MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Autism Society needs items for families

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

It’s National Autism Awareness Month. The Dayton Autism Society, a nonprofit organization run entirely by volunteers, serves families in Montgomery, Preble, Darke, Miami and Greene counties.

The group provides financial assistance to individuals — both children and adults — with Autism Spectrum Disorder who need help paying for therapy, adaptive equipment or services related to their diagnosis. It also provides free monthly outings and activities and support groups for the individual and their families in a sensory-friendly environment with the support of the Brighter Tomorrow Foundation.

Every year the society also hosts several large events including a 5K Walk/Run/Resource fair in April, a special-needs flag football game and family picnic, and a holiday party. The society also offers resources to the community and provides education through attendance at resource fairs and community events.

President Elizabeth Redmon says her group has provided direct education to local churches and elementary school classrooms about how to be welcoming and how to be a friend to someone with autism. Members have distributed “Sesame Street” books introducing a character with autism to families and schools to help educate kids on autism and acceptance.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

“We are still bouncing back from the pandemic and getting families engaged with our society,” says Redmon. “We’re excited to see more families from our community getting involved and coming out to our events.”

The organization relies on donations from the local community to continue to provide services.

Here’s what they need:

  • Calming fidget toys
  • Sensory chew handheld toys that provide sensory stimulation for children with autism, and are made with safe materials, such as non-toxic silicone or fabric.
  • Water beads
  • Kinetic sand
  • Pin art toys that feature steel pins that allow a child to make and look at imprints in the pins.
  • Play dough
  • Building blocks/stackable toys/LEGO’s sensory/knobby balls
  • Holiday-themed craft kits (to use at events)
  • Gift cards that can be given out to families at the holiday party
  • Children’s books, including gently used
  • Weighted Blankets/vests
  • Noise canceling head phones
  • Basketballs, footballs, other sports equipment
  • Event tickets and passes for skating, bowling, movies
  • Canvases for painting and paint supplies

Donations can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at the Regional Education Center, 4801 Springfield St., Dayton, 45431. Contact the Dayton Autism Society to arrange for items to be picked up at

Monetary donations can be mailed to the Dayton Autism Society at 4801 Springfield St., Dayton, OH 45431 or through a donation link on the website at


The Dayton Autism Society 5K Walk/Run/Resource Fair for Autism Acceptance is slated from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 30 at the Payne Recreation Center, 3800 Main St., Moraine. If you’d like to register, see

For more information you can also contact, send a message on Facebook or call (937) 815-4986.

The Autism Society is always in need of volunteers for events and is always looking for companies willing to partner for new outings for the families in a sensory-friendly setting.


Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith:

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

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