Global Autism Public Health Initiative (GAPH)

Serving the world’s autism community

Through our Global Autism Public Health program, we work with people who have autism, their advocates and governments in more than 70 countries.

Our goals

  • To deliver practical, culturally appropriate services that improve lives
  • To understand the global issues surrounding autism

GAPH initiatives

Awareness and acceptance

We work with our global partners to address the stigma and misunderstanding that still surround autism in much of the world. In some communities, for example, autism is associated with bad parenting or even evil spirits.

Service delivery

We help deliver urgently needed services to underserved communities in North America and globally.

This includes the development, cultural adaptation and local testing of the World Health Organization’s Caregiver Skills Training program.

We also support the development of practical and affordable autism screening and diagnostic methods.


We support research that measures autism prevalence and impact in U.S. communities and around the world. This information provides guidance for government policies and funding for services and research.

Public policy and research

We help ensure that people with autism have a voice in government policies and research priorities around the world.   

  • United Nations missions from every continent have joined us in adopting UN resolutions that commit the world’s governments to meeting the needs of people with autism.
  • Our annual Autism Advocacy Leadership Network brings together advocates and government ministers from over 40 countries to advance autism services and human rights. 
  • Our annual World Focus on Autism event draws a powerful network of First Spouses and other dignitaries to support autism programs worldwide.

Through these global programs, Autism Speaks is transforming tens of millions of lives.