How you can support children, adults with autism in Dayton

The Dayton Autism Society, a nonprofit organization entirely run by volunteers including parents and professionals, serves families in Montgomery, Preble, Darke, Miami, Clark, Greene and Warren Counties.

“We provide 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,” explains the group’s Schelly Walls. “We also provide free monthly outings and activities and support groups for the individual and their families in a sensory-friendly environment.”

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Every year, the Society also hosts several large events including a special-needs flag football game and family picnic, a 5K Walk/Run/Resource fair in April (this year on April 27), and holiday events including a special trunk or treat. Walls says the Autism Society also offers resources to the community and provides education through attendance at resource fairs and community events.

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“We have provided direct education to local churches and elementary school classrooms on how to be welcoming and how to be a friend to someone with autism,” she says.

The organization can use donations from our readers that can be used at various events, gifts for holiday parties and more.

Here’s what they need:

  • Small board games, including gently used puzzles,
  • Calming fidget toys
  • Sensory chew items
  • Water beads
  • Kinetic sand
  • Pin art toys
  • Play dough
  • Building blocks/stackable toys/Lego's Sensory/knobby balls
  • Holiday-themed craft kits (to use at events)
  • Gift cards that can given out to families at the holiday party
  • Children's books, including gently used

Donations can be dropped off at the Regional Education Center, 4801 Springfield St., Dayton between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information, call (937) 815-4986 or email

CASH DONATIONS: General donations can be made online here.


The Autism Society is hosting its annual 5K Walk/Run/Fair on Saturday, April 27th, 2019, at Payne Recreation Center, 3800 Main St., Moraine. The race starts at 9 a.m. for runners and 9:15 a.m. for walkers. Register here or donate to support a team here.


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