Advisory Board on Autism and Related Disorders (ABOARD)

Rating: 5 stars   10 reviews

Issues: Philanthropy

Location: 35 Wilson St Ste 100 Pittsburgh PA 15223 USA

Mission: ABOARD (Advisory Board on Autism and Related Disorders) is the premier Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offering support and education to families and professionals in Pennsylvania. ABOARD’s mission to maximize the potential and possibilities of Pennsylvania children, adolescents and adults with autism in social, education and vocational environments. 
Programs: Our primary program is providing family support through our telephone lines and our 54 support groups in 42 Pennsylvania counties. Phones are answered by parents of children on the autism spectrum who are knowledgeable about resources and the emotional toll that families go through.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I first became introduced to the wonderful staff of ABOARD's Autism Connection of PA when I started out in private practice as a speech-language pathologist. They welcomed me with open arms to volunteer to speak with parent groups about the unique language learning profile of children with Autism. Once my adult brother was diagnosed with Autism, my brother and I became very actively involved with their adult social groups. My brother's social skills and self-esteem have improved so much since his meeting other bright adults like himself diagnosed with Autism! Everyone that works at ABOARD is intimately knowledgeable about living with Autism as they are all moms and familly members of loved once with Autism. I am honored to have been asked to be on their Professional Advisory Council! They are dedicated, passionate and caring individuals devoted to providing individuals with Autism and their families with support and empathy!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Just keep doing what you're doing!!!!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

One of the most devastating diagnosis's that a parent can receive is, "Your child is on the autism spectrum." When that happens ABOARD and the wonderful staff and volunteers are there and they don't stop there. They are there with help, support, programs throughout the life span. I recommend their services to all parents as their first stop.

I admire their tireless effort to provide new programming in a respectful helpful way. ABOARD is all about innovation and respectful helpfulness.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If there was one thing I would change I would find them more money for even more programs and help

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

ABOARD's Autism Connection of PA provides an incredible service to the community here in Pittsburgh, and across the state. Autism Connection of PA provides much needed information and guidance to families who are new to a diagnosis, to professionals working with children and adults with ASD, to local businesses seeking support for their employees or guests on the spectrum. Through its support groups and its parent-run staff, Autism Connection of PA provides a sense of hope, community, and support from experienced, knowledgable, and compassionate individuals.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Before my family moved to Pittsburgh from Columbus in 2005, the first person I spoke with in this area was Marie from ABOARD (now ABOARD's Autism Connection of PA). Marie instructed me on what I would need to do to best help my then 6-year old son with autism get the services he needed upon our arrival in PA. Our family has been an avid supporter of AACOP ever since. My husband serves on the Board of Directors, I have volunteered as committee member/chair of the organization's annual Gala, and our family has participated in several of their events over the years. I would, without hesitation, tell any family or professional looking for some guidance while navigating the challenging world of autism to call ABOARD's Autism Connection of PA. These ladies are professional and know what they are doing, and touch many lives every day!!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

When I think about the advice and information that I received from the caring staff of ABOARD, it is one part of my son's journey with Autism that I don't mind revisiting. Being a pedestrian and not knowing much about Autism, I was given a solid plan of what to do, who to contact, etc. with a direct, but calm and experienced person on the other end of the phone. This person spent, what I think was an hour, patiently answering my questions and reassuring me while I choked back the tears. I called back several times and they were always there like a beacon. I can't thank them enough.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Lu Randall helped to organized speakers, and spoke very powerfully herself to our audiences following a play concerning autism. Her networking and her advice were priceless and helped our students and audiences take action to raise awareness and funds. I also had the honor of attending and event celebrating the work of several of your adult clients who are doing amazing things having benefitted from the services and support your staff provides. Lu is amazing, and I know she and I will be working together again for awareness and activism.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My son was diagnosed with autism at the age of one, and at the time, neither my wife nor I had any knowledge of autism or experience with raising a child on the spectrum. ABOARD played and plays a huge part in every aspect of our lives, with expertise and experience in all facets of autism and raising an autistic child. It's resources are deep and the staff and supporters are mostly all parents of autistic and special needs children. I highly recommend this organization and the support it gives to families like ours who seek to provide the best upbringing for autistic children.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My day to day life in raising my five year old autistic son, from learning about the biomedical research to getting assistance in finding proper preschool and elementary school education for my son, to finding other local families who are going through similar situations like we are going through. Also explored the financial planning needed for raising a child on the spectrum.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Enlarge its scope to all areas of the nation; it serves Pennsylvania beautifully and it would be a great service to autistic families nationwide.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I first encountered ABOARD in 2003 as a professional seeking organizational support to begin a social/support group for adults with autism in our community. ABOARD embraced the idea and immediately helped to develop the first adult group in the Pittsburgh community.
Over the years my experience and involvements with ABOARD have included volunteer group facilitator, presenter, conference organizer and most recently as a member of the Board of Directors. I can vouch personally and professionally for the dedication of this group, working with minimal overhead and achieving maximum grassroots impact.
ABOARD provides telephone and in-person assistance for families of the newly diagnosed as well as those facing major transitions. Their staff are parents of children and adults with autism who are entrenched in the community and, as a result, provide expert guidance to families in need of help. Additionally, ABOARD seeks to educate professionals, parents and other interested members of the community- with a broad reach from Southwestern to Northwestern and Central PA. This is accomplished through provision of larger conference events as well as 'Saturday Seminars.' Furthermore, ABOARD regularly partners with community groups and remains a neutral collaborator for the benefit of the autism community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Over the years my experience and involvements with ABOARD have included volunteer group facilitator, presenter, conference organizer and most recently as a member of the Board of Directors. I can vouch personally and professionally for the dedication of this group, working with minimal overhead and achieving maximum grassroots impact. ABOARD provides telephone and in-person assistance for families of the newly diagnosed as well as those facing major transitions. Their staff are parents of children and

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase the visibility/marketing of this organization.

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

ABOARD was there when we first the autism diagnosis 14 years ago and continues to be a supportive source of feedback and support for us. The staff are wonderful and non-judgmental. The workshops we have attended have been full of useful and up to date information. Our son is independent and doing well today because of ABOARD's support and information.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

How I have raised my son and how he is now functioning independently in society.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Send them more money so they could expand into adult issues!

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

When my son was diagnosed with autism, i was numb. It was hard to find support and services. When i was hired to work for ABOARD, i was able to give families the kind of information and support that i wanted. I feel very lucky to work for and with so many lovely families and professionals.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have strange people telling me they love me... and i love them!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them all the money in the world so they wouldn't have to worry and could give more help and hope to families.

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar