In April, there is a month-long push to educate, spread awareness, raise money for new resources, and uplift the autism community.
This year, autism charities and leading disability organizations nationwide are officially shifting their references of “Autism Awareness Month” to “Autism Acceptance Month” to reflect the growing need for change, inclusivity, and empowerment for those affected by autism.
All year-round, you can celebrate differences within your community by increasing acceptance of people with autism, building a more inclusive society for the marginalized, and supporting the nonprofits that advocate for autistic individuals and their families.
Check out our list of top autism charities that you can support today:
9 Autism Charities You Can Support
1. Autism Society of America
The Autism Society of America (ASA) is one of the driving forces behind the “Celebrate Differences” campaign that shifts April’s month-long focus from promoting ‘awareness’ to advocating for ‘acceptance’ at the national, state, and local levels.
The Autism Society was founded in 1965, making it the nation’s oldest leading grassroots autism organization. It provides a wealth of information and resources for communities to learn, grow, and cultivate inclusivity in everyday life. ASA helps people with autism receive broad support including greater access to education, employment, affordable health care, housing, and long-term services.
Sign up to shop and donate your free cash back to the Autism Society of America.
2. Asperger / Autism Network
Founded in 1996, the Asperger / Autism Network (AANE) is one of the first organizations in the U.S. focusing on Asperger’s, a condition on the autism spectrum which affects an individual’s ability to socialize and communicate.
AANE helps the autism community connect, share everyday experiences, and gain virtual support through numerous online programs and services, such as:
- Support groups (for teens, fathers, women, grandparents, gay men, etc.)
- Workshops for parents of newly diagnosed children
- Social game night, Netflix watch parties, and book clubs for adults
- Skill-building workshops for LifeMAP coaches (coaches for individuals with Asperger profiles)
Consider donating your cash back to the Asperger/Autism Network when shopping online.
3. Autism Science Foundation
The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) is a nonprofit that provides funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations dedicated to autism research.
ASF emphasizes early diagnosis and early intervention, plus funds researchers to provide evidence-based, scientific approaches for improving the quality of life for individuals with autism.
The Foundation supports vaccine safety research and plays a significant role in developing a better understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic affects the autism community.
4. STAR Institute for Sensory Processing
The STAR Institute for Sensory Processing is the foremost resource for treatment, education, and research for children, adolescents, and adults with Sensory Processing Disorder, a condition that affects how the brain processes what we see, hear, touch, taste, or smell; it usually causes people to become overly sensitive to stimuli that other people are not.
At least one in twenty people in the general population may be affected by SPD; the prevalence is higher in children with autism. The STAR Institute helps advance the research, education, and best practices for sensory health and wellness.
Some of their specific efforts include:
- Online education and an SPD-related library of research for parents and caregivers.
- School Readiness Program for ages 3–6 (with funding assistance available).
- Comprehensive Handwriting Assessments and handwriting intervention services.
- Kids’ programs, like Bike Riding Camp and the Superhero in Training Summer Camp.
Consider donating your cash back to support The Star Institute when shopping online.
5. Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism
The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism has helped connect over 10,000 individuals and families to transformative opportunities, from education and employment to social activity and safety tools. Named after former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie’s son, the Heisman Trophy winner and his wife started the autism foundation after their son’s diagnosis at the age of three.
Since 1998, the foundation has helped people with autism live life to the fullest. Some of their programs include:
- Annual scholarships for autistic campers to participate in adaptive summer programs
- Assistive technology grants totaling $450,000 to support enhanced communication
- Cost coverage for tracking devices and other safety equipment to keep 500 kids safe
Shop and donate your cash back to the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.
6. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is an autism advocacy group run by and for individuals on the autism spectrum. ASAN partners with many advocacy groups to fight for the civil rights and human rights of people with autism through healthcare policy-making, education, and research.
The nonprofit has numerous projects and actions, including the Autism Campus Inclusion (ACI) Leadership Academy, which trains autistic college students to cultivate change at their colleges and universities. They also create policy advocacy toolkits for advocates, lawmakers, and professionals to use for enacting systemic change.
Shop and donate your cash back to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network with Giving Assistant.
7. The Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network
The Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN) is a nonproft organization that provides an inclusive community, resources, support, and a safe space for:
- Autistic women and girls
- Trans people of all genders
- Two-Spirit people, and
- All other underrepresented gender groups.
AWN strives to dispel misinformation and stereotypes surrounding an autism diagnosis and provides wide-ranging resources and outlets for their network members, such as:
- #LiberatingWebinars (themes include disability rights, mental health, and self-advocacy)
- Community and financial support through the Autistic People of Color Fund
- Intimate care providers database, offering accessible and sensory-friendly health care
Consider donating your cash back to the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network when shopping online through Giving Assistant.
8. The Color of Autism Foundation
The Color of Autism Foundation is a nonprofit that “connects families to culturally competent support.” The Foundation’s mission centers on ending the stigma of living on the autism spectrum in communities of color and helping African American families avoid late diagnosis or misdiagnosis.
The foundation’s current programming includes:
- Social skills groups to help children build relationships and increase independence
- Free Parent Training to use for advocating services for their child
- Community program pairing law enforcement with teens and young adults on the spectrum
- Social justice training and advocacy, from youth peer support to conducting town halls
Sign up to earn and donate your cash back to the Color of Autism Foundation.
9. Neuro Diverse Living
Neuro Diverse Living (NDL) is a supportive living housing organization on a mission to become the #1 provider of community-based, adaptive housing for adults with autism in Pennsylvania. Founded in 2019, Jim and Nancy Richardson started the nonprofit because their son with autism did not have many independent housing options.
NDL spreads awareness of the housing crisis affecting adults with autism and has plans to build its first community of neuro-inclusive, smart homes by 2030, complete with an advanced medical unit and memory care center providing comprehensive preventive and social support services for adults with autism and other intellectual developmental disabilities.
Consider donating your free cash back to Neuro Diverse Living as you shop with Giving Assistant.
Shop to Give: How You Can Help Autism Organizations
You can stand alongside the autism community this month and year-round by spreading awareness, supporting an autism-friendly business, promoting inclusivity, and donating to an autism charity that funds research or provides resources directly to people with autism.
Shopping with Giving Assistant not only helps you save money, but you can also earn cash back on your purchases that you can donate directly to the autism nonprofit of your choice.
Learn more about how Giving Assistant helps nonprofits and how you can start racking up cash back at thousands of your favorite brands to pay forward and make a difference.
If you haven’t already, you can install our free Giving Assistant Button on your browser to start finding the best online deals, earning cash back, and applying the latest coupon codes to your purchases automatically—it’s a win-win for everyone!