• We are currently restructuring and will no longer be holding support meetings.  Please contact our Autism Resource Specialist at nnestor@autismsociety-nc.org if you have any questions or needs. 


Who We Are:

With the increasing number of autism organizations, there is often confusion about how we are different. In short, our mission remains the same as it was when we were founded. For the past 40 years, the Autism Society of North Carolina has worked to address areas of need and expand services for the autism community in North Carolina.

  • Our organization works to directly improve the lives of individuals and families affected by autism. We help real people facing real challenges. We are service driven, rather than research driven.
  • We are a local organization, supporting North Carolinians affected by autism. Every dollar that we raise stays within North Carolina, helping people who live and work in our local communities.


What is Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a group of developmental disabilities-including classic autism, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PPD-NOS), and Asperger's Syndrome-that affect a person's ability to understand what they see, hear, and otherwise sense.  It is a brain disorder that impacts communication, social interaction, and behavior.  Individuals with ASD typically have difficulty understanding verbal and nonverbal communication and learning appropriate ways of relating to other people, objects, and events.  No two people with ASD are the same.  As its name implies, ASD is a spectrum disorder that affects individuals differently and with varying degrees of severity.  Additionally, ASD is often found in combination with other disabilities.

ASD is the second most common developmental disability, following only mental retardation.  ASD is more common than childhood cancer, cystic fibrosis, and multiple sclerosis combined.  It is estimated that out of every 88 people are born with some form of ASD.
Signs of Autism:

A child or adult with an ASD might:
  • have language deficits or differences;
  • talk about or show interest in a restricted range of topics;
  • not point at objects to show interest;
  • not look at objects;
  • have trouble relating to others;
  • avoid eye contact and/or want to be alone;
  • have trouble understanding other people's feelings;
  • prefer not to be held or cuddled;
  • appear to be unaware when other people talk;
  • repeat or echo words or phrases;
  • have trouble expressing their needs;
  • laugh, cry, or show distress for no apparent reason;
  • repeat actions over and over again;
  • have trouble adapting when a routine changes;
  • have unusual reactions to senses;
  • be oversensitive or under-sensitive to pain;
  • lose skills they once had;
  • not play with toys appropriately;
  • have sleep issues;
  • have digestive problems and/or food sensitivities.
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