NEXT for AUTISM is a nonprofit organization that promotes the development of cutting-edge autism programs across the country. 

The organization partners with other programs in order to create new models for helping autistic people. It also supports existing programs so a greater number of people can access high-quality and innovative autism resources.

What Is NEXT for AUTISM?

This organization supports the development of pioneering programs designed specifically to meet the needs of people with autism. 

Founded in 2003, NEXT for AUTISM aims to create new programs and support existing ones that improve the lives of autistic individuals and their families. On average, a new program launches every 1.5 years. 

Whereas other organizations focus on funding for long-term scientific research, NEXT for AUTISM directs its resources to programs that launch as soon as possible. This means their programs benefit people almost immediately. NEXT for AUTISM creates and funds educational, clinical, and vocational programs.

Who They Help

NEXT for AUTISM strives to help children, adolescents, and adults with autism, as well as their families. In order to best support people affected by autism, the organization focuses on the following goals:

  • Maximize the potential of autistic people across their lifespan by creating and supporting high-quality programs.
  • Ensure that individuals with autism and their families fully integrate into their communities.
  • Expand the capacity of communities’ abilities to serve autistic people by coordinating autism services and sharing expertise across agencies and types of care.

The organization strives to help people of all ages with autism by continually considering what is next for them and what else would benefit them. NEXT for AUTISM strives to connect individuals with autism with excellent services in their communities so they can live fulfilling and productive lives. 

How the Organization Works

As social entrepreneurs, the organization strives to be at the cutting edge of new autism programs. It accomplishes this via the following:

  • Identifying best initiatives 
  • Collaborating with partners 
  • Providing seed funding to establish new model programs 
  • Focusing on outcomes and the potential to disseminate new programs nationally 
  • Providing tactical and strategic direction to new programs 
  • Offering programmatic and operational consultations 
  • Providing staff and board training and development 
  • Providing additional funds, when appropriate, to keep programs running

NEXT for AUTISM partners with a range of organizations to make its vision of starting and supporting innovative programs a reality. Partnerships with the following organizations have helped NEXT maximize the availability of autism resources:

  • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons 
  • Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Project SEARCH
  • The TEACCH Autism Program at the University of North Carolina
  • The JCC Manhattan
  • Hunter College at the City University of New York
  • NYC Autism Charter School
  • Kessler Foundation
  • Poses Family Foundation
  • The Arc of Westchester
  • Have Dreams

By partnering with the above organizations, NEXT for AUTISM is able to expand its audience, resources, and abilities to change the lives of people with autism. 

Programs Supported by NEXT for AUTISM

The organization supports a variety of programs associated with each life stage of people with autism. As the needs of someone with autism change as they progress through life, so too must the programs designed to support these individuals. 

All programs supported by NEXT for AUTISM adhere to the following criteria:

  • They must strive for excellence and be best-in-class. 
  • They should promote better integration and participation of individuals with autism in their communities.
  • Their primary goal should be a wider national impact as a dissemination model.
  • They must be catalysts for systemic change in how people view services and practices in the field of autism.

Here is a selection of the innovative programs established by NEXT for AUTISM and its partners:

  • NEXT for AUTISM Corporate Consulting partners with other nonprofits and companies to support the recruitment and retention of individuals with autism and other disabilities through employment consulting. 
  • NEXT for Neighbors was created by NEXT for Autism and Community Living Opportunities for Arc of Westchester as a community living model that provides comprehensive support services to adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. 
  • Project SEARCH Autism Enhancement is an employment training program provided to organizations and educational institutions across the country to help young autistic adults find meaningful employment.
  • The Hunter Autism Research, Practice, & Policy Center was created in 2008 by NEXT for AUTISM and Hunter College to provide Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) training and certification to teachers and autism professionals, as well as undergraduate coursework.
  • The NYC Autism Charter School was established in 2005 and is the first public charter school in the state of New York dedicated solely to the education of autistic children. It serves as a model, evidenced-based public education program for children with autism. 
  • Center for Autism and the Developing Brain was founded in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and the medical schools at Columbia University and Weill Cornell as a clinical facility that offers comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services for clients of all ages and their families. 
  • BOOST! After School Programs were created in partnership with the JCC Manhattan and modeled after an after-school program from Chicago, Have Dreams. The after-school programs use recreation and social interactions to teach socialization and communication skills to children and teens with autism. 

NEXT for AUTISM Resources

Besides supporting new programs, NEXT for AUTISM provides valuable resources to the autism community. To discover additional organizations dedicated to supporting individuals with autism and their families, visit NEXT for AUTISM’s resource page

In addition, information about NEXT for AUTISM’s fundraising events, grant opportunities, and ways to donate to the organization are available on the organization’s website.


About Us. NEXT for AUTISM.

Our Work. NEXT for AUTISM.