Autism Community Comprehensive Education and Support Service (ACCESS)

— Autism and Your Child: A Guidebook for Parents. [En ESPAGNOL]

This parent-friendly packet of information and resources is designed to assist and support parents of newly-diagnosed children on the autism spectrum as they enter into the service delivery system, confront the often confusing array of therapies and interventions, and seek to meet the conflicting needs of various family members. It will be available in hard-copy and online in both English and Spanish. [click here]

Our Mission

The mission of the Autism Society of Santa Barbara is to improve the lives of all affected by an “autism spectrum disorder”. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people living with autism, advoating for approprate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding support, education, advocacy and an active public awareness. These form the cornerstones of ASA Santa Barbara’s efforts to carry forth it’s mission.

What We Provide

Goal 1 To provide a comprehensive support system for individuals with autism and their families

Objective 1.1 To provide monthly support group meetings highlighting a variety of topics of concern to parents of children with autism.

Objective 1.2 To inform families through our website, direct mailings, and listserve.

Objective 1.3 To host family activities throughout the year.

Objective 1.4 To maintain a central phone system, up-to-date website and email listserve to provide members with prompt answers to their questions.

Objective 1.5 To create a warmline to answer parenting questions and provide resource information for families of children with autism.

Objective 1.6 To provide a centrally located office with regular hours that provides autism information to parents and the public.

Goal 2 To educate the general community and families affected by autism on a variety of topics including, but not limited to, Special Education, services, therapies, legislation and research.

Objective 2.1 To host or cohost an annual conference highlighting speakers on a variety of autism related topics that will educate at least 75 parents and 75 members of the community (teachers, policymakers, etc) in our community.

Objective 2.2 To provide a minimum of 4 educational support group meetings each year. Each meeting will educate at least 15 parents.

Objective 2.3 To educate physicians, educators, and legislators by keeping them informed on the latest autism therapies, research, and legislation affecting the autism community. (ASA-Santa Barbara will achieve this objective by hosting conferences, educational meetings, participating in collaborative roundtables, visiting our legislators, and letter writing and emails.)

Objective 2.4 To sponsor at least one Special Education workshop a year which will educate parents on IEPs and laws relating to Special Education.

Objective 2.5 To train parent mentors on how best to help families with autism.

Objective 2.6 To provide scholarships to families who cannot afford to attend educational workshops or events related to autism.

Goal 3 To advocate for children and adults with autism and autism-related disabilities

Objective 3.1 To visit legislators both locally and statewide to provide information on autism and related disabilities.

Objective 3.2 To provide email alerts to families on local, statewide and federal issues that may affect their family members who have autism.

Objective 3.3 To collaborate with Tri-Counties Regional Center, Family Resource Centers, SELPA, school districts, physicians, policy makers and parents to develop a comprehensive service delivery model for children with autism and related disabilities.

Objective 3.4 To encourage members of ASA-Santa Barbara to be active participants on advisory boards related to Special Education and services related to disabilities.

Objective 3.5 To educate parents and individuals with autism on advocacy services that will assist them in obtaining appropriate services and support from public and private agencies.

Goal 4 To increase awareness about ASA-Santa Barbara, autism and autism-related issues

Objective 4.1 To work with local legislators in proclaiming April as Autism Awareness Month.

Objective 4.2 To write letters to local newspapers and make phone calls to radio stations and television stations about autism related subjects in order to gain media attention.

Objective 4.3 To increase membership of families and professionals in our organization by 25 percent in 2004.

Objective 4.4 To create and distribute a packet of resource information for individuals with autism and their families.

Objective 4.5 To create an advisory board of professionals for our organization.