ASCONN History

 

For over 30 years, ASCONN has worked with parents, educators, state government and therapeutic and medical professionals to enhance the lives of those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. We are people with autism, family members, friends and professionals who work in the field of autism. ASCONN was chartered with the mission of promoting lifelong access and opportunities for persons on the spectrum and their families, and to be fully included as participating members of their communities through advocacy, public awareness, education and research. ASCONN continues this mission today responding to the ever increasing needs of the autism community, families and support professionals in creative ways that continue to focus on the work of providing help now and hope for the future.


ASCONN serves the entire autism spectrum – across specific diagnoses, needs, challenges and age ranges. ASCONN embraces an “open options” philosophy offering education, information and referral on the complete range of treatments and providers without advocating any one intervention or program. We strive to provide the most up to date and accurate information so that parents, professionals and persons with autism can make informed choices and select the services and supports that are most appropriate to their individual circumstances. This philosophy is driven by the recognition that autism presents itself differently in different people and that no one intervention has proven to be 100% effective across the spectrum.


 ASCONN serves as a resource with information and referral for parents, professionals, educators and the wider community. ASCONN’s educational programming includes the annual statewide conference on autism, the largest autism conference in Connecticut bringing nationally and internationally known speakers on autism to Connecticut. For over 20 years, ASCONN has proudly also had a “Speaker from the Spectrum” at the conference, someone who lives with autism who can speak about their direct experiences living with autism. The conference includes exhibitors and vendors displaying information about their autism services and the largest autism related bookstore in Connecticut.


 Family support has grown from the days of parent support groups to include groups for parents, siblings, and persons on the spectrum. In 2005, ASCONN instituted a “mini-grant” program to provide direct financial assistance to families living with autism to purchase safety and security items and equipment. ASCONN also provides statewide