Autism and Teaching

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What are three organizations that provide information about autism?  Which organizations can help teachers and parents of children with autism?

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There are a large number of websites, including those based in the United Kingdom, that provide useful information on autism and ways to educate children who fall on the autism spectrum.  Three particularly useful online resources, though are listed below:

The first, and most useful online website that provides information on autism and links to additional sources of information is sponsored by the Autism Society, founded in 1965 by a physician with autistic children, the Society’s website is very user-friendly and includes a great deal of information on autism and how to help those diagnosed with this disorder.  It’s main URL address is, but a direct link to the Society’s page oriented specifically to providing guidance to teachers and parents of children with autism is  The Autism Society has forged and maintains links with local autism organizations around the United States, and its website includes a portal through which to link to organizations in one’s own community that can provide additional assistance.

Another online site particularly useful is maintained by the organization Autism Speaks, the URL for which is  Autism Speaks, as is common with nongovernmental organizations active in a particular area, was founded and is operated by the parents of children with autism who are particularly sensitive to the special needs of children with this mental disorder.  As with the Autism Society, Autism Speaks is active in lobbying Congress on the issues of concern to families with autistic children while providing information useful to those families on how to reach local services, how to identify characteristics of autism, and how to provide for these children’s educational needs.  A much newer organization that the Society, Autism Speaks advocates on behalf of autistic children and adults.

The American Psychological Assocation (APA) maintains on its website at useful information on the diagnosis and treatment of autism, with particularly useful input from educators, as well as health care professionals.  Its direct link for autism-related information is at  While the other websites include considerable input from professionals in the field of mental disorders, the APA is a professional organization representing mental health practitioners.  As such, its website is less oriented towards the day-to-day needs of families and teachers, but provides very useful information on the diagnosis and treatment of autism that is beneficial to teachers seeking informed, scientifically-based background on autism.

Finally, it would be remiss to not include in a discussion of online resources on autism the U.S. Government’s National Institute of Mental Health website at  Of particular interest is the NIMH’s linkage to information for families of children with autism.  Its “What is autism spectrum disorder” section provides all the information the average teacher would need to understand the disorder.

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