Southwest Iowa families with autistic children have a new resource for information. The Autism Action Partnership launched a new website and hotline this week.

Right now, the partnership serves more than three-thousand families and individuals in southwest Iowa and Nebraska who are living with autism. Bridgett Cannon-Hale, director of programming for the Autism Action Partnership, says the center helps families find all the information they need in one place.

"That has information ranging from different types of therapy, so if you’re looking for a speech therapist there’s a list of speech therapists there, there are occupational therapists, information about schools, health professionals, various recreational activities, support groups for parents, respite care, different autism organizations in town," Cannon-Hale says, "so a little bit of everything." Cannon-Hale says their goal is to educate everyone about autism.

"People still have a picture of an individual with autism that is nonverbal, violent, and sits in the corner and rocks and bangs their head. And while there are some children, of course, in the autism spectrum that do that, it’s so much more than that and so the goal has really been educating people about what autism really is and that it’s not a death sentence and if you have the resources and help available, you know, it is possible to help those kids and individuals live meaning and productive lives."

Find out more on the Autism Action website , or call 1-877-273-2271.