The State of New Jersey offers numerous resources for families with children diagnosed with autism. This comprehensive guide will help you find the best autism programs, support groups, and other useful resources near you.
The Arc of New Jersey
The Arc of New Jersey serves children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism. The organization offers a wide range of programs, support, and training for family members. It also advocates for quality health care for individuals with special needs.
Family Support Organization
The Family Support Organization of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (NJDCF) provides support for families of children with emotional and/or behavioral challenges. This nonprofit organization helps families find information on workshops, forums, advocacy, and access other services free of charge.
Part of the New Jersey Children’s System of Care, Bergen’s Promise is a community-based care management service for children with serious behavioral health or developmental issues and their families. The organization focuses on prevention and early intervention by providing young people with the care they need in order to remain physically and emotionally safe in their environment.
Parents of Autistic Children (POAC)
POAC is a nonprofit organization that offers a wide range of activities for the autism community, for example, parent and educator training, recreational and support services, and training for police and first responders working with children and adults with autism. In addition, POAC supports and promotes legislative issues that impact individuals with autism and their families.
Sunny Days Sunshine Center
Sunny Days Sunshine Center serves children who are experiencing challenges with learning, speech-language, social skills, sensory processing, and/or motor development. They offer individual and group therapy, community-based activities, and at-home treatment sessions. Other services include social skills classes, mini camps, parent training , support groups, counseling, and more.
Edu Music Inc
Edu Music Inc is a bilingual English-Spanish, multicultural music and movement program for children of all ages and abilities, whether they are neurotypical or have special needs. The program combines different aspects of physical, occupational, and speech exercises through music and dance. Music Instruments are also used to help children develop physical, emotional, and social skills.
Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Southern New Jersey
The Jewish Family & Children’s Services offers a Special Needs Program for children with disabilities by providing affordable, quality services. The program consists of enrichment day activities, social and recreational events, as well as training for young people with disabilities that will help them achieve their full potential and lead independent lives.
ASPEN is a national volunteer nonprofit organization with headquarters in New Jersey. It provides children with autism and their families assistance with the issues surrounding the disorder, support, and advocacy when it comes to educational programs, medical research funding, and increased public awareness and understanding.
South Jersey Jewish Abilities Alliance
The South Jersey Jewish Abilities Alliance (JAA) is the Cherry Hill Jewish community network. It provides services, support groups, workshops, and recreational programs to members with disabilities and their families. The organization offers resources to assist with everything from early identification and behavior management to special education, health services, financial resources and benefits, housing, and legal matters.
FACES 4 Autism
FACES 4 Autism is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education and support of children with autism and their parents. It is a central point of resources and information on autism for families and educators in the South Jersey area.
Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG)
The Egg Harbor District Special Education Parent Advisory Group is a state-mandated, parent group that allows families of children with special needs to provide direct input to their school district about different policies, programs, practices, and services.
Continuum Associates addresses the needs of children and adults with behavioral disorders and other developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder. Continuum provides care and treatment both at home, in the community, and/or school setting, under the supervision of their professional Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs), and behavior technicians. Programs include a variety of social skills groups where individuals with disabilities can practice social interaction.
Positive Development offers personalized developmental therapy to individuals with autism and related disabilities throughout New Jersey. Treatments are based on developmental relationship-based interventions (DRBI) rather than behavioral-based approaches. This comprehensive developmental therapy treats children with autism holistically and includes occupational therapy, speech therapy, and mental health therapy as part of the intervention process.
VRCaPS is a counseling and psychological service dedicated to training parents and caretakers of young children with autism in the Jersey City area. The organization aims to educate parents whose children are newly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder about the condition, in addition to providing a variety of resources and information.
Jersey City Special Needs Program
The Jersey City Department of Recreation offers a range of programs for residents with special needs. These programs give participants many opportunities to socialize with their peers while engaging in fun recreational activities.
The Project GLAD Summer Camp is held for Jersey City residents between the ages of 7 and 22 every year. Activities include swimming, arts and crafts, dance classes, outdoor sports, physical education, and field trips.
WAR Ministry Corporation
WAR Ministry Corporation is a nonprofit organization that provides services for children and adults with autism and other disabilities, including behavioral assistance, support services, respite care, social work, music therapy, early childhood intervention, and more.
Newark Autism Parent Support
Newark Autism Parent Support is a Facebook group created by parents of newly diagnosed autistic children. The purpose of the group is to share information and best practices, as well as to encourage families in all stages of their children’s lives.
Youth Consultation Service (YCS)
Youth Consultation Service is a private, nonprofit behavioral health agency that provides psycho-therapeutic and psychiatric treatment for young people with autism and other complex special needs. Services also include crisis intervention, foster care, and treatment home placements, and a variety of in-home and residential youth programs. YCS operates two special education schools for students with special needs, including autism.
New Bridges Restart Plan
The New Bridges Restart Plan program serves students ages 14-21 in the Bergen County Special Services School District. The program uses the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) to help students transition successfully into adulthood. In addition, New Bridges offers a wide variety of support and services determined by the Individualized Education Program (IEP), for example, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and job coaching.
Paramus Public Schools Special Services Autism Program
The Department of Student Personnel Services serves children with special needs and their parents through individual special education programs. The Autism Program, based on the principles of ABA therapy, focuses on teaching academic skills, language skills, play and social skills, and vocational skills to students from preschool through high school.
Every Piece Counts
Every Piece Counts is an ABA therapy clinic dedicated to helping children with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities improve their academic and social skills. The EPC offers clinic-based and home-based ABA therapy programs for young children with autism.
Passaic New Jersey Autism
The Passaic Police Department assists individuals who pose elopement or wandering risks and those who have communication challenges. Their website lists useful resources for parents of children diagnosed with autism.
Passaic Autism Support Group
The Passaic Autism Support Group gets together on the fourth Friday of each month to discuss and share their experiences when it comes to raising children with autism. The group also provides information on autism workshops, conferences, and other events.
PassaicResourceNet.org lists autism-related resources for Passaic County families, such as therapy services, associations, support groups, and more.
The Trenton Public Schools Department of Special Education and Services develops educational programs and services for children with special needs, including autism. The department is responsible for ensuring that students receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
NJ Autism Warriors
The NJ Autism Warriors Facebook Page is the POAC online support group where parents of autistic children can meet and exchange experiences. This is also the official POAC event group that has many opportunities for children with autism and their families to get together and support each other.
Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ)
The Disability Rights New Jersey is a private, nonprofit organization that advocates for the human, civil, and legal rights of New Jersey residents with disabilities and promotes public awareness and recognition. The organization also provides advice to families of disabled individuals through referral, technical assistance and training, legal and non-legal advocacy, outreach, and education.