Autism Spectrum Disorder Resources in San Diego
Help is available! Find easy access to mental health and suicide prevention resources for people with autism in San Diego by using the links provided here. If you or someone you care about is experiencing a suicidal or mental health crisis, please call the Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240. Trained and experienced counselors are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to provide support, referrals, and crisis intervention. You can also call the Access and Crisis Line if you are concerned about someone, just need to talk, have questions about how to offer support, or if you are looking for information about community resources, mental health referrals, and alcohol and drug support services. If emergency medical care is needed, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.
Autism Tree Project Foundation:
Phone: (619) 222-4465
Autism Tree Project Foundation is dedicated to improving communities in San Diego County by assisting with education, advocacy, screening and mentoring for families impacted by autism. ATPF’s Youth Education and Developmental Services coordinates a variety of intensive programs designed to engage youth with autism in a variety of services, aimed at improving their confidence and behaviors, plus improving their social communications. All programs are provided to families at no cost.
The San Diego County Chapter of the Autism Society of America (SDASA):
Phone: (858) 715-0678
The Autism Society of San Diego is dedicated to its mission: Improving the lives of all affected by autism. The chapter provides informational support meetings with timely topics, referrals to local resources, monthly family recreational activities, Camp I CAN (Camp Including Children with Autism Now) and increased public awareness. Chapter membership includes early notification on many events, eligibility for discounts on adaptive swim lessons and Surf Camp for persons with autism, scholarships for conferences and our Autism Action magazine.
San Diego Regional Center:
The San Diego Regional Center provides a variety of services to people with developmental disabilities and their families that are based on individual needs and supports their independence. The San Diego Regional Center advocates for opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities to maximize potential and to experience full inclusion in all areas of community life.
Autism Speaks is an autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism, increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. By visiting the Autism Speaks website, families can learn more about the early signs of autism, treatment, prevalence, as well as helpful resources, services and apps.
The Guide to Securing Life-long Accommodations for Adult Children with Special Needs:
This guide provides parents of adult-dependent children a care plan checklist to prepare in the event they are no longer physically able to look after them. Some factors to consider include general preparation such as involving loved ones for support and keeping the child’s medical history regularly updated as well as finding qualified caregivers and what legal considerations to prepare ahead of time.
When an Autism Diagnosis Comes in Adulthood:
This article by NPR describes the personal stories of three individuals who did not get diagnosed with ASD until they were adults. In their account of their childhood experiences they recall behaviors which may have suggested they were exhibiting characteristics of ASD, but without actual diagnosis they continued, and in some cases struggled, with their development without knowledge of their condition.
Creating a Sensory-Friendly Home for Your Autistic Child:
This website promotes advocacy and provides parents of children with ASD a variety of articles and resources to connect them with the voices of other individuals living with ASD. The article Creating a Sensory-Friendly Home for Your Autistic Child shares tips parents can use to help their children cope with sensory processing issues and suggestions for how to create a safe and comforting home environment.
The Guide to Buying Used Accessible Vehicles:
This article provides insight on what consumers with physical disabilities should look for when purchasing a used vehicle to meet their special needs. Factors to consider when searching for the right vehicle should include the type of modifications that are needed for either the person with the disability or a caregiver, the type of weather conditions year-round and financing options including where to find loans or assistance for wheelchair modifications.
Supporting Individuals on the Autism Spectrum Coping with Grief and Loss through Death or Divorce:
This article from the Indiana Resource Center for Autism explores ways for a caregiver, friend, therapist or family member to help those around them living with ASD cope with the loss of a loved one due to death or divorce. A list of resources on each topic is also provided.
Autism Speaks: Health (PDF):
This guide provides parents of adolescents and young adults living with ASD some insight on how to address basic health needs with their children and their children’s care providers to ensure they receive the proper mental, physical and sexual health guidance they deserve.
Autism NOW: Dating and Relationships:
This site provides information for individuals living with ASD and their loved ones on ways to establish, dissolve or maintain personal relationships including tips on how to succeed as a parent living with disabilities, how to approach a divorce and tips on how to build long-lasting friendships.
Autism NOW: Resources for Learning About Sexuality:
This site provides a list of resources including books, articles and websites on the topic of sexuality. These resources are aimed at those living with ASD as well as their loved ones who may want to initiate a conversation on the topic or may be looking for support to difficult topics.
Financial Planning for Parents of Children with Special Needs
TheSimpleDollar.com’s guide on financial considerations for parenting a child with special needs is a thorough yet easy-to-navigate tool for planning across the child’s lifetime. Parents can access a deep library of content and resources including the newest information on the ABLE act, as well as a financial planning timeline.
Fred Finch CARES
Phone: (858) 444-8823
Fred Finch CARES provides a comprehensive array of services and support for children and their families confronting an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. From in-home counseling to school and clinic-based programs, Fred Finch CARES practitioners are here to help you and your family as you adjust to this diagnosis. In addition, Fred Finch CARES offers evaluation and assessment services.
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