Resource Guide For Severe Autism Information And Education

Children and young adults with low-functioning or severe autism experience intense challenges.

Many individuals with severe autism suffer from the following:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Sensory sensitivities
  • Social challenges
  • Communication difficulties
  • Behaviors such as self-injury, aggression, spinning, rocking, or flapping

Successfully care for your loved one with severe autism, and improve his or her quality of life and independence when you utilize several helpful resources.

General Resources For Severe Autism Information

To address your loved one’s physical, sensory and other needs, consider practical resources.

These can help facilitate stronger communication and management of sensory challenges, as well as address physical health issues. Several of these resources also support you as a family member and/or caregiver.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

With self-expression tools, your severely autistic child can communicate even if he or she is nonverbal.

Access alternative and augmentative communication tools, such as speech therapy, sign language, spelling boards, keyboards, and speech-generating devices, through ASHA.

Autism Society

Find support, referrals, and advocates through the Autism Society.

You can also attend the national conference and make connections with thousands of others who also care for, or teach, individuals with severe autism.

Autism Speaks

Autism is complicated and affects every person differently.

Discover resources at Autism Speaks that help you understand the way autism affects your child and then meet his or her needs.


Receive education and training with resources from CA (formerly Commonwealth Autism).

This organization also provides everyday support for individuals and families like yours who are affected by autism.

National Autism Resources

Fidget toys, weighted blankets, chewy tubes, and noise reduction earmuffs are a few of many beneficial and therapeutic objects a person with severe autism may use. These objects meet sensory needs, promote self-soothing, and modify behavior.

Professionals like teachers and speech therapists may also recommend additional tools from National Autism Resources that you can access when your child feels excited, upset, or agitated at home, at school, or in the community.

Virginia Association of Community Services Boards

Receive support for your child and your family through VACSB.

You can also share the website with curious family members and friends so they can learn more about autism and how to support your family.

Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

For early intervention for your toddler, ongoing family support, and health insurance, turn to the resources offered through the DBHDS.

Educational & Learning Resources for Those with Severe Autism

Although people with severe autism may have a low IQ, mutism, and/or behavioral challenges, they can achieve an education in the right academic setting. That education then equips them for additional training and employment.

TTAC Online

Connect with web-based resources and other families as you improve the education your child receives from birth to age 22.

In addition to educational resources, find disability information, local events, and online training related to educational needs.

Virginia Department of Education

For specific information about the special education services offered to people with autism, turn to this website. You can also find resources here to resolve educational disputes, if necessary.

U.S. Department of Education

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) guides the instruction your child receives in the classroom. It provides strategies and tools that help your child communicate, develop appropriate social behaviors, and learn to function in the classroom and in society.

Become an IEP expert with assistance from the Department of Education.

Career & Employment Resources for Those with Severe Autism

Anyone with severe autism can live a productive and meaningful life with adequate career and employment assistance.

Vocational training in school and when your child reaches young adulthood can provide instructional and behavioral supports that hone one’s skills and lay the foundation for him or her to transition to the workforce.

VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC)

The VCU RRTC develops and promotes employment for people with autism and physical or other disabilities.

Use this website to find hiring and retention resources and information about employment practices.

Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

People with all levels of disability can find a job and keep gainful employment.

Use resources from VDARS for vocational training, job placement, and other employment assistance that benefits those with severe autism.

Relationship Management for Those with Severe Autism

Help your child enjoy fulfilling, meaningful relationships with family and friends. These relationships can provide a social outlet and enrichment.

Administration for Community Living (ACL) Support to Caregivers

Find respite services and view webinars, training, and videos that support you as you provide care for your child with severe autism.

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center

Learn more about respite care and find competent and trained respite providers.

The Arc

Connect with other families so you don’t feel as alone while caring for your child with severe autism.

The ARC also offers helpful resources that equip you to advocate for your child and plan for the future.

Access Helpful Resources For Severe Autism

Caring for a loved one with severe autism challenges you in many ways.

Find beneficial help with these resources. They assist you in improving the quality of life your child experiences as you undergo this everyday, lifelong adventure.

To learn more about how to live with autism or for information on supporting someone with severe autism, contact us.

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