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The Best Towns for Raising Children With Autism

author image Jaime Vargas-Benitez
Jaime Vargas-Benitez has been a parenting writer since 2010. She has worked in the child wellness field in various roles for over 20 years. Along with the experiences of raising her own kids, she has been privileged enough to participate in the raising of hundreds of other children as well.
The Best Towns for Raising Children With Autism
Major metropolitan areas have the largest amount of resources for autistic children and their families. Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

There are a large number of cities with good resources for autistic children and their families. While the majority of the resources are focused in the largest metropolitan areas, there are many smaller cities where parents can find a wealth of support. Autistic children need education, therapy and medical resources beyond what non-autistic children require, so it is imperative that autistic children have access to appropriate resources.

East Coast

According to a CBS News report, the organization Autism Speaks surveyed 848 members on their level of happiness in their city in regards to raising an autistic child. On the East Coast, the cities of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia make people the happiest. These cities provide the largest amount of therapies and treatment options for autistic children. The headquarters for Autism Speaks is located in New York City and touts itself as the largest advocacy and science group for autism. Their efforts focus on raising awareness, educating parents and funding scientific research on causes and finding cures for autism. Boston is home to the Lurie Center for Autism, which diagnoses and treats children, adolescents and adults with autism. Philadelphia hosts The Autism Center, which is devoted to bettering the quality of life for children with autism and their families. The Autism Center in Philadelphia is the oldest autism treatment center in the country.

Midwest Cities

WebMD published a list of recommended cities for raising autistic children, including Chicago, Cleveland and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Cleveland has an organization called Autism Services for Kids, which helps parents learn to structure their autistic children’s lives. The organization's trained, licensed therapists help parents learn to communicate, play and develop social skills with their children. Minneapolis-St. Paul is home to the Minnesota Autism Center, which specializes in behavioral and academic assistance for autistic children. Their therapists are focused on making autistic children as independent and self-sufficient as possible. Chicago has many different organizations that aid autistic children, but one of the biggest is Autism Resource Center Chicago at Rush Hospital. This organization maintains a database of autism services in the Chicagoland area and assists parents in finding occupational therapists, speech-language therapists and other resources for specialized treatment.

West Coast

Los Angeles and Seattle are top West Coast cities for families dealing with autism, according to Autism Speaks. The Boone Fetter Clinic, located at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, provides comprehensive services such as diagnoses and behavioral treatments for kids with autism. The clinic also coordinates appointments with medical professionals like dentists, psychologists and speech therapists. The clinic is equipped to handle neuro-developmental disorders outside of autism as well. In Seattle, the Seattle Children's Hospital has the Autism Center. The Autism Center provides diagnostic evaluations, school consultations, behavioral therapies and parent education. There is also the Seattle Children's Autism Guild, which is an organization that helps guide parents to the behavioral or occupational therapies available to their children and families.


The Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, located in Phoenix, provides information about the many different ways parents can find support for their families. The center is active in the community, offering fundraisers, volunteer opportunities and plenty of activities for children with autism. In addition, the center also strives to educate the general public about the struggle of autistic families.

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