About Us

Different Minded Renaissance, Inc., doing business as US Autism Association, is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for autism education, support, and resources.

Since 1995, the US Autism Association has improved the quality of life for individuals affected by Autism Spectrum and their families.


Dr Phil DeMio at the conference

Our mission is to provide opportunity for all individuals on the Autism Spectrum to achieve their fullest potential by expanding and enriching the Autism community through education, online training, published and electronic information and resources, and partnerships with local and national projects.

What We Do

With a rich 25+-year tradition of providing education, training, resources, and connection to support and serve individuals affected by autism, their families, and those who work to support them, the US Autism Association took on new leadership in 2020 and began expanding its accumulated wealth of expertise to more fully expand into the the online learning and social media environments. Offering ongoing live webinars, podcasts, online training videos, opportunities to connect within several different social media platforms, and online conference and content streaming opportunities, the US Autism Association is expanding and growing while maintaining its “small, family of support model.” At US Autism, we hold the belief that if you want to understand autism, ask someone who is diagnosed. For this reason, the US Autism Association draws heavily from its Advisory Board, a majority of whom are either parents of those diagnosed or diagnosed as on the autism spectrum themselves.

Covid-19 Resources

Our History

Founded by Dr. L.P. Kaplan in 1995, Special Abilities evolved into the US Autism & Asperger Association in 2005, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to autism education, support, and resources. Through annual conferences, weekly newsletters, and a rich library of information on its website, the organization pursued its mission. In July of 2018 the US Autism Association, Inc. responded to the DSM-5 and ICD-11 decision to remove the Asperger diagnosis and changed its name to the US Autism Association.

After 25 years of service, Dr. Kaplan made the decision to retire, and in the spring of 2019, he began working with Dr. Marlo Payne Thurman, a member of his Advisory Board, to pass the torch to a new generation of leadership. Working together, Dr. Kaplan and Dr. Thurman recruited Jennifer Grace, as Chief Executive Officer, to form a new 501 (c)(3) organization headquartered in Connecticut with a satellite office in Denver, Colorado. Ms. Grace and Dr. Thurman stepped into their new roles, officially taking over the leadership of the US Autism Association in January of 2020. Dr. Thurman, as President and Board Chairman, along with many of the original Advisory Board members, will continue to support the new organization. Dr. Kaplan will serve as Founder and Director Emeritus.
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