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About Autism Grown Up

Our mission is to create and share resources and education to support autistic individuals & their support networks across the lifespan.

Who We Are

Autism Grown Up, Inc. is a non-profit organization that is entirely online, which means that all of our resources are available online so we are able to reach the autism community globally.

We create and provide resources for autistic people and all members of an autistic person’s support network, including family members, teachers, clinicians, therapists, professionals, peers, employers, and other important stakeholders. This is the crew that surrounds an autistic person as they grow up and navigate adulthood. We all don’t do it alone!

Vision Statement

We envision a world where autistic people are seen, heard, appreciated, and loved for who they are.

1) They are surrounded by a support network and can navigate a world that is accessible to them.

2) They can easily pursue meaningful lives where they can work, play, and live how they want to.

3) They can have friends, relationships, and live independently or have options of where to live that are safe, financially secure, and visible in communities.

4) They have supports through services to be financially secure, to plan for the future, and access to programming to meet their needs.

Frameworks

Our materials and tools are here for the autistic self-advocate, family member, professional, and stakeholder to use in their daily lives and plan ahead. We know that it takes a community to mobilize one person after another to make a significant change in policy, services, and expectations, and you can start here.

We're here to listen and support you. That's how all of these materials and tools were created. They are strengths-based - meaning we don't focus on autism as a deficit - and supportive of where you are.

We use identity-first language. Autistic people highly prefer this type of language use: autistic vs. person with autism. And we understand that not all people on the autism spectrum have this preference, so we will also differentiate as so on an individual basis.

Our community is intersectional. There are so many challenges in the world when you are an autistic, black, indigenous person of color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+, multiply disabled, mental health needs, female or non-binary. These also come into play for those who are self-diagnosed too. We recognize that we have many self-diagnosed autistic people, especially adults. Receiving a diagnosis can be a privileged process. We do not diagnose here, but offer resources for those of who are in this self-diagnosis area who may or may not be seeking an official diagnosis. 

AGU Board & Staff

Our non-profit organization is neurodiverse across all levels, from board leadership to staff members and collaborators.

Meet the AGU Board!

These individuals passionately dedicate themselves to AGU's mission. Board members (aside from the Executive Director) are all volunteers. We are so grateful for the commitment and support of these board members!

Executive Director & Founder

Executive Director & Founder

Dr. Tara Regan

Dr. Regan is the oldest sister to 2 brothers on the autism spectrum and has been in the autism field for over a decade. She is an interdisciplinary professional drawing from her work in social work, special education, community-based services, and research to create person-affirming teams and support networks around autistic people as they grow up.

At Autism Grown Up, she hopes to launch as many families, teachers, therapists, professionals, and other important community stakeholders (like employers and work colleagues) into identity-affirming practices. These identity-affirming practices are applicable at any age and become increasingly critical with the transition to adulthood and navigating the lifespan.

Tara has worked in elementary to high schools, universities, recreational camp programs, community-based services, and day programs. She has also been an autism researcher and instructor working with future educators and professionals, community organizations, and schools. In 2018, after earning her PhD at UNC-Chapel Hill in the Applied Developmental Science and Special Education Program, she founded Autism Grown Up. 

Vice President

Vice President

Rory Regan

Rory is a super proud father to 4 children, including 2 sons on the autism spectrum (Tyler & Tanner), an Air Force veteran, and is an advocate in the autism community. He enjoys sharing what he's learned along the way, what he's continuing to learn as his sons navigate adulthood, and promoting the Autism Grown Up vision and mission for other families to be able to have the resources they need.

Secretary

Kelly Regan

Kelly is also a (super proud) mom to 4 children, including Tyler & Tanner. She brings her background in healthcare and her role as her sons’ main caregiver to her work with Autism Grown Up.

Advisory Board

Member

Tyler Regan

Member

Tanner Regan

Staff

Our staff includes our Executive Director - listed above - as well as a small team of neurodiverse resource writers and creators that help us with projects from time to time. We keep our team small so we can pay them!