Local Links

Some Useful Local Sources on Asperger’s Syndrome.

(Note: just because something appears in our list below doesn’t mean we endorse it. We don’t endorse anything. And just because something is not on the list below indicates nothing about our feelings about it. The order of the links also has absolutely no meaning, except that I made an effort to put the more local ones at the top. Please tell me at jdevine@lmu.edu if any of the links don’t work or if any of the information is incorrect.)

  • GRASP/Los Angeles (the local branch of GRASP [https://grasp.org]) has monthly meetings for adults with Asperger Syndrome in the same Vista del Mar campus where we meet – at exactly the same time (the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 7 – 9 pm). So it’s possible for a family to attend two meetings with only one trip!  The GRASP meeting includes:  introductions/updates, discussion of a topic of interest, and optional sharing or game.  You can subscribe to the GRASP Los Angeles Group by emailing info@grasp.org.”
  • F.A.C.T.: Focus on All-Child Therapies: This Los Angeles-based group of social skills groups is a community-based agency dedicated to providing services to families of children with special needs. The uniqueness of F.A.C.T. rests with its commitment to family involvement. The agency was founded by parents who believed in the importance of providing children and families living with autism and Asperger Syndrome and related issues with the support to maintain their integrity and function as active members of the community. All members of the board are parents of children with autism and Asperger Syndrome.
  • More Social Skills Groups: contact Pam Mullen, Marriage & Family Therapist (licensed MFC) at 310/588-2831. She has two Social Skills groups in West Los Angeles.
  • Parent Support and Training/Autism Remediation: Janet Bowden is a therapist providing Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) services to families affected by autism. She is vendored by Westside Regional Center. RDI is a unique parenting and autism remediation program customized for each family to help parents understand what autism really is (an information processing disorder) and how to begin to remediate the disorder at home during everyday moments. She helps parents “recover” their true parent/mentor relationship with their child to help the child reference, value and “borrow” the parents’ minds and emotional perspectives, such that they begin to understand the world more clearly. Contact Janet at JanetLBowden@aol.com or call (310) 559-1071
  • The H.E.L.P. Group is one of Southern California’s leading children’s organizations. The H.E.L.P. Group is a family of non-profit agencies dedicated to serving children, adolescents, young adults and families with a wide range of special needs related to social, communicative and emotional development; learning disabilities; abuse and neglect; mental retardation; autism, and Asperger’s Syndrome. The H.E.L.P. Group includes Village Glen (in both the Los Angeles San Fernando Valley & Culver City), a school which specializes in helping kids facing socialization challenges, including Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • The Semel Institute, the U.C.L.A. Department of Psychiatry, and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital provide resources about autism and other psychological issues.
  • The U.C.L.A. PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) program is a 14-week evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated teens in middle and high school who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. During each group session teens are taught important social skills and are given the opportunity to practice these skills in session during socialization activities. Parents attend separate sessions at the same time and are taught how to assist their teens in making and keeping friends by helping to expand their teen’s social network and providing feedback through coaching during weekly socialization homework assignments. Enrollment is limited. Parent participation is required. Contact: semel.ucla.edu/socialskills or Jennifer Sanderson, M.S. (PEERS Predoctoral Psychology Fellow) UCLA Semel Institute/RNPH, 300 Medical Plaza Ste 1412, Los Angeles, CA 90095, Ph: 310-825-0142, Email: jssanderson@mednet.ucla.edu.
  • Los Angeles Families for Effective Autism Treatment. A nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families in the Los Angeles area learn about and obtain the most effective autism treatment, in particular Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). They have monthly meetings and offer parent mentoring services. If you would like to learn more or join their email list please contact them at info@lafeat.org.
  • The NAPA Center – the Neurological and Physical Abilitation Center – provides both traditional and nontraditional therapies as recommended by professionals from around the world. They’ve also invented a new word! A useful one.
  • The Greater Long Beach/Sand Gabriel Valley Chapter of the Autism Society of America. P.O. Box 15247 Long Beach, CA 90815-0247. Phone: 562 943-3335 (English); 562 941-1931 (en Español); and 877 AUTISM9. They hold monthly support group meetings featuring speakers and topics in Whittier (562 943-3335), Long Beach (562 982-9129), South Bay (310 542-5408), and in Español (323 221-6696). They hold several workshops and conferences throughout the year, publish a quarterly newsletter, have books and videos available for sale (while maintaining a lending library), and provide speakers for community and school groups.
  • A2Z Educational Advocates. A2Z helps parents obtain special education services for their children. See also http://www.a2zedad.com/PALs.html about the P.A.L. (Parent Advocate Liasion) program.
  • California Department of Developmental Services. phone: 916 654-1690.
  • The California Regional Centers are important sources of support for those with life-long difficulties such as autism. This page also has important links to other resources, such as Protection and Advocacy, which can help with legal appeals. This site provides information about all of the various individual Regional Centers. Only one of them is for you or your child, depending on where you live.
  • Santa Barbara County Chapter of the Autism Society of America.
  • The North San Diego County Chapter of the Autism Society of America can be reached at: North County Chapter ASA P.O. Box 131161, Carlsbad, CA 92013. Contact: Merryn Affleck (760)479-1420. Their HF [high-functioning]/Asperger Group meets 1st Monday of the Month from 7-9pm at the North County Child Study Center by the Dove Library 6949 El Camino Real, Suite 201, Carlsbad. Contact Sharon Evans at 760-758-7321 or msevans@nctimes.net or Vanessa Garcia at 760-945-2122 of vvgarcia@redhabanero.com for more information.
  • The San Diego Autism Society is also part of the Autism Society of America.
  • The Orange County Asperger’s Support Group (formerly Autism SOS). For more info, contact them at 714-227-8819, http://www.meetup.com/ocaspergers/ . OCASG provides support, education, parent advocacy and adult self-advocacy for those dealing with Asperger’s Syndrome, High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and PDD-NOS. This support group is a community of Asperger’s adults and families living in Orange County (and surrounding counties). They have monthly support meetings in Newport Beach [3rd Monday of the month] and Placentia [4th Monday]. They have age-specific activities for all ages – helping kid, teen and adult Aspies with community integration and social skills. They invite all Aspies to join.
  • Saugus/Santa Clarita area. If you’re up in the general area of Saugus (Santa Clarita), you may be interested in a parents’ group led by Emily Iland. Contact her at: 28939 North Rock Canyon Drive, Santa Clarita. Phone: 661-297-4033. Her e-mail is emilyiland@socal.rr.com
  • @LA – Los Angeles Charitable/Support Organizations for the Disabled, concerning developmental disabilities such as AS.
  • The Law Offices of Bruce Fagel has some useful information on autism. He’s a doctor and a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice lawsuits.
  •  Somewhat local: Sacramento Asperger Syndrome Information & Support. “Founded in 1995, Sacramento Asperger Syndrome Information & Support group maintains a focus of sharing information and giving support. They have speakers and presenters on topics of interest periodically. There are no dues, just show up at their meeting!”

Please e-mail me at jdevine@lmu.edu if you have any questions or comments — or if you want to be put on our e-mailing list – or if you want a site listed above..

This page updated by Jim Devine, 8/14/2016.