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These autism resources provide needed freebies and help for autistic children or adults (and their families). If you have a loved one with an autism diagnosis, we hope that this information will help you!
Since many people with autism are also diagnosed with other related conditions, we’ve tried to include as many resources as possible in this list. Be sure to read the qualification requirements for each agency!
Financial Help for Autistic Individuals & Their Families
Living with autism can be expensive. If you need financial assistance, these agencies may be able to help!
Autism Care Today
This organization administers several helpful programs, including an SOS Grant program for applicants who may be in physical jeopardy if help is not found immediately.
As of April 2019, the program has been temporarily suspended. Please check their website for updates regarding when funding will resume.
Families who need assistance with medication, autism diagnosis/evaluation, therapy sessions or autism summer camps may be able to get help. Anyone in the US who has a child diagnosed with autism and who earns less than $75,000 can apply. More info here.
Different Needz Foundation
This agency provides help for autistic people and others living with a developmental disability. They help people afford necessary equipment and medical services.
Doug Flutie Foundation for Autism
Families affected by autism can get help from this organization! The Flutie Foundation offers direct family support grants of up to $2,000, in addition to other programs designed to help autistic children and families.
First Hand Foundation
The First Hand Foundation provides financial assistance for children with specific needs. They assist with treatment, equipment, displacement, and vehicle modifications. There is a maximum of one award per year and up to three awards per child.
For Kids Foundation
In Northern Nevada, the For Kids Foundation can assist with unmet medical, dental, mental health or educational needs. Apply here.
Philadelphia-area families with disabled children may receive assistance from Fred’s Footsteps. They provide up to $10,000 to assist with the financial burden. In order to receive assistance, you must work with a social worker who will help you complete the application.
Friends of Jacob
In Michigan, you can receive up to $3,000 in financial assistance from Friends of Jacob. The funds are paid directly to a service provider.
Friends of Man
If you live in Colorado, you need to know about this agency and their help for autistic individuals. You’ll need a professional (health care, social worker, clergy, counselor, teacher, etc) to reach out to the organization on your behalf. Friends of Man may help with medical needs, durable medical equipment, food, vehicle modifications and more.
Giving Angels Foundation
This agency serves low income families with a physically disabled child. The Giving Angels Foundation provides up to $500 in one-time grants available to assist with medical supplies, family bills, specialized camps or even therapeutic toys.
Humanitarian Foundation Grottoes of North America
HF Grotto provides dental expense assistance for children with intellectual disabilities. They act as a secondary carrier if you have insurance, or a primary carrier if you don’t.
Hannah’s Helping Hands Grants
This agency provides quality of life grants for families with special needs children who live in Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York. Hannah’s Helping Hands may provide funding for swim lessons, bikes and other autism resources.
June Brandy Foundation
The June Brandy Foundation provides assistance to families with special needs children.
Maggie Welby Foundation
This foundation provides grants to help families pay their bills, participate in athletic opportunities, meet medical care expenses and more. You must complete an application and write an essay to apply. Maggie Welby Foundation grants are awarded in July and December.
This agency provides two grant programs. The Enrichment Grant helps families participate in socialization and educational opportunities. The other is used for autism treatment.
Small Steps in Speech
This agency helps children with speech and language disorders. Children must be between 3 and 22 years old at the time of application. Your household must also meet certain income guidelines.
Supplemental Security Income
Your child may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income from the Social Security Administration. Here’s how to apply.
Variety – The Children’s Charity of Northern California
If you live in Variety’s service area in Northern California, you may be able to receive some significant assistance. They offer help with wheelchairs, adaptive bicycles, assistance animals, hoists, lifts, modified vehicles, walking assistance, car seats, holiday toys, school supplies, home improvement and more. Check it out on their website!
Medical Equipment & Devices
There are many agencies that provide free durable medical equipment. These devices are usually reused and refurbished. You can find a local center near you with this map from Pass It On Center.
Building Blocks for Kids
This agency provides grants for specific financial needs. If you need a specific treatment or apparatus, this grant may be able to assist. However, you must live in the greater Cincinnati area.
Danny Did Grant Program
This program provides financial assistance to those who need seizure detection and seizure prevention devices. These devices are intended to help reduce epilepsy-related mortality (including SUDEP). For more information about their grant program, click here.
Hike Fund, Inc.
The Hike Fund Inc. provides hearing devices to children with hearing loss. Children are defined as those younger than 20 years old. You must demonstrate financial need to qualify. More info here.
June Jesse Foundation
This agency is a great autism resource for families who have uncovered needs. Grants of up to $3,000 can be used to offset care costs. June Jesse Foundation funds are only available to patients in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Network.
Families with special needs may be able to receive art therapy and financial assistance from Kya’s Krusade. The grants are available for adaptive equipment and occupational therapy not covered by insurance.
If your child needs hearing aid assistance, you may be able to receive it from Miracle Ear. Adults must pay an application fee of $150 but it appears children can apply for free. For more information, click here.
Parker Lee Project
Some medical supplies are deemed “luxuries” by insurance, even though they are actually quite necessary. Parker Lee Project fills the gap by providing these items.
Stepping Stones for Stella
This organization helps disabled children live great lives. They provide durable buggies that can handle beaches, snow and other terrain that ordinary wheelchairs can’t. If your child is mobility impaired, you can apply for a Buggy from Stepping Stones for Stella.
United Healthcare Children’s Foundation
UHCCF fills the gap between what medical insurance covers and what is actually needed. They provide assistance for children ages 16 and under who come from low income families. They’ll help pay for medical services, treatments, therapies, and equipment.
Sensory Aids (Weighted Blankets, iPads, etc)
Sensory aids can be very expensive. Fortunately, we’ve found many autism resources that provide free help for autistic kids and their families!
Weighted blankets can be insanely expensive but they’re also a tremendous help for autistic individuals. Fortunately, Ben’s Blankets is a nonprofit volunteer effort that provides high-quality weighted blankets for just the cost of materials (or free if you qualify for a scholarship)! Each blanket is custom-made and includes an embroidered name.
In order to receive a blanket from this organization, you’ll need to obtain a registration code and complete an application. You can get the details on the Ben’s Blankets website.
Danny’s Wish iPads for Autism
This service provides free iPads for nonverbal children with autism. Danny’s Wish has provided thousands of iPads to children around the country.
Weighted Comfort for Kids
This volunteer group sews 45 blankets each month for just the cost of materials. You may receive one blanket and one lap pad per child.
In order to receive any items, you will need to fill out an application and provide proof of an ASD/SPD diagnosis. You will also need to pay $15 per lap pad and/or $20 per blanket.
The application period begins on the 1st of each month. You can find the application and more information here.
McLindon Family Foundation
This incredible family foundation provides adaptive bikes to children who need them. For more information, please visit their website.
In Colorado, you may be able to receive an adaptive bike from Two Angels Foundation.
NAA’s Give a Voice Program
Nonverbal or minimally verbal individuals may be able to get assistance with communication devices from NAA. This program provides a 32 GB Apple iPad, AppleCare+ Protection Plan, AvaWalker AAC Augmentative and Alternative Communication Software App and Protective Case. For more info and an application, visit their website.
Service animals can be a tremendous help to autistic individuals. They are trained to assist with medical conditions. These agencies provide service animals that have been trained to assist with specific needs.
4 Paws for Ability
This agency provides specially-trained autism assistance dogs. They currently invest between $40,000-$60,000 to train each animal, so they ask that families contribute $17,000 to receive a service dog. The website indicates that families are encouraged to participate in community fundraising to raise these funds.
Best Friends Animal Society
The Best Friends Animal Society has a Canines with Careers Program that helps place rescued animals as service animals. The program is much more affordable than other purebred service animal programs. For more information, please reach out to the Best Friends Animal Society.
Domesti-Pups Scholarship Fund
On their website, the Domesti-Pups service indicates that they have a scholarship fund for people who can’t afford a service animal. You will need to contact the agency for more information because this reference (in the last sentence) is the only information I could find on their website.
Little Angels Service Dogs
This agency trains autism assistance dogs. However, since they invest $38,000 to train each dog, they do ask that families cover the first 1/4 of the cost. That’s $9,500 for a dog. However, they do offer fundraising programs that can help you gather those funds. You can find more information here.
Therapy can be beneficial for many people. However, it can be completely unobtainable when you’re struggling with a low income. Fortunately, we’ve found several autism resources that provide free help for autistic individuals and families.
In Washington and Florida, children with an Occupational or Physical Therapy prescription for treatment may be able to receive free in-home therapy through the Elks organization. It does not require affiliation, membership or association with the Elks. Contact your local chapter to see what’s available for you.
Special Kids Therapy
In Ohio, families with a special needs child can apply for a scholarship from Special Kids Therapy. This agency helps families obtain non-traditional therapies and activities that are not covered by insurance.
In Northeast Ohio, families can obtain financial assistance for therapy from Zane’s. You can apply once per calendar year! The application for their Family Support Fund Initiative can be found here.
You may be eligible to get a free or severely discounted car. See our list of options here.
Air Care Alliance (Angel Flight)
Angel Flight provides free air travel for those with legitimate medical needs, such as long-distance appointments. You can find your local chapter through the Air Care Alliance website.
Autism Escapes is an Angel Network flying partner. They provide air travel on private jets for families who need to travel long distances for their children’s medical care.
…and more autism resources!
Some of the amazing autism resources we found didn’t fit neatly into a category. Have you heard of these?!
Discounted State Parks Passes
Many state parks offer discounts for people with disabilities! Check out this list.
Dream Factory Inc.
According to their website, the Dream Factory grants wishes to children who are chronically ill. The condition does not have to be life-threatening to receive a wish from the Dream Factory. You can get more information and apply on their website.
Free National Parks Pass
Anyone with a permanent disability can receive a free National Parks Access Pass!
Songs of Love
If you have a child under age 21 who has a serious physical or emotional medical challenge, you can request a free “song of love.” These songs are customized with your child’s name and details. Just fill out this form!
This wish-granting organization serves children with low-functioning autism and other severe developmental delays or illnesses. You have to meet income qualifications and more to receive a wish.
Wings for Autism
Is your child filled with anxiety about an upcoming travel experience? Wings for Autism offers help for autistic children by providing free airport “rehearsals.” During these rehearsals, you’ll practice entering the airport, obtaining a boarding pass, going through security and boarding a plane. This way, your child can adapt and experience this in a stress-reduced environment.
Do you know of any resources we missed? Let us know in the comments!