When a child is born, every parent counts their tiny fingers and toes and sighs with relief that they have a healthy baby.  Every wellness visit at the pediatrician’s office checks off milestones, and you dream of what your child will be some day with the endless possibilities we all dream for our children.

But that dream begins to unravel when your child misses certain milestones – he isn’t talking, she isn’t pointing, he doesn’t make eye contact or play well with other children – what’s happening?  And then you are told your child has autism – a developmental disability that impacts some 1:68 children and is a “spectrum” ranging from mild to severe – and that you may never hear the words “I love you” from her voice, he may not ever want your hugs, she may not attend her prom, and that he may never marry.  Your heart and your dreams are shattered.

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) was founded in 1987 by parents who were given that diagnosis and had nowhere to turn.  They started a support group of parents to share information, to advocate for their children, and many times, to share their tears.  That all-volunteer parent network today is a thriving non-profit that supports families living that journey right here in the Greater Akron community.

True to our founding heritage, ASGA still offers support groups, but has grown to provide other critical support for our community including:
  • “Help Line,” providing support and information to local resources
  • Advocacy at every level of government
  • Educational workshops for caregivers and individuals on the autism spectrum
  • Inclusive activities that bring families together
  • Skill enhancement, such as water safety, biking, and educational/social programs
  • Training in the characteristics of autism for first responders, public agencies, court personnel, medical professionals, etc., to create a better understanding and acceptance of autism.
Having a child with a disability takes a true circle of support – teachers, doctors, therapists, family, friends, neighbors – so parents have hope that someday, their child can lead the best life possible. That while it may be a new dream, they will live with respect and dignity that includes working, friends, and even for some, marriage.

The Autism Society of Greater Akron is part of that circle of support and when you support us, you’re supporting those dreams. 

Thank you for being a part of that circle, too.

The Autism Society of Greater Akron, a health and humanitarian organization, is an affiliate of the national organization of the Autism Society of America and works locally to achieve its mission to improve the lives of all affected by autism.  ASGA serves Summit, Medina, Stark, Portage and Wayne counties.  ASGA is a separate 501c3 and has a local governing board. All money raised here stays here and is tax deductible.