We are TACA

Together as a community, we are taking action to improve the outcomes of families and individuals for a better quality of life.

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mission

TACA provides education, support and hope to families living with autism

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vision

For every individual diagnosed with autism to lead an independent life

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values

A

Authentic

We are honest, transparent and hold ourselves to the highest level of integrity.

C

Caring

We care deeply about families living with autism.

T

Tough

We believe knowledge is power and value families’ abilities to make informed decisions.

I

Informed

We believe the future is not set and tomorrow is going to be better than today.

O

Optimistic

We help families overcome challenges and take action.

N

Never

We will never give up!

A

Authentic

We are honest, transparent and hold ourselves to the highest level of integrity.

C

Caring

We care deeply about families living with autism.

T

Tough

We believe knowledge is power and value families’ abilities to make informed decisions.

I

Informed

We believe the future is not set and tomorrow is going to be better than today.

O

Optimistic

We help families overcome challenges and take action.

N

Never

We will never give up!

A message from

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Lisa Ackerman

Executive Director and Founder

In September 1999, the word “autism” rang through my ears like a cannon shot across the bow. My husband and I knew something was not going well with our son Jeff, but we would have never guessed it was autism.

Following that fateful visit with the neurologist, we visited many other professionals, including medical doctors, speech pathologists, audiologists, and behaviorists. The list seemed endless. The common message we were given; Autism has no hope, and no cure. In fact, the first three medical doctors recommended that my family find “institutional placement” for Jeff who was the ripe old age of 2½ years at the time.

Refusing to give up on our son, my husband and I spent hundreds of hours talking to any and all parents of a child diagnosed with autism, reading dozens of recommended books, watching countless hours of educational videos, and of course, surfing the internet constantly. We were determined that our beloved son would grow far beyond his label and that he would have a future that was wonderful and amazing despite his autism diagnosis. Early on, the most important step for us was to GET BUSY. It was up to us, HIS PARENTS, to make a difference for his future.

The early days of our son’s diagnosis were frustrating. Those countless hours spent researching, reading, talking – wasn’t there a better way? Wasn’t there SOMEONE who had already done the same research and searched for answers before, who could have brought us up to speed much sooner for us to help our son faster?

Fast forward to November 2000, when our daughter Lauren (at the advanced age of 16) recommended that we start a parent support group. Both my husband and I felt we were not qualified but we wanted the company of other families going through the same struggles so we could both socialize and share information, especially new research and treatment options as they became available. We also hoped to build a community where parents would be:

  • Inspired by each other’s steadfast hopes for their children’s futures
  • Passionate about autism education for themselves and other similarly struggling families
  • Enthusiastic about raising awareness about autism in the general public

The Autism Community in Action (TACA) began with 10 families in a living room in 2000. In 2022, we serve well over 83,000 families around the United States. From a grassroots beginning in Southern California, TACA expanded nationwide and now has a physical presence via our Chapters and provides a virtual offering for all families facing an autism diagnosis.

Where is my son Jeff now? He is in his last year of college at his first-choice university. He talks, makes jokes, plays multiple instruments, and composes his own songs, socializes with typical friends, and is an active member of society with a bright future. He also happens to be the sweetest, kindest person I know and is practically always smiling. That is a far cry from his early diagnosis and the initial prognosis for his future.

TACA’s goal is to provide education, support, and information to parents to help their children diagnosed with autism be the very best they can be, with the hope of recovery and or independence.

Today, there are many, many medical treatments and therapeutic options that help alleviate many of the symptoms suffered by our children diagnosed with autism. Let us share our collective, hard-won knowledge and experience with your family so your child’s treatment can begin right away. Ask about the autism journey because we are families with autism who have already “been there and done that” with many of our children. Some of us are still working hard every day with our children for whom we never give up hope.

We are Families with Autism Helping Families with Autism. The autism journey is not an easy one. It’s a marathon, not a sprint; so take each minute, hour, or day, one at a time. It will be difficult, but it will also be incredibly rewarding, because it will change your life, your family’s life, and most importantly, the lives of your children with autism to all enjoy a brighter future.

I wish all families treating and caring for their children with autism the very best possible outcomes for their children as they continue forward on the autism journey.

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what makes us so different?

TACA understands that there are underlying medical issues that cause the symptoms we know as autism. We follow the most recent scientific discoveries and share those discoveries with parents so they can help their children. Using both targeted therapies and proven medical interventions, kids diagnosed with autism have the potential to live a healthy, independent, and joy-filled life.

Because parents have seen such success with this approach, they volunteer for TACA to share their experience and hope with other families. Each year TACA is grateful for the dedicated volunteers paying it forward to help other families find community and a path for their child.

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2022 Volunteer Leadership Conference Photo 

what does the community think of us?

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Elizabeth McCoy, Esq

Attorney

TACA is probably the only non-profit I know that focuses on the family and helps through the entire journey. TACA does it all – the journey, the transition, the mentors, the conferences. It’s a lifeline for these families.

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Noe

TACA Dad & Volunteer

TACA is the best thing to happen to the autism community!

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Dan Rossignol, MD

Physician

If you are looking for some awesome, knowledgeable people to work with, these are the guys I highly recommend. Their friendliness and result-driven approach is what I love about them.

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Noe

TACA Dad & Volunteer

TACA is the best thing to happen to the autism community!

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Dan Rossignol, MD

Physician

If you are looking for some awesome, knowledgeable people to work with, these are the guys I highly recommend. Their friendliness and result-driven approach is what I love about them.

speaker_elizabeth_mccoy

Elizabeth McCoy, Esq

Attorney

TACA is probably the only non-profit I know that focuses on the family and helps through the entire journey. TACA does it all – the journey, the transition, the mentors, the conferences. It’s a lifeline for these families.

These badges shows our commitment to full transparency by providing up-to-date financial information for donors and funders.

See Financial Information
See Our Nonprofit Evaluation

These badges shows our commitment to full transparency by providing up-to-date financial information for donors and funders.

See Financial Information
See Our Nonprofit Evaluation
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