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Autism Welcoming Featured Partner
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Help support families caring for loved ones with autism.
Provide families with information, education, and support. Plan programs and events that will aid those families. Increase public awareness, acceptance, and action around autism.
It all started in a church basement in MetroWest Boston, back in 1993, when a group of six families, all with children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, gathered to try and wrap their heads around their diagnoses. The families supported one another, sharing vital resources including doctors, teachers, and therapies. At that time, rates of autism were believed to be one in every 10,000 births and the internet was not part of everyday lives. Resources surrounding autism were not easily accessible.
The group found great value in the support and guidance they provided one another. Furthermore, they did not want other families repeating the experiences they had already endured. Fueled by this desire to make a difficult path easier for others, they transformed from a small, informal support network into a non-profit organization. The group quickly grew from six members to sixty and became known as The Family Voice. With a shoestring budget granted by the Department of Developmental Services, the volunteer-run organization set up a small office space. They designed programs such as SibShop (for siblings of children with autism), support groups, Sunday gym programs, music programs, newcomers’ packets, and a lending library. In 1998, The Family Voice became The Autism Alliance of MetroWest. The organization partnered with Natick’s Morse Institute Library, which provided a permanent home for the resource center. By 2003, The Autism Alliance had attained official non-profit status and had grown its roster to approximately 300 area families.