Our mission is simple – to improve the lives of individuals with autism and the people who care for them. We accomplish this through a variety of programs and services, all of which are offered FREE of Charge
The Pathfinders for Autism Resource Center
The Pathfinders for Autism Resource Center is the cornerstone of our efforts to serve Maryland's families by: providing timely, accurate autism-specific information and resources; responding personally to inquiries via telephone and email; and distributing monthly "Parent Tips" articles on a variety of topics. Directly assisting nearly 1,000 families each year, the Pathfinders for Autism Resource Center helps families navigate the often confusing and complex array of services, treatment and programs available to them. Our staff receives calls from parents who have just received a diagnosis; caregivers of adults with autism in need of support services; individuals with autism who are seeking services for themselves; and professionals working with clients with autism.
The Pathfinders for Autism website is a critical link to the thousands of families and professional we serve throughout Maryland. The site serves an average of 25,000 visitors per month. It offers a searchable, on-line database of more than 1,200 providers along with informative articles and a calendar of autism-specific events.
Training Parents and Professionals
Pathfinders for Autism sponsors monthly workshops series featuring experts in the field presenting on a variety of relevant topics such as: vocational rehabilitation, behavioral interventions, special education, financial planning, dietary interventions, sensory processing, and more. Trainings are held around the State and are well attended, often with waiting lists.
The earlier a child is diagnosed and can begin early intervention therapies, the better his or her outcomes will be. Surprisingly, many pediatricians do little standardized developmental screening and lack proper training and screening tools. This leads to a devastating "wait and see" attitude that costs children and their families' precious time.
In partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics-Maryland Chapter and the Parents Place of Maryland, Pathfinders for Autism is training Maryland's pediatricians and other health care professionals on the importance of using standardized developmental screening tools at recommended intervals to catch any developmental delay, including autism, as early as possible so that early interventions may be accessed as soon as possible. Each training attendee receives an autism information package which includes the AAP Autism Tool Kit DVD and resources for the health care providers to share with families as they search for effective therapies, treatments and social activities.
Pathfinders for Autism hosts Free Family Fun events at local attractions, such as the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center, to provide an opportunity for the entire family to experience a "typical" outing with others who are sensitive to their situation without some of the common barriers many families experience on a daily basis. Pathfinders provides informative fact sheets to the venue to share with their staff and will provide sensitivity training to ensure the staff are fully prepared so that the visit goes as smoothly as possible.
Awareness & Outreach
Promoting public awareness and understanding about autism and its effect on individuals, families, and society through media campaigns, presentations and community events.
Serving as a catalyst to influence public policy decision makers and service providers to ensure that high-quality services and programs are available to individuals with autism throughout their lives.
Make sure to Join our Mailing list to learn about resources, trainings, and awareness and family events in your area.