Information & Referral

Our staff works collaboratively with families, health professionals, public agencies, the media, public and private schools, and the general public to provide support and provide reliable and accurate information about autism and its related issues. We can assist with understanding school choices, therapy providers, county services and more. We are often the first call for a family to  find an assessment provider and then continue to help them through options. 

We are reachable at 330.333.9609 and through our email at ​

“Thank you so much! I always know where to go when I need information!” - C.B. of Youngstown, OH

Family Outings

Every month we gather at different locations in the Mahoning Valley for fun and friendship. These 1.5 hours outings are family-oriented so often siblings are invited and parents can engage with their child or just enjoy time with other adults. Outings are staffed by teachers or behavioral support professionals to facilitate with parental support. Activities have included swimming, bowling, playground visits, trampoline parks, animal parks, OH Wow and more! Updates on the latest events are available on our Facebook page.  

Special thanks to the Hussman Foundation for the grant funding to support these events.

Social Connections

Social Connections provide opportunities for teens and young adults to socialize, form friendships and address general issues of interest to them all in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. The mission is for individuals who have minimal support needs to create lasting friendships within and beyond our group.  

The two age-specific groups are facilitated by an autism intervention specialist, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and others to empower our Autistic community towards developing confidence and ease in social situations. Click here for program details. 

Special thanks to the Youngstown Marathon for funding to support these events.

Coffee, Tea and Autism

This monthly support group provides an informal forum for discussion and information sharing among anyone impacted by autism for families and caregivers of people with autism spectrum disorders. The group is led by parents who have first-hand knowledge of living the autism journey and have completed their training in active listening skills, group dynamics and accessing resources.  

Mom’s Night Out

This monthly informal gathering for mothers and maternal caregivers to share ideas and experiences, talk about autism or just enjoy talking with other great women who get it.  Meets the first Wednesday at a different cafe and attendees are  responsible for their own purchases.

Dad’s Night Out

Join other Dads, grandfathers, and male caregivers for a fun, casual and welcoming night away with others who “get it.” This quarterly gathering moves to different breweries, sporting events and gaming locations. It opens the door for networking, community building and just plain chilling. ASMV provides some snacks – drinks are on you.

Camp F.R.I.E.N.D.

(Finding Rewards in Every New Day)

Our annual inclusive day camp is dedicated to offering an inclusive, “right of passage” day camp experience for individuals with autism and their compassionate, neurotypical friends. Programmed over over two weeks include all the activities children enjoy about summer camp but include the added bonus of an autism-qualified staff that is fully equipped to supportively manage the unpredictable behaviors that are part of living with this type of diagnosis

Teacher Mini Grants

These monetary gifts are presented annually to show appreciation and support for the special needs teachers in the Mahoning Valley to help them expand the student accommodations in their classroom.  Awards are given in three denominations, $500, $250 and $100 to applicants from public and private schools in Mahoning, Trumbull or Columbiana counties.  The selection committee made up of educators, community members, parents and ASMV Board Members meet each August to review the applications and present the winners as art of back to school events.

“Receiving one of the mini grants allowed our 5th and 6th grade classroom to create the Potter Perk, a student operated coffee shop.

This opportunity provided a chance for developing communication skills, real life learning in math, reading and social skills. The students immersed themselves into their school community which gave them invaluable experiences with not only the adults but with creating long lasting relationships with their peers within the building. We are so very grateful for the opportunity the Autism Society of Mahoning Valley provided to our students.”

Jennifer Galanis , Intervention Specialist, East Liverpool City Schools 

Holiday Mini Grants

This grant was created to support children and adults living with an autism diagnosis and their families in Mahoning, Trumbull or Columbiana counties during the December holidays. A focus of this project is to serve individuals and families that might not otherwise qualify for existing support systems. The grants are up to $500 and the application cycle runs through November 15.  Grants in the form of fulfilled gift wishlists are presented at a holiday party in December.

Special thanks to the the Annual Mike Hull Memorial Poker Run for Autism for granting funding to support this event.

“My son Kaige loves his ride on Tigger that he received as part of the mini grant. My family and I had a great time watching all of the children's faces light up at the party when they were opening up their gifts. We truly appreciate this!” R.W. of Youngstown, OH Recipient 2021

Family Portraits

Children and adults living with autism are challenged to comply with the requirements of studio photography. Harsh lights, tight schedules, and unwavering photographers deter families from attempting this standard family ritual. Each fall we address this issue by offering a morning of sittings with welcoming professional photographers at a historically signifiant Mahoning, Trumbull, or Columbiana location. Participating families receive a FREE sitting, a best choice edited 5×7, and the remaining professional images for unrestricted personal use and reproduction.

Special Bunny & Special Santa

These inclusive annual events are dedicated to making sure that families with children with special needs have the opportunity to enjoy seasonal  traditions. Steps are taken to reduce sensory triggers, creating a more comforting environment for the children’s magical visit with the

Bunny or Santa. Taking place at the Eastwood Mall in Niles, the celebrations include arts and crafts, games to play, train rides, and often feature therapy annimals. Each family receives a goodie bag and complimentary 5×7 family photo to take home.

Special thanks to the Cafaro Foundation for granting funding to support this event.

Community Experiences

Beyond our direct programs and events, we assist and partner on events and opportunities throughout the Mahoning Valley.  From the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, to On Target, to our friends at  AATAP – Autism Awareness Training and Acceptance Program.  We are interested in partnering with others to create more community experiences and inclusion for our families.

Sophia's Gift

Autism Society of Mahoning Valley addresses the pressing concerns of special needs parents through the Sophia’s Gift Project, supporting financial, legal, and end-of-life planning. Inspired by a local single dad’s struggle, the project offers free family workshops led by attorneys each fall, guiding parents on STABLE accounts, legal guardianship, and setting up trusts. The Sophia’s Gift Family Planning Grant provides life planning at no or reduced cost. Funded by a successful Wine & Chocolate Dinner, the Sophia’s Gift Emergency Fund launches in Summer 2025, offering immediate assistance for catastrophic needs.