Autism Society of America

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Autism Society of America
FoundersBernard Rimland,[1] Ivar Lovaas, Ruth C. Sullivan, and others
Legal status501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
HeadquartersBethesda, Maryland, United States
James Ball[2]
Scott Badesch[3]
SubsidiariesAutism Society of America Foundation[4]
Revenue (2013)
Expenses (2013)$2,378,089[4]
Employees (2013)
Volunteers (2013)
Formerly called
National Society for Autistic Children[5]

The Autism Society of America (ASA) was founded in 1965[6] by Bernard Rimland[1] and Ivar Lovaas together with Ruth C. Sullivan and a small group of other parents of children with autism. Its original name was the National Society for Autistic Children;[5] the name was changed to emphasize that children with autism grow up; the ASA's stated goal is to increase public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by people with autism as well as their families and the professionals with whom they interact.[7]


In 1964, Dr. Bernard Rimland wrote a book, Infantile Autism, about autism that convinced other individuals working in the field that autism is a physiological disorder, not a mental problem or an emotional problem.[8] Rimland received so many telephone calls from parents with children with autism who asked for more information about autism that Rimland decided to help organize the group and the Institute for Child Behavior Research in San Diego.[8] Mooza Grant served as the organization's first president.


  1. ^ a b "Some Key Dates in Autism History". The Washington Post July 1, 2008. p. F5.
  2. ^ "Board of Directors". Autism Society of America. Accessed on February 23, 2016.
  3. ^ "Staff". Autism Society of America. Accessed on February 23, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Autism Society of America. Guidestar. December 31, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Campbell, Susan. "A place for miracles? Institute offers option for autistic children". St. Petersburg Times. April 13, 1988.
  6. ^ "About the Autism Society". Autism Society. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  7. ^ "Autism Organizations". Autism Key. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Krause, Audrie. "Authority on Autism Speaks from Experience: Doctor Began Research After His Son Was Diagnosed with Disorder 30 Years Ago". The Fresno Bee. November 18, 1987.

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