Autism Support Center

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DDS Autism Waiver Service Program (AWP) Open Interest Period 2021
The opportunity to apply for this waiver is through the open request period which will be held from October 15 – October 30, 2021.

The Autism Division of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) runs an Autism Waiver Program that provides one-to-one interventions to help children with autism who exhibit severe behavior, social and communication problems through a service called Expanded Habilitation, Education (intensive in-home services and supports). This service occurs in the child’s home or other natural settings under the supervision of trained clinical staff and is available for a total of three years. The Autism Waiver Program also provides related support services such as community integration activities and respite. At the conclusion of the three years of intensive services, a child may access supplemental services that meet the child’s needs and help with the transition out of the intensive Autism Waiver Program until the child’s 9th birthday.

Message for Families (English)

Message for Families (Spanish)

Application (English)

Application (Spanish)

For more information, and for documents in additional languages, please visit the Massachusetts DDS website.

Helping families stay


Since 1991, Northeast Arc’s Autism Support Center has been empowering families who have a member with autism or a related disorder by providing current, accurate, and unbiased information about autism, services, referrals, resources, and research trends. The Center is directed by a Parent Advisory Policy Committee comprised of parents of children with ASD and it is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. 


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Services & Supports Include

Information, Resources, & Referrals

Our experienced team connects families with needed services and supports, both inside and outside Northeast Arc. 

Training for Self-Advocates, Parents and Professionals

Workshops on vital topics such as behavioral supports, estate planning, special education rights, self-care, healthy relationships and more.

Family Activities

Free and low-cost events that provide opportunities for families to connect in a supportive, low-stress environment. 

Flexible Funding

Cash assistance is available to families to help them meet the needs of their loved ones, thanks to funding from DDS, The Flutie Foundation and private donations.

Parent Support Groups and Networking

Facilitated meetings bring caregivers together to share experiences and wisdom, and nights out together provide fun, community, and respite. 

Social & Recreation Programs

A variety of community-based activities that address a wide range of interests, offering diversion and social time with peers.

Touch to Talk

Funded through grants and donations, it gives access to AAC technology and training for parents and educators to support children’s success as communicators.

The Autism Support Center serves the following communities: Acton, Amesbury, Andover, Arlington, Bedford, Beverly, Billerica, Boxborough, Boxford, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Danvers, Dracut, Dunstable, Essex, Everett, Georgetown, Gloucester, Groveland, Hamilton, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lawrence, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Lowell, Lynn, Lynnfield, Malden, Manchester, Marblehead, Maynard, Medford, Melrose, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Nahant, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, North Reading, Peabody, Reading, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Stoneham, Stow, Swampscott, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Tyngsboro, Wakefield, Wenham, West Newbury, Westford, Wilmington, Winchester and Woburn. 

The Autism Support Center is located at 6 Southside Road, Danvers, MA 01923 and the general phone number is 978-777-9135. 

Nancy Lucier

Autism Support Center Program Director

Gloria Castillo

Autism Support Center Director

Support Groups

“I am so grateful for the monthly Autism Support meetings. The parents that I have met through this group, and the information that has been shared, have helped my son and our family immensely. The parents in the group, just ‘get it.’ I felt so alone when we first received Charles’ ASD diagnosis. All of our immediate friends have neuro-typical children and none of them could understand what we were going through. Not only have I met wonderful people, who I now consider friends, but we were able to get Charles set up into an After 3 program that he loves. And I would have never known about this program had it not been for this support group. I look forward to continued meetings and workshops as both have been extremely informative.”

Our support groups give parents, grandparents, and brothers and sisters an opportunity to find others who understand their concerns, and gain strategies for home, school, and community integration.

Contact Northeast Arc’s Autism Support Center at 978-777-9135 or via email.


Below you will find a list of web resources recommended by the Autism Support Center (ASC). To learn more about available resources and services, you can call the ASC at 978-777-9135 or complete this form to have a member of the ASC staff contact you.

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Autism Support Center Web Resource Library





Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission



  • Greater Massachusetts Special Needs and Events: Sped Child and Teen


Massachusetts Autism Support Centers

Advocates, Inc./Autism Alliance of Metrowest

Serving the Metrowest region
14 East Central St., Natick, MA 01760
(508) 652-9900

Autism Resource Center

Serving the Central region
71 Sterling Street, West Boylston, MA 01583

Community Autism Resources

Serving the Southeastern region
33 James Reynolds Rd. Unit C, Swansea, MA 02777

Autism Connections (a Pathlight Program)

Serving the Western region
116 Pleasant Street; Suite 366, Easthampton, MA  01027
Phone: (413) 529-2428
Toll-free: (800) 892-7003

SNCARC: The Family Autism Center

Serving Norfolk County & Surrounding Areas
789 Clapboardtree St., Westwood, Massachusetts  02090
(781) 762-4001 x310

TILL Autism Support Center

Serving Metro Boston
20 Eastbrook Road, Suite 201, Dedham, MA 02026-2056
(781) 302-4600

Other Massachusetts Resources

The Doug Flutie, Jr., Foundation for Autism

P.O. Box 767, Framingham, MA 01701

Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE)

51 Water Street, Suite 206, Watertown, MA 02472

The Autism Support Center at Charles River

Paul D. Merritt Building
59 East Militia Heights Road, Needham, MA 02492

Autism Society of America, Massachusetts Chapter

c/o Autism Services Association
47 Walnut Street, Wellesley, MA 02481
781-237-0272 x17

Advocates for Autism in Massachusetts (AFAM)

217 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453
781- 891-6270

Massachusetts Advocates for Children

100 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116

Autism Insurance Resource Center

At New England INDEX
Amy Weinstock, Director

Upcoming events



Autism Support Group for Parents of Young Children

View Upcoming Event $

An affiliated chapter of the Arc logo
An affiliated chapter of the Arc logo