Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions.

In speaking with thousands of people each year, our staff are often told, “You’re the first person who understands!” Whether you are an Autistic adult, a family member, or a professional serving the autism community, we hope this page can help inform and guide you on your journey. We are here to offer information, support, guidance, and community.

If you have questions about your next steps, would like to connect with us, or are in need of more specific information or perhaps facing more complex issues, please get in touch via our Contact Us page.

Below you will find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions along with corresponding links to find more information, services, and programs. For FAQs about participation in groups and events, please visit our Groups & Events FAQs page.

Language Disclaimer

AANE has made the decision to use the terms “autism” and “Autistic” in our communications moving forward. Many people continue to refer to themselves and their loved ones using the terms “Asperger’s,” “Aspie,” and other similar words. AANE respects each individual’s decision to use the language that best describes them and their loved ones. 

What is autism?

What is the difference between autism and neurodiversity?

Should I get a diagnosis?

How do I get a diagnosis and what is involved?

How do I navigate a world that is not always autism-friendly?

How do we support the well-being of Autistic individuals?

What mental health diagnoses and other neurodiversities are associated with autism?

How do I find the appropriate therapist or mental health provider?

How do I find an autism informed provider?

How do Autistic people find and maintain relationships?

How can educators help Autistic children and teens?

What educational supports are Autistic students entitled to?

How do I find and maintain work?

What are some autism friendly jobs?

How do I support my Autistic employees?

How and when do I disclose an autism diagnosis?

What are the pros and cons of disclosing?

Do I need an official diagnosis to disclose?

What kind of benefits are Autistic adults entitled to?

Related Services & Programs

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