Autism Society of America
In 1965, Bernard Rimland, author of Infantile Autism: The Syndrome and Its Implications for a Neural Theory of Behavior, together with the pioneer activist mother Ruth Sullivan and other parents, established the Autism Society of America.
History of the Autism Society of America
The Autism Society was founded in 1965 by Bernard Rimland, Ph.D. His book, Infantile Autism: The Syndrome and Its Implications for a Neural Theory of Behavior, was written in late 1964 and was one of the first of its kind. In 1968, Ruth Sullivan, Ph.D., became the organization’s first elected president. Over the last 40 years, the Society has grown from a handful of parents into the leading source of information, research, reference and support on the autism spectrum. The Autism Society is the oldest and largest grassroots organization within the autism community.
From strong advocacy efforts beginning in 1969 presented to the Joint commission on Mental Health of Children to playing a key role in vital legislative efforts such as Section 504, the Developmental Disabilities Act, the Education for All Handicapped Act (now known as IDEA) and calling for increased autism research, the Autism Society has long been engaged in systemic change that really impacts people’s lives.
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