Below are support groups and social activities run by autism professionals (e.g. psychotherapists and social workers).
Free support groups
Paid support groups
Free social activities
Other groups and programs (including paid services) will be listed here soon. In the meantime, consider also Autistic peer-led groups and social activities (listed on a separate page).
WARNING: Currently, meetings of groups run by even the best autism professionals are not necessarily held in meeting spaces that accommodate the full range of sensory sensitivities that may be found among autistic people. Hopefully in the future it will be possible for more groups to meet in more sensory-friendly spaces. In the meantime, see Sensory notes on the venues. If a venue is not described there, that means I don't yet know its sensory status. (It does NOT mean "No news is good news.")
Note: Organizations listed on this page are not affiliated with this website.
Free support groups in Manhattan
The Aspergers/Autism Network (AANE)'s New York City office holds two monthly support groups in Manhattan for people who are on the autistic spectrum or suspect they might be: (1) a group for adults regardless of gender and (2) a group for women only (including transwomen). No pre-registration required. Both groups are held at Spectrum Services, 303 Fifth Avenue (between 31st and 32nd Street), Suite 1003 (10th floor). (See sensory note.)
Free support groups in Nassau and Suffolk Counties
The Aspergers/Autism Network (AANE)'s Long Island office holds a monthly support group in Glen Head (Nassau County) for LGBTQ people who are on the autistic spectrum or suspect they might be. The Glen Head LGBTQ group meets at the Fay J Lindner Center For Autism, Conference Room, 189 Wheatley Rd, Glen Head, NY. (Sensory status unknown to me.) No pre-registration required.
Free support groups in Westchester and Rockland Counties
The Aspergers/Autism Network (AANE) holds a monthly support group in Tarrytown (Westchester County) for adults who are on the autistic spectrum or suspect they might be. The Tarrytown group meets at YAI Tarrytown, 3rd Floor, 677 White Plains Rd., Tarrytown, NY. (Sensory status unknown to me.) No pre-registration required.
Paid support groups in northern New Jersey
Depression Support Group For People With Aspergers Syndrome & LD. Meetings are held at Cognitive Change, LLC, 205 Ridgedale Avenue 2nd Floor, Florham Park, NJ. (Venue sensory status unknown to me.) For more information, email the facilitator, Elizabeth Geraldes, MA, LAC, NCC.
Free social activities in Manhattan
For women: Felicity House, a "free social community space just for women with autism." Purely social, not therapeutic, but it's run by professional staff. (Some though not all staff members have a clinical background.) Open only to women with an autism diagnosis, and there is an intake process known as the "discovery phase." Located at 25 East 22nd Street (between Broadway and Park Ave. South). (See sensory note.) Contact info here.
Sensory notes on the venues
The conference room at Spectrum Services uses CFG bulbs, which may bother people who can hear frequencies above the normal human hearing range. However, the sound made by the CFG bulbs is partially drowned out by white/pink noise generators in the hallway. (The noise generators are far less irritating than the CFG bulbs, at least to my sound-sensitive boyfriend. Their purpose is to protect the privacy of psychotherapy clients by muffling sound.)
Featured page: Where to get an ASD evaluation as an adult.
It's not easy to find psychotherapists who are qualified to diagnose autism spectrum disorder, especially in adults.
On the above-linked page is a preliminary list of places where some members of local support groups obtained their diagnoses. Soon this list will be updated to include many more places and, for those already listed, more information about insurance, other reduced-cost options, etc.