Aspire inspires and serves people on the autism spectrum, believing in the gifts of the uniquely wired mind. We are a group of clinicians who are passionate about collaborating with people on the autism spectrum. We offer a wide range of services across the lifespan for children and adults, families and groups, parents, and couples.
Aspire offers comprehensive evaluation for children and teens. We provide a thorough, detailed assessment of a child’s areas of strength and needs to aid in educational and treatment planning. Evaluations are useful for initial diagnosis if there are concerns about a child’s development or learning as well as follow-ups to determine whether a child’s needs are being met in education and treatment services.
6060 Piedmont Row Drive South
Charlotte, NC 28287
15720 Brixham Hill Avenue
Charlotte, NC 2827
Local Children’s Developmental Services Agencies (CDSAs) are available to help families, caregivers, and professionals serve children with special needs through our Infant Toddler Program. Children with developmental delays who are age 3 and younger should be evaluated at CDSA.
CHARLOTTE (Mecklenburg County)
Valerie C. Woodard Center
3205 Freedom Drive, Suite 7500
Charlotte, NC 28208
Phone: (704) 336-7100
Fax: (704) 336-7112
CONCORD (Cabarrus, Iredell, Rowan, Stanly, Union Counties)
1065 Vinehaven Drive
Concord, NC 28025
Phone: (704) 786-9181
Fax: (704) 792-9198
The TEACCH® Charlotte Center serves individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Services include diagnostic evaluations, treatment planning and implementation, education, consultation, employment services, training opportunities, and research.
Joyce Lum, Ph.D.
TEACCH – Charlotte Center
8401 University Executive Park Dr.,
Suite 100. Charlotte, NC 28262
Phone: (919) 445-2365
Fax: (919) 445-2353
Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Who We Serve
The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and other undiagnosed disabilities.
Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Our programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.
Our Mission: Programs for Exceptional Children promote success for students with disabilities, their families, staff, and community to achieve positive post-secondary outcomes.
What We Do
Provide the entire continuum of services to students with disabilities based on individual needs.
Exceptional Children Parent Liaison
AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Our Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Please check your local theatre listings for specific showtimes, and don’t forget to share your family fun with #AMCSensoryFriendly.
Participating theatres include:
You may be asking yourself whether Carowinds is appropriate for guests with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or whether your loved one on the spectrum will be able to handle the theme park experience. Carowinds has taken steps to be well-prepared to welcome and provide accommodations for all types of disabilities, including autism and related disorders. To continue to provide equal access for all guests, be aware that all guests with mobility impairments or ASD will now receive a Ride Boarding Pass with wait times. Please review the Boarding Pass Program for more details.
14523 Carowinds Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28273
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte offers a sensory-friendly performance for each of our Mainstage productions, modified for families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues. At the performance, theatre lighting and sound will be softened and the house lights will dim but stay on. Guests will also have extra room in the house to move around as needed during the performance. Quiet spaces, fidgets and headphones will also be available.
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte trains all staff to meet the needs of those attending. Before attending the performances, families can walk through virtual tours online and get to know ImaginOn’s public space including the interior of the McColl Family Theatre and the Wells Fargo Playhouse. Parents can download a variety of resources to help them prepare their family for the show.
We create Resource Guides for each of our Productions – a general Resource Guide with activities and background information on the show – plus two guide specific to our Sensory-Friendly Performances, one for Parents and one for Children.
Children’s Theater of Charlotte
300 E. Seventh Street
Charlotte N.C. 28202
Chuck E. Cheese’s is proud to support families who have children with autism and special needs. We now offer a sensory-friendly experience on the first Sunday of every month opening 2 hours early. Our trained and caring staff is there to make sure each guest has a fun-filled visit. The Sensory Sensitive Sundays experience includes:
Chuck E. Cheese
5612 Albermarle Rd. #100
Charlotte, NC 28212
Chuck E. Cheese
7701 Pineville-Matthews Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28226
Chuck E. Cheese
7970 Lyles Lane NW
Concord, NC 28027
Join SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium for Sensory Friendly Sundays, the 2nd Sunday of Every Month from 10 AM – 11 AM!
Enjoy the aquarium one hour before the public for a sensory friendly underwater journey. We welcome all families with children on the autism spectrum or children with sensory processing disorders to this event.
The aquarium has been adjusted to best reduce sensory triggers throughout each exhibit of the aquarium. We have also created a safe place or comfort room, which can be utilized at any time.
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC 28027
INCLUSION BASED ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN WITH DIVERSE ABILITIES
In partnership with the Autism Foundation of the Carolinas and the Autism Society of North Carolina, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte engages children with autism in inclusive after-school and day camp programs. We provide fun activities that improve socialization, communication and life skills. We give parents more ways to help their children grow and thrive.
At the Y, we provide children with autism a balance of educational support and recreational activities while providing a safe, nurturing and enriching environment to meet each child’s unique needs. A ratio of one counselor to every three children enables our afterschool program to offer a tailored curriculum for each child. The focus of the program is to enhance independent functional living skills and self-management skills by presenting opportunities for socialization, communication and self-directed choice.
Since 2005, YMCA Camp Boomerang, hosted by the Brace Family YMCA, provides children with diverse abilities the unforgettable opportunity to take part in a regular day camp. The camp immerses children with diverse abilities into the conventional YMCA Camp Eagle Rock at the Brace Family YMCA to provide them with the typical camp experience.
Unlike specialty camps that can be expensive and are generally suited for younger children, YMCA Camp Boomerang offers a typical day camp experience for children with diverse abilities between the ages of five and fifteen. With the help of volunteers and camp staff, under the supervision of a certified Special Needs Teacher, the camp integrates age-appropriate camp activities (swimming, arts and crafts and more) with special enrichment activities each week.
Not only does the camp offer a place of happiness for its campers, it also raises awareness and serves as a great model for other YMCAs to establish similar inclusive-based programs throughout the YMCA movement.
To learn more about Camp Boomerang, contact the Brace Family YMCA at 704-716-4200 or visit Brace Family YMCA Camp Boomerang.
YMCA of Greater Charlotte
400 E Morehead Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Our mission is to embrace and empower children and families affected by autism. We envision a community where every family navigating autism is supported with knowledge, resources, warmth, and understanding. We value Inclusion, Inspiration, and Impact.
Autism Charlotte was founded in 2006 by five parents, all directly impacted and inspired by their own special children affected by autism. Facing the many day-to-day challenges common in caring for a child with autism, these parents experienced firsthand the significant lack of programs, services, and support in our community. They committed themselves to help other families facing similar challenges but likewise finding few answers and often feeling alone. With the support of many friends, family, and community partners, Autism Foundation of the Carolinas was established as a 501C3 and was later renamed Autism Charlotte. The organization became well known for programs such as iCan Bike and Inclusion-based Afterschool. Over the years, Autism Charlotte’s programs, services, presence, and impact have continued to grow and evolve based on the incredible foundation established by our founders.
PO Box 12671
Charlotte, NC 28220
The Autism Society of North Carolina improves the lives of individuals with autism, supports their families, and educates communities. Our vision is to be the trusted partner for all people with autism as they lead fulfilling lives. We respect and value the uniqueness of all individuals with autism; when provided the opportunity, each person can make a unique contribution to their family, community, and society.
We improve lives
Our services and programs are tailored to the unique needs of individuals with autism. We enable them to have healthy, safe, and fulfilling lives in their own communities. Our expertise helps individuals – many of whom have significant lifelong needs – be as independent as possible and achieve their goals and dreams.
We support families
Autism Resource Specialists are often the first people parents talk to after their child is diagnosed. We help families connect with resources, keep their children safe, find services, and resolve school issues. We also provide guidance on lifelong issues including employment, residential options, and planning for children’s needs beyond parents’ lives.
We educate communities
Our training for professionals such as doctors and teachers has increased the quality of care for individuals with autism. We advocate for the needs of the autism community with state policymakers. Our education efforts have increased public awareness of autism and helped NC have a lower average age of diagnosis than the U.S.
Autism Society of North Carolina – Charlotte Office
8307 University Executive Park Drive, Suite 231
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
This program provides coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) services for individuals under the age of 21. ASD coverage is provided for assessment and treatment services according to the severity and is based on medical necessity.