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"... the most important considerations in devising educational programs for children with autistic spectrum disorders have to do with recognition of the autism spectrum as a whole, with the concomitant implications for social, communicative, and behavioral development and learning, and with the understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual child across areas of development."
—Educating Children with Autism2001



xMinds Resources

Student Service Learning (SSL) Organizations
In the state of Maryland, all students earning a high school diploma are required to complete 75 hours of student service learning (SSL). We surveyed parents of students on the autism spectrum to create a directory of local organizations that are understanding and helpful to students with autism-related challenges. The information listed was submitted by parents and was accurate at the time of posting. If you know of changes to this information, please contact us

To recommend an organization for inclusion in this directory, please fill out our survey. (need update)

The Arc of Montgomery County
Organization Point of Contact: Nadia Atcha, NadiaA@arcmontmd.org
Phone: 301-984-5777 x1271
Website: http://thearcmontgomerycounty.org/volunteer/individual-volunteer-opportunities/youth-opportunities.html
Volunteer Location: Silver Spring, MD 

Montgomery County Public Library
Organization point of contact: Francie Gilman, drcinfo@montgomerycountymd.gov
Phone: 240-777-0959
Website: http://montgomerycountymd.libguides.com/content.php?pid=141326&sid=1205535
Volunteer location: Varies throughout the county
How much direct support did student require to be successful? A little (student is capable of independently following three-step directions)
Were staff at the organization able to provide the amount of support your student needed to be successful?Yes
Did staff at the organization seem to have an understanding of the strengths and challenges of your student?Yes
Comments: I volunteered with my child, but I think my child could have been successful without me after the first few times. We did a variety of things: making copies, putting flyers in routing envelopes to different libraries, changing coding stickers on books, and re-shelving materials. 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Organization point of contact: Stephanie Rosen, comments@namimc.org
Phone: 301-949-5852
Website: www.namimc.org
Volunteer location: Rockville, MD
Did staff at the organization seem to have an understanding of the strengths and challenges of your student?Yes
Comments: My child has had several successful volunteer experiences for SSL hours at the NAMI Montgomery County office. Tasks included some filing and special projects that appealed to my child’s sense of order and rules, such as reorganizing the library and labeling the books. It’s a friendly office with a lot of teen and adult volunteers. Due to the nature of the organization (mental health support), the staff are generally understanding of teens who are a bit quirky or different. Please note that volunteering in the office is different from volunteering in the NAMI MC Thrift Shop, which is another option for teens.

Takoma Park Folk Festival
Organization point of contact: Colleen Clay, volunteer@tpff.org
Website: http://tpff.org
Volunteer location: Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Road, Takoma Park, MD
How much direct support did student require to be successful? A lot (student requires a shadow or 1:1 support to follow directions)
Were staff at the organization able to provide the amount of support your student needed to be successful?No
Did staff at the organization seem to have an understanding of the strengths and challenges of your student?Yes
Comments: The festival is an annual, one-day event. My child volunteered as a pair, either with me or a sibling, so therefore had direct support from one of us. My child volunteered successfully 5 years in a row. There is a range of jobs, and openings change from year to year.

Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL)
Organization point of contact: Brittany Miller, Brittany.miller@warl.org
Phone: 202-726-2273 
Website: http://www.warl.org/about-us/programs/volunteering/
Volunteer location: Washington, DC
Comments: Students under 18 are considered a junior volunteer and must go with a parent. My child goes for 2 hours a week with my husband and they socialize dogs. They both have a great time.





Improving the educational experiences and outcomes of students on the autism spectrum in grades K-12

 
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