Advocating for Autism: Be the Squeaky Wheel

by | Apr 12, 2022 | Children's Health, Uncategorized

I am a parent of two beautifully neurodiverse individuals. They have very different personalities, needs, and learning styles. My journey began with my son, now 17, when he was 11. In elementary school, he was deemed a bit odd, but made it through just fine. Then middle school arrived, and everything changed. He started failing classes, hating school and the social divide between him and other kids his age grew. Three years later and five denied requests for IEP evaluation from a local school district, I was beyond frustrated. I felt like I was trying to hit a teeny tiny target while wearing a blindfold. My sixth request was not so much of a request, but a demand. He was evaluated and immediately put in the special education classes he had needed for years.  I decided then that if I could make this process easier for other parents, I would.

Below I have gathered information for parents who struggle to navigate the murky waters of advocating for their child in the public school system and beyond, in hopes that no one needs to resort to throwing a tantrum in a counselor’s office. 

FACT Oregon

  • What they do:
    • Work with lawmakers to make Oregon a better place with those living with disability.
    • Provide trainings for transitioning to adulthood, parents, educational support and more.
    • Provide advocacy for those with disability in the public school system
  • Contact Info:
    • Phone: 503.786.6082

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

  • What they do:
    • They are a nonprofit run by and for autistic individuals
    • Advocate for the rights and inclusion of autistic individuals and affect change in the policies that impact their lives
  • Contact Info:

Autistic Self Advocacy of Portland

  • What they do:
    • Geared towards adults, provides local resources available
  • Contact info:

Autism Society of Oregon

  • What they do:
    • Provide lists of resources for parents of ASD individuals
  • Contact Info:

Local Facebook Groups:

  • Portland Autist and Allied Moms
  • Portland Asperger’s Network
  • Portland Autism Parents


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