We started with a group of parents with one common bond: children with autism. Back in 1997, the diagnosis was only given to about 5 in 10,000. It was clear that those numbers were beginning to increase, but to those parents gathered, it was still isolating, frightening, and largely unknown. Services were nearly non-existent; early intervention was usually difficult to access as the age of diagnosis at that time was usually about the age that children aged out of EI. Support programs were scattered, the Central Massachusetts region was the last region in the state to have a Resource Center funded. Something needed to be done.
With some funding and direction from DDS (then the Department of Mental Retardation), HMEA, Inc., our parent agency set up shop in West Boylston, MA and from the moment the doors were open, families have been welcomed on a daily basis.
Today, the Center supports over 3250 children, adults AND THEIR FAMILIES, and average 6 new families per week into membership.
Membership is free, and all of the programs and events are free or low cost, with all fees collected going right back into supporting our mission. We provide support, information, referral, family activities & events, activities for adults on the spectrum, educational programs for parents & therapeutic programs for children with autism as well as siblings, school vacation events and community partnerships to area businesses.
We are the “Center” of the autism community in Central Massachusetts. Learn more about Autism and the Center by clicking on the menu items to the left, or call us at any time at (508) 835-4278.
The Mission of the Autism Resource Center is to support families with children with autism spectrum disorders, to empower families to raise their children to be full members of their communities and become responsively independent and effectively interdependent, so that they are valued as gifted people and protected from harm.
Meet our team – the Center is staffed by a team of autism experts who are ready and willing to help you and your family.
The Center has a wealth of information about autism spectrum disorders.