When my son, Kieran, was diagnosed with Autism in 1995, there were no apparent resources available – no internet, few books in the library, and no clear educational path for either me or my son. I was drowning in confusion and grief. 

Connecting with an Autism Society support group saved me. At the first meeting I attended, I met parents who understood what I was going through, an Autistic adult who provided incredible insight into what my child was going through, and a wealth of information about what to do next. 

I have been paying it forward ever since.

For more than 20 years, I have volunteered with the Autism Society Central Ohio to support families and individuals in Columbus and the surrounding counties (see the complete list of affiliates and our service areas below). 

As current ASO President, I am proud to work to lead a coalition of regional Ohio affiliates, each with leadership and staff committed to expanding awareness, support, and programming on behalf of the more than 15,000 families affected by Autism throughout the Buckeye State. Together, we also serve as fierce advocates at the State House and in various policymaking organizations working with it.  

The Autism Society of Ohio also supports families in the more than 35 counties not served by an affiliate organization in their community. We are the source for information and referral to resources. In addition, we strive to create virtual programs in which all can participate and nurture volunteers to create opportunities nearby.   

Our mission is to create connections. We want to empower everyone in Ohio’s Autism community while fighting to provide the resources our family members and friends need to live fully. 

I invite you to connect with the Autism Society. Together, we can share our common experiences, discover new resources, encourage each other, and celebrate the differences that make our community special. We can create a world where everyone in the Autism community is connected to the support they need when they need it.

I look forward to working with you.

Kathi J. Machle, President