Our History

Autism was virtually unknown to the general public until the 1960’s despite being identified as early at the 1940’s. A small group of parents and professionals were seeking a way to work for the welfare of all children with severe communication and behavioral disorders. In 1966, The National Society for Autistic Children (NSAC) was formed by Dr. Bernard Rimland, a San Diego psychologist and parent of an autistic child. The goal of this organization was to seek education, care, and cure for these children and work for adequate legislation, research and publicity for their unique problem. This organization created a national entity and local chapters to meet the needs of their communities on a grassroots level. The original local chapters included Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara and Orange County. In 1969, NSAC changed its name to the Autism Society of America to emphasize that children with autism grow up. Through the years, the Autism Society of America has grown to all 50 states. The mission and goals have not changed from the original, founding vision.

We are an affiliate of the Autism Society of America. Founded in 1986 by Leah Devulder, a divorced mom with a newly diagnosed son. After attending the closest conference she could find on autism, in Long Beach, she was convinced that she needed to help the parents in her area. She formed the Desert Communities Chapter of the Autism Society of America which included all of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. She formed the chapter with 9 people and her dog as the original 10 members. In 1987, the name was changed to the Autism Society of America – Inland Empire Chapter, and changed again in 2009 to the Autism Society Inland Empire, Inc.

Our affiliate is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization which continues to be an all-volunteer, grassroots, organization. We serve as the voice and resource of the Inland Empire. We serve individuals with ASD, parents, relatives, friends, advocates, educators and other professionals throughout the Inland Empire.