What Can The Future Look Like For People With Autism?

For 18 years, NEXT for AUTISM has been transforming the national landscape of services for people with autism by strategically designing, launching, and supporting innovative programs. We believe that individuals with autism have the potential to live fulfilling, productive lives when supported by excellent services and connected to their communities. We continually ask, what’s next for people on the autism spectrum?

While many organizations engage in advocacy or fund scientific research, NEXT For AUTISM addresses the needs of people with autism and their families across the country right now. We create and support exceptional educational, clinical, and vocational programs, all cutting-edge, all with an eye towards affecting fundamental shifts in current approaches to autism services.

The autism community is very diverse and represents families and individuals with often highly different experiences. Our challenge and goal have always been to find a common purpose while understanding and respecting each perspective.

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 Where/How does NEXT for AUTISM provide support across the country? 

NEXT for AUTISM has worked with organizations across the country to promote access to effective services and supports that promote high-quality life. We have supported more than fifty organizations across dozens of states. These monies are restricted solely for services and supports to meet the needs of people on the spectrum. See a list of our collaborative partners across the country here.

I am an adult who thinks I might have autism. How can I get diagnosed?

Accessing diagnostic resources for adults continues to be challenging. Typically, psychologists or psychiatrists diagnose autism; finding one with experience in adult diagnosis of autism is essential. Connecting with local advocacy organizations such as the GRASP and the Autism Society can help; individuals in these groups will be aware of additional local resources in your community. 

What is NEXT for AUTISM’s position on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

ABA Is a common therapy that can improve social, communication, and learning skills. ABA has been the topic of debate in recent years. But much of this controversy stems from the way ABA used to be done. NEXT for AUTISM participates in the conversations about ABA treatment and the issues raised by members of the autistic community. We value gathering additional perspectives, please contact us at info@nextforautism.org.  ABA, like all health fields, continues to transform as additional research evolves. NEXT for AUTISM supports multiple methodologies, always seeking the best, most innovative practices that improve quality of life. 

Does NEXT for AUTISM have board members and employees with autism?

NEXT for AUTISM has a diverse group of advisors in our community and on our board, including many autistic voices.  We are always seeking to expand our community and add additional voices.  Earlier this year, we expanded our Advisory Board to include much more representation from the autism community, and have committed to including more autistic board members in the future. 

I have an adult child with autism. They are having difficulty finding employment. What can I do to help them?

Unemployment and underemployment continue to be a pressing issue for autistic adults. NEXT for AUTISM has dedicated resources on this topic that can be found here.

Does NEXT for AUTISM partner with Autism Speaks?

NEXT partners with and funds a variety of organizations across the country to fulfill our mission of expanding access to programs and services. Our partnerships with groups such as Autism Speaks have been limited exclusively to that mission. We are not currently engaged with Autism Speaks. 

In 2008, NEXT for AUTISM co-founded Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism, a consortium of more than 16 autism organizations including Easter Seals, SARRC, OAR and Autism Speaks to name a few, with the goal of setting the national public policy agenda.  NEXT will continue to participate in policy change until people with autism are fully integrated into society.

In 2017, we supported an information line for the autism community, a robust database of services hosted by Autism Speaks that provides information by region.

There has been a lot of controversy about curing autism. Where does NEXT for AUTISM stand on this issue? 

NEXT for AUTISM is focused on services and supports. We do not believe autism is something to be prevented or cured. NEXT for AUTISM provides no funding or support for research into the cause or cure of autism. All monies raised are for services and supports.

NEXT for AUTISM does not support Eugenics.

Have a question we didn’t answer?  Write us at info@nextforautism.org, and we will gladly set up a time to connect.