Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.

In Montana:

Nationally: About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. 

Resources and Advocacy

Autism Now - Autism now provides information on classroom and education-related subjects such as individualized education programs, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, transition planning for students, information for college students and more. 

Autism Parenting Magazine 
Autism Parenting Magazine is an award winning publication aimed at improving the quality of life for families effected by autism. Established in 2012, the focus of Autism Parenting Magazine remains on objectively publishing autism-related topics, events, developments, treatments and news stories.

Autism Society - The Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy

Autism Speaks - Autism Speaks is the largest autism science and advocacy organization in the US, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

CDC Resources: Autism Information Center - The CDC has a website dedicated to autism that includes information on screening and diagnosis, treatment, data and statistics, and free educational materials.  

Home Advisor- How to Create a Backyard Sanctuary for Kids with Disabilities

Montana Developmental Disabilities Program: Autism Information - This Montana DPHHS website has includes information on the basic definition of autism as well as signs of ASDs and links to regional testing offices. 

Montana Office of Public Instruction Special Education - On the OPI's Special Education page you can find the contact information for the head of the Division of Special Education as well as the compliance monitoring cycle, performance reports, state profiles, and other resources. Two helpful resources that OPI endorses are listed below.   

National Autism Center- NAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to disseminating evidence-based information about the treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), promoting best practices, and offering comprehensive and reliable resources for families, practitioners, and communities.

  • Parent Manual- Everywhere they turn, parents of children with autism spectrum disorder are bombarded with treatment choices—all of which claim to be effective. This manual is designed to support parents as they make decisions about their child’s treatment.
  • Evidence-based Practice and Autism in the Schools, 2nd Edition- This invaluable resource includes the current state of research findings, professional judgment and data-based clinical decision making, values and preferences of families, and capacity building. Each chapter sets a course for advancing the efforts of school systems to engage in evidence-based practice for their students on the autism spectrum.

National Institute of Mental Health: A Parent's Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder

National Association of Special Education Teachers- NASET serves the professional interest of special education teachers in order to promote the highest professional standards. Their website contains large amounts of information on Autism and and variety of other development disabilities. Information includes resources for teachers on classroom management and assistive technology as well as basic definitions and recognition of the different types of autism. Also included are recent research articles, prevalence rates, sensory integration links, helpful national organizations, and other parent information. 

National Education Association- This website provides resources such as basic autism information, instructional methods and helpful techniques and activities and materials for school teachers to use in the classroom setting.  

US Department of Health and Human Services