With the highest rate of autism in the nation (1 in 41 children), there's plenty of need for programs and therapy.

Wednesday, April 26, New Jersey will hold a special town hall on air and online, exploring autism's impact on New Jersey families and the support services available.

Join us at 7 p.m. here in this post or at Facebook.com/nj1015 to watch the presentation live. Experts from Autism New Jersey and Bancroft — two of the many organizations serving the autism community in New Jersey — will be on hand in our Facebook Live chat to answer your questions about where and how to get help.

Several groups in New Jersey are available to offer assistance:

Bancroft, our sponsor for Wednesday's town hall, is a nonprofit service provider for people with developmental disabilities and challengers. It serves people with autism as well as those with intellectual disabilities.

Services are available for children and adults.

NJ Autism resources (logo from POAC)
NJ Autism resources: where can families turn? (logo from POAC)

POAC Autism Services is the largest provider of free autism training and education in New Jersey. The nonprofit organization serves families and first-responders.

The group works with the New Jersey Autism Warriors, which serves as the parent-run recreational division of POAC. The partnership provides more opportunities for families to get together, socialize and support each other.

Autism New Jersey is the largest statewide network of parents and professionals dedicated to improving lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. The nonprofit is known for its information line (800.4.AUTISM), its public policy work in Trenton, its annual conference and other events year-round.

SIBS NJ (or Supportive Initiatives for Brothers & Sisters) is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting siblings of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental health conditions.

SIBS NJ helps siblings connect with one another as well as connect to resources such as free support groups.

ASPEN is a national volunteer nonprofit organization with headquarters in Edison. It provides education, support and advocacy for those affected by autism spectrum disorders (Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder-NOS, high functioning autism) and nonverbal learning disabilities.

The group's chapters meet monthly, alternating parent support meetings with speaker presentations.

The NJ chapter of Autism Speaks advocates for those with autism, and promotes solutions for families.

AFSNJ is a provider of family support services as an affiliate of The Family Resource Network. The statewide organization has offices in Brick, Parsippany, Trenton and Barrington.

The organization hosts in-person training and webinars with expert presenters in order to educate parents on various autism-related topics.

— By Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt and Louis C. Hochman. Follow Erin on Twitter and on Facebook as ProudJersey.

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