Autism Urban Connections is the first and only African American, minority, family focused Autism nonprofit in Pennsylvania. The organization was founded by Jamie Upshaw, a Black woman whose Autistic son was misdiagnosed as a young child, thereby missing key opportunities for early intervention. Her experience is not unique; research demonstrates that for African American children, there is an average 3-year delay between first parental developmental concern and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis.
Recognizing the lack of supports, education, and resources available in the African American, minority, and economically disadvantaged communities, Ms. Upshaw launched the Autism Urban Connections to meet the needs of Black families and other underserved populations with an Autistic child or family member.
The organization offers parent/caregiver support groups, trainings and workshops for families, self-care support, as well as a variety of special events such as a Parenting While Black Conference, and an Annual Autism Awareness Fun Day. In the words of Michelle Walker, a parent who has utilized the organization’s services, “Autism Urban Connections changed my life.”