Special Report: Asperger's Syndrome Support
Hi, I'm Craig Kendall,
the author of The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide.
I continually have people asking me about Aspergers support groups and resources. So I created a list of current resources both in the U.S. and internationally.
Sites Listing Support
Here are two web sites that I often recommend if
you are trying to find therapists, support groups, counselors or schools in your area. Each of these two
sites is somewhat different but each can be very useful. The first site lists resources separately by state
(for the U.S.) and lists international resources.
U.S. Listings by state are here:
U.S. National organizations:
Yellow Pages for Kids www.yellowpagesforkids.com
Find local Asperger's support groups
If you are looking for a LOCAL interest group or Aspergers support group in your area, this is a
great site to help:
There are many support groups for children, teens and adults with Asperger's. Sometimes, it is easier to try to make friends
with others who have the same neurological difference that you. They understand you without you having
to explain. They don't judge. You can speak the same language. Many Aspie teens find it an enormous
relief to be with other Aspies and find that they can make friends and be social for the first time.
Finding other socially awkward people can be one of the best bets for connecting
with another person. It just works better when you are coming from the same background. There are many
ways to find other Aspies to connect with, both online and off. Here are some of them.
Internet Aspie Communities
Internet Aspie communities can be divided into several different groups.
First, there are the message
boards. Users converge on message boards and talk about every aspect of their lives possible. The
biggest of these sites is www.WrongPlanet.net.
WrongPlanet.net currently has over eight thousand
members registered from all over the world.
The beauty of online Aspie message boards is that the anonymity and the medium makes it much easier to
communicate. Most Aspies have a much easier time writing their thoughts rather than speaking them and
therefore, benefit enormously from online Aspie communities.
People talk about their interests, rehash
social situations that may not have gone so well and ask for advice about them, talk about medical
problems, and ask advice about everything you can imagine. They gain support from knowing they are not
alone, from knowing other people are experiencing the same things they are.
WrongPlanet.net is split into sections like General Autism Discussion, Love and Dating, Friendship and
General Social Interaction, the Haven (for sensitive issues), School and College Life, and Work and
Finding a Job.
There are forums for people's interests, for getting to know each other, for adult
issues, and for women. A current sampling of topics on Wrong Planet at this writing are topics such as
childhood fears, Asperger's resources in San Francisco, problems talking on the phone, crying in public,
depression, feeling like an outcast, and whether or not tell your manager at work that you have AS.
Online discussion groups can give you practical advice and emotional support, and occasionally you even
find someone who lives in your area who can become a friend offline as well as online.
There are also email groups, the most popular of these being Yahoo groups [groups.yahoo.com]. With a Yahoo email group, you
subscribe to a particular group and get emails from other people who have also subscribed. You can read
their messages and reply.
There are an abundance of Yahoo groups on autism spectrum issues – one needs
to only search their website for "autism" or "aspergers" to find them.
Offline Support Groups
There exist several national AS organizations with local chapters that might be able to help.
There is an organization based in Boston called Asperger's Association of New England
[www.aane.org] that runs support
groups for adults with AS all throughout New England. In Boston, they not only have the usual monthly
support groups, but they also have discussion groups, social activity groups, movie nights and all kinds
of other activities for adults with AS.
In New York, there is an organization called GRASP [www.grasp.org], or the Global Regional Aspergers Partnership. GRASP
runs support groups for adults in several different states. They have groups in New York, Long Island,
Philadelphia, Virginia Beach, Denver, and other cities. Each GRASP network is independently run by
someone in one of those cities who decides they want to undertake it, and gets support and guidance from
the New York organization. GRASP even runs a separate group for Orthodox Jewish people in New York.
GRASP runs a group for teens in the New York City area.
Local groups can be found in your area by contacting school counselors, local therapists, or other moms
with kids with Asperger's to inquire.
Many groups are run by local therapists or other clinicians for teens with Asperger's. Your local branch
of the Autism Society of America [www.autism-society.org] might know of some groups in your area. Or, if you can't find one
already there - start your own! Run an ad in the paper or ask the school therapist for help. Also,
search Google for local groups in your area.
National Disabilities Rights Network
According to their web site at www.napas.org
Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the
federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs
(CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest
provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United
Through training and
technical assistance, legal support, and legislative advocacy, the National
Disability Rights Network works to create a society in which people with
disabilities are afforded equality of opportunity and are able to fully participate by
exercising choice and self-determination.
You may want to try this organization if you feel your loved one need help in protecting
their rights under any disability laws.
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Many state universities have a
University Center on Disabilities. You may find help in finding a good therapist, get a
referral for a diagnosis or other help here. The Association of University Centers on Disabilities
can be reached here: www.aucd.org.
For a listing of university based centers in your state, click here:
They also have a great acronym dictionary. Ever get confused by the myriad acronyms thrown
around? Well now there is help!
To find support groups in your country, try searching Google. Previous links that listed
international support organizations are no longer working.
If you are in the U.K. you may want to try contacting National Parent Partnership Network
at www.parentpartnership.org.uk. Parent
Partnership Services (PPS) are statutory services offering information advice and support to
parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs (SEN). PPS are
also able to put parents in touch with other local and national organizations. PPS have a role
in making sure that parents’ views are heard and understood and that these views inform local
policy and practice. PPS are based with a voluntary organization, with the Local Authority (LA)
or Children’s Trust.
Another organization in the UK that can help is the Council for Disabled Children
(CDC). Their site can be reached at
www.ncb.org.uk/cdc/home.aspx. This organization is under the umbrella organization,
National Children's Bureau www.ncb.org.uk.
For those looking for a certified ABA therapist in your area, feel free to check at the The
Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. (BACB®). It is the data base from the National
Applied Behavior Certification Board www.bacb.com.
From the home directory, click on Consumer Information then try clicking on the "Certificant
This is just a small part of the answers you will need to successfully survive and thrive with
Aspergers. If you are looking for additional information immediately, go to the following site:
Note: my newly released book on Aspergers for Teens and Young Adults discusses bullying, anxiety, depression and what to do about it. Click here for more information:
Note: my newly released book on Aspergers for Adults discusses
how to make and keep friends, building relationships, employment, depression and the meaning of
life, therapy options and much more. Click here for more information: