, and offers a support network. Within the autism community, where social isolation is common, finding your place or people, or even one person, is known to contribute to an increase in happiness, improved health and a better quality of life. Your participation in a community is equally good for the rest of society. It is a simple way to promote autism acceptance and inclusion -- which is a great way to see how you matter, how you can make a difference.

To help you find your community, we have assembled a list of mostly national and mostly online autism-friendly community groups and services below. Some have local groups and meet in-person. If you run a community that is inclusive of autistic people and/or their families and would like to be listed, please contact us here.

If you want to start an autism support group, scroll to the bottom to learn how.

By relationship

Autistic kids and teens

Asperger / Autism Network (AANE) offers two types of support groups for autistic teens. Open groups are free and may have different participants joining from session to session. Closed groups are fee-based and have the same participants for a set number of sessions online. Financial assistance is available. Additional support groups for parents are also offered.  

Friend in Me is a social group connecting kids with disabilities and neurotypical student volunteers through free, fun online games and conversations via Zoom on a one-to-one basis every week. Check out this virtual buddy program as well.

Making Authentic Friendships is a fee-based mobile application that helps teens (age 13+) with special needs find friends based off their geolocation, diagnosis, age and interests. It was founded by Juliana Fetherman for her brother Michael, who is diagnosed with both autism and ADHD and struggles to make friends.

The Autism Project (TAP) offers social skills groups led by speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, mental health practitioners and other professionals for the following age groups: Ages 5-10, Pre-teens, Teens, and Young Adults.

Autistic adults

Global and Regional Autism Spectrum Partnership (GRASP) offers online support groups for autistic adults.

Aspergers/Autism Network (AANE) offers both free and membership-supported online support groups for adults. Registration is required with a valid email where you will receive a link to join meetings via Zoom. 

AANE also offers many free social events and clubs:

Board game club

Ernie EIs Els Center of Excellence offers online social groups for adults with autism including The Spoken Wheel Society which meets online every other Friday on Zoom to play a chosen game, an adult connections club, and a mental health support group. It also offers virtual recreation classes. has listings of groups for autistic adults, many of which meet virtually.


MyAutismTeam is a social network specifically for parents of individuals with autism.

Aspergers/Autism Network (AANE) provides virtual support groups for parents and one for grandparents:


Sibling Support Project offers both online and local social groups for teenage and adult brothers and sisters of autistic siblings to meet.

Child of autistic parent(s)

Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD based out of Portland, OR is an online Meetup group that hosts events for neurotypical people with a spouse, partner, sibling, parent or grown child who has ASD. Specifically it hosts an event for adults with of ASD parents and grew up in a mixed neurotypical/ASD household.


Aspergers/Autism Network (AANE) offers support groups for neurodiverse couples, partners of autistic individuals and ex-partners of autistic individuals.

By type

Autism Speaks Facebook groups


Adaptive Sports Organizations

Inclusive sports

Spirit Club provides virtual and on-demand classes for people of all abilities.

HOPE Center for the Arts offers virtual art classes for adults with disabilities.

We Care Arts offers virtual art classes and a Facebook group for its artists to connect. 

Faith-based organizations

Support groups

Blue Blessings is Autism Speaks initiative to help faith communities embrace people with autism and those who love them through small changes that can make a big difference. Our free, online guidebook outlines steps to explore with faith leadership to make your place of worship more inclusive.

Yachad is dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish individuals with disabilities and their families, by enhancing their communal participation and their connection to Judaism. Among its offerings are live events online and virtual buddies.

How to start your own support group

Starting an Autism Support/Self-Advocacy Group developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT) of Pennsylvania includes a step-by-step guide to plan, promote and launch a self-advocacy group.

How to Start Your Own Autism Support Group and Community Autism Night is an episode of the Help for Special Educators Podcast hosted by Lisa Goodell, M. A. with tips on how to start and run your own support group.

Learn more

Find a local support group by searching our Resource Guide

Search our Events page for local autism-friendly activitites

Read our Tips to create inclusive sports and recreation activities written by self-advocates.

Join Autism Speaks Walk to unite with autistic people, parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, and providers to unite in friendship and support and to increase autism acceptance.