Mission & Vision

ABOUT the Autism Society

The Autism Society of the Mahoning Valley was founded by local families in 1989 to support families in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for families living with an ASD diagnosis, and to bring about community change and opportunities for individuals working through life with this disability.  Our volunteers are dedicated to accomplishing this through information and referral, family support, advocacy, professional development, raising awareness and resource development. From the newly diagnosed child to the school aged children to the severely disabled autistic adult…ALL of the more than 6,000 families in the tri-county affected by ASD are Autism Society families and receive our help!

What do we really do?  Here’s a typical morning call: A mother is driving home having just received the news that her 3-year-old was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum.  She is scared and sad. She doesn’t know what this means short term or long term for her child. Where to send them to school? What early intervention therapies does he need? How do I get funding for therapies and other services? Are there other mothers I can talk to about this? What do I do RIGHT NOW?

This is where the Autism Society shines. In our role as the autism “bridge organization” we are uniquely driven to work with all of the schools, therapy centers, support groups, community organizations and government agencies to bring together the necessary resources for families.  In addition to direct calls for information and referral, we host educational, awareness activities to shine a spotlight on the many facets of ASD and the issues faced by children, adults with someone one the spectrum.  These include:

  • – Autism family social events and neighbor-to-neighbor support;
  • – Seasonal events like Caring Santa, Caring Bunny and Family Portrait photo sessions;
    • – Collaborative programs like Chuck E. Cheese Sensory Sundays, Sensory Nights at the Oh WOW! Children’s Museum, area libraries and movies;
    • – Resource programs like Community Autism & Disability Resource Fair at Southern Park Mall or at our annual Valley Autism 5K & Walk; and,
    • – Camp F.R.I.E.N.D, our summer day camp, known for welcoming neurotypical peers and creating community immersion for participants. Or New for 2017 Camp FRIEND Family, a week organized with fun family friendly activities that families enjoy with their children with the support of other local autism families