For parents and family of individuals with autism, Columbia has many resources available; some known and many waiting to be discovered. Here is a short list; I know many great resources in the area are not listed. If you know of a local resource that should be added, just send a message.
Excellent and thorough guide to services (in South Carolina) for individuals with autism of all ages.
South Carolina Autism Society’s Parent/School Partnership provides parents with an advocate who can help explain their legal rights in the school system, attend IEP meetings with them, and a host of other services. This is an amazing program every parent should look into utilizing.
Program offers 2-4-week trial periods of Augmentative Communication Devices (AAC) as a free service. They also have great resources on funding sources for assistive devices.
Electronic tracking anklets or bracelets for individuals who elope, wander, or are prone to getting lost as a result of their disability. Here is the link for Aiken County’s program:
If you have ever been suprised by the content of an IEP or don’t really understand the process, call the SC Autism Society at 803-750-6988 and ask about getting a parent mentor to guide you through the process and advocate for your child during an IEP meeting. It’s free.
Camps and Parks- List of camps that cater to individuals with developmental disabilities as well as local parks and other community resources.
Wrightslaw– Special education law and advocacy
Dr. Austin B. Meares, DMD– Highly recommend Dr. Meares and his team.