We are incredibly fortunate to have world class autism organizations right here in the Triangle. These are a few of them:

TEACCH: TEACCH is an amazing resource. TEACCH has regional centers around the state, and the Chapel Hill TEACCH center is located in Carrboro. Due to budget cuts, not all of their services are free to NC residents like they once were, but they are generally still less expensive than private therapists (and the support groups are free). They offer diagnostic evaluations, structured teaching boot camps, parent groups and father's groups led by Dr. Lee Marcus, mother's groups facilitated by Catherine Jones, individual family training sessions, social skills groups, help with schools, home teaching kits, and much more. The parent support coordinator, Ruth Thomson, is a phenomenal resource - get on her email list to keep up with all the offerings around the Triangle through TEACCH and other groups. If you have any questions regarding the requested paperwork or the referral process, please call Catherine Jones at (919)-966-5156 or email

Autism Society of North Carolina: A fantastic resource for families. Services include information and referral, advocacy, public education, residential summer camp, recreation therapy consultation, and a variety of community based programs. Their annual conference features interesting speakers (such as Michelle Garcia Winner). Contact an ASNC Resource Specialist by calling 919-865-5093 or 800-422-2762 or email individually at:   
     Judy Clute  
     Jan Combs  
     Nancy LaCross 

Autism Society of North Carolina Orange Chatham Chapter:  Our local chapter is the Orange Chatham chapter (ASNCOC) which is run by volunteers. ASNCOC has great monthly informational meetings, recreational events for children and adults on the spectrum, a monthly coffee meeting, and more. The best way to stay involved is to request to join their private, closed Facebook group that has over 400 local members. Another option is to join their email list. Contact ASNCOC at 

Autism Society of North Carolina UNC Chapter:  A group of students at UNC Chapel Hill dedicated to aiding individuals with autism and their parents. They help organize and volunteer recreation events for children on the spectrum.

The Arc of the Triangle: The Arc provides a number of services to individuals with developmental disabilities, including one on one services, employment support, social groups, sliding scale home respite care, and more. Definitely contact the Arc if you have not yet done so!

Community Partnerships, Inc.: Community Partnerships offers services in Wake, Durham, Mecklenburg, and Pitt counties to children and adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Programs include supported employment, brain injury support services, early intervention, community guides, and community connections. Their Partners in Inclusion program provides personalized on-site guidance to staff at childcare centers, preschools, and recreation programs so that children with disabilities can be successful in all settings.

Family Advocacy Network (FAN) - Through the Family Advocacy Network (FAN), Freedom House provides critical assistance to parents raising school-age children with emotional/behavioral issues, mental illness, learning differences, substance abuse problems and other challenges.  FAN also offers group support, advocacy and parenting skills training, all to help families navigate challenges at home and in school. The Family Advocacy Network is now partnered with Freedom House. FAN Office: 1-919-942-2803. No income requirements. 

First In Families of North Carolina: Orange, Person, and Chatham counties are served by the Central Carolina chapter. The goal of FIF is to help "people with disabilities and their families to believe in their dreams, achieve their goals and give back to others". They offer grants, they have informational sessions, give information on estate planning, have a time bank, and encourage volunteerism. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with events.

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute: based at UNC Chapel Hill. Their work includes interdisciplinary collaborations with schools and units at UNC-Chapel Hill and with community-based partners. It encompasses research and evaluation, implementation, and policy. Their website has numerous articles and resources related to infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities. Their publications have a special section for Autism & Developmental Disabilities with over 785 articles. They also host events and training sessions.

GCF Family Support Services (formerly Family Support Network of North Central Carolina): A non-profit dedicated to providing support, education, and information for families of children affected by developmental disabilities, prematurity, chronic illness, and other special needs. This chapter serves families in Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Orange, Person, Vance, and Warren counties. They offer help with daily matters, educational concerns, future planning, and more. FSN also organizes a number of fun, free events and activities for families throughout the year.

HEELS 2 Transition (H2T): An organization that supports young adults with intellectual disabilities. Through year-round program offerings, H2T aims to equip individuals with skills and supports to achieve a self-determined, community engaged adult life. These programs are for young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 years old who have Intellectual Disabilities.  The programming is designed to support individuals toward a fulfilling and community engaged adult life.  Please see our website for updates on other program developments like HEELS UP.

The North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities: The mission at NCCDD is: " ensure that people with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to culturally competent services and supports, as well as other assistance and opportunities, which promote inclusive communities". They provide direct funding and research into key areas affecting individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. NCCDD also offers Rossi Fund grants to allow individuals with I/DD or their family members to attend seminars, conferences, and trainings. Additionally, NCCDD is the organization in North Carolina which supports Partners in Policymaking, a training initiative which empowers people with disabilities and their families to become effective advocates.

Special Needs Advisory Council (SNAC) in CHCCS: A group of parents, district staff, and community professionals working together for the continuous improvement of the CHCCS Exceptional Children's program. Our purpose is to influence district policy on EC issues and promote inclusion in our schools. If your child currently has (or recently had) an IEP, a 504 plan, is medically fragile or has learning differences, then it is in your interest to get involved with SNAC. They also offer support and share resources. 

LifeTracks Program through Orange County Sheriff Dept: Life Track is a FREE rapid response program that locates people who wander away from their caregivers. Your child would receive a transmitter to wear that would allow authorities to help you locate them if they wander off. Call Officer Perry at the Sheriff's Office to make an appointment for him to come to your house: 919-245-2900

The Big Red Safety Box: The National Autism Association’s Big Red Safety Box® is a free-of-charge safety toolkit for autism families in need of wandering-prevention tools. The Big Red Safety Box is a program of the National Autism Association.

All content © 2021 by Chapel Hill Autism Resources and Tools (C.H.A.R.T.)

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