Contribution from freelance writer Lucy Wyndham
Every once in a while, the Leka Team is happy to welcome external contributors and share their food for thoughts. This post has been written by Lucy Wyndham whose husband is on the spectrum.
Autism is a relatively new diagnosis, as it was coined as late as 1911. It was initially used as an umbrella term for children who had emotional issues, but has since evolved to describe a specific set of symptoms. Families of children with autism often search for outreach programs, as the issue is often overwhelming. These children need extra assistance, which often comes in the form of government or charitable resources.
This program is part of a nonprofit organization which helps increase family access to treatments for the issue. Their goal is to bring needy families to treatment by providing information, monetary assistance, and referrals. The group provides for families across America, and accepts government funding toward researching treatments.
Asperger/Autism Network (AANE)
This group has been granted money from the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for children and adults in New England who are on the autism spectrum. While the aforementioned foundation only covers New England, the group does offer different assistance programs for people across the country. Support groups, life mapping, grants for families, and more are found under the "Children" tab of the website.
Chrysalis Fund, Inc.
This fund began in 2016 to give children with autism better resources in schools. The group gives public schools funding to increase the learning environment for autistic children, and helps parents pay for school programs. They help parents find grants to help autistic children finish school successfully. They operate on government grants as well as private donations.
Joey’s Fund Family Grant Program
Joey’s Fund helps gather grant applications for families in New England who need financial help caring for autistic family members. There are up to $3,000 available through the fund. The money must be used to improve the life or education of a person on the autism spectrum.
United Healthcare Children’s Foundation
This organization supports a child’s right to access the best health-related services possible. The goal is to increase the quality of life for children by covering services that may not be covered by other types of insurance. This support comes in the form of medical grants that are used specifically for medical care. However, when the cost of medical care becomes overwhelming, this foundation will step in to try to help ease the cost that traditional insurance misses.
One of the most unique non-profits for autism is Modest Needs. They aim to provide financial assistance to families in short-term crisis, lessen burdens on government agencies caring for indigent individuals by helping families avoid poverty, and promote compassion for those on the autism spectrum. Their efforts are parroted by other organizations, but are rarely attempted in this one-of-a-kind combination. They work with individuals, families, government agencies, and communities to improve the lives of those on the spectrum.