April is Autism Awareness Month worldwide to help spread awareness and understanding for autism. Of course, the reality is that showing compassion and helping those who identify with autism, asperger’s, or on the spectrum, and their families, get necessary support is something to do every month. Thankfully, there is more than one autism womens network available to help females who researchers have found often camoflauge or hide their symptoms. Here are a few of those organizations.
Autistic Women’s Association
On Facebook, find a private group specifically for females on the autism spectrum. Whether self-diagnosed or by a professional, the Autistic Women’s Association is a place to find connection, resources, ask questions, and read discussions.
All you need is a valid email to apply to be in the group and the admins there post that they don’t save or sold emails; it’s simply a way to enter you into the group. To date, there are more than 3,000 women in this online autism womens network.
Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN)
The name Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network is new; the organization’s original name is Austism Womens Network. The in-depth support and resources available there include:
- Blog posts that are educational, political, and stir important conversations
- A list of gynecologists and other providers of intimate care positively rated by autistic participants of AWN’s health care survey. It is US-based only
- Volunteer opportunities
This supportive community is for those who identify as females or:
- Formerly identified as women or girls
- All other marginalized genders
- No gender
The above list and AWN’s name change show the organization’s inclusive nature. The term “women” in autism womens network includes more than only females and I appreciate that. Gender identity is a popular topic these days, yes, but more importantly it’s a reality for many people.
Also, families of females who are on the spectrum may find AWN’s book What Every Autistic Girl Wishes Her Parents Knew to be a valuable read.
At Autism Empowerment, you’ll find a list of support groups. The two organizations mentioned above made the list; it’s great to see Autism Empowerment promoting other autism womens network services for a bigger potential impact than alone. There’s even an email address on that page where you can submit another organization for consideration to be on the list.
What I really like about Autism Empowerment is that everyone on their Board of Directors is on the autistic spectrum or has a relative who’s on it. The knowledge and understanding that comes with that can truly benefit how they run this particular autism womens network. Another great attribute of this nonprofit, in my opinion, is that its services and programs are designed to empower females and improve their lives in some way.
Autism Empowerment began in 2011 in Vancouver, Washington. It is volunteer-based. If you are in the Washington area, consider signing up for one of their programs, such as Autism and Scouting. Alternatively, volunteer opportunities are available. They also offer training to local organizations.
Right Click for Women and Girls Program
For online support, females can access the Right Click for Women and Girls for free. Sign up there for log-in details so you can then access their materials whenever you want to do so.
Right Click for Women and Girls is a support resource that simultaniously encourages its users and provides information. As well as being useful for females on the spectrum, the info there might also provide value to parents, other relatives, and those who care for them to access. With more learning and understanding, better support can happen.
All of this is online; funding is through the Scottish Strategy for Autism. It is a positive, welcoming space too.
Right Click even provides users access to presentations by autistic women, including Lana Grant and Sarah Hendrickx. When I learned that part in particular you know I was happy because I love when females inspire females!
Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN)
Advancing the rights of the autistic community is key to the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN). While not specifically an autism womens network as it’s for all people on the spectrum, I still want to include it here as a resource.
For example, if you are thinking about becoming a self-advocate, ASAN offers leadership training for that. Also great is that this nonprofit looks at how to change policy for the better, puts motions forward to do so, provides reports and other learning resources, and more.
Autism Womens Network: Others Resources to Include?
Are any of the organizations here new to you? Or, do you have other female-centric services to add to the list?