When a child is diagnosed with autism, it can leave parents with a whole host of questions and concerns. Obviously, you want what’s best for your child—which is why it’s so important to be well-informed before determining a course of action that works well for your family’s needs.
Here are some useful resources that our experts recommend you check out to learn more about this delicate topic.
Articles, Research & Blogs
A breakdown of the basics: Autism Speaks is an excellent repository of information for anyone with questions about autism. It hosts dozens of pages breaking down the basics of common autism-related concerns, such as how to recognize signs of autism, the meaning of different diagnoses and even a preliminary screening questionnaire for toddlers between 16 and 30 months. The site also contains a plethora of regularly-updated news articles on autism-related matters, and a series of in-depth toolkit resources useful for everyone affected by a new diagnosis.
Research summarized for parents: The Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) has a very useful New Parent Information Packet that helps walk you through some of the important things to know and do both before and after your child is diagnosed. The package is very easy to read, but is also packed with detailed information based on the most up-to-date research available.
Personal success stories: Autism Care Today is a non-profit dedicated to supporting families of children with autism by raising awareness and encouraging appropriate interventions at an early age. In addition to information about the positive effects of intervention, the site also features some lighter reading material, such as blog posts and inspirational stories that can help remind you that you’re not alone in this challenge. This organization has been supported by many celebrities, including Howie Mandel, Olivia Newton-John, Tom Bergeron and Brian McKnight.
Important safety information: The National Autism Association is there to help with more urgent and immediate concerns. It features lots of information that is hard to find elsewhere — such as detailed statistics and warnings about potential safety risks faced by those with autism. It also provides webinars and downloadable guides to help prevent dangerous emergencies and accidents.
Information about practical matters: The Autism Society is another great source of content covering the basics, as well as information about autism-related advocacy and public policy matters. It also contains in-depth and easy to follow guides to practical topics related to living with autism—such as academic success, community inclusion and future planning.
The scientific background: The Child Mind Institute is an organization devoted to helping with a wide range of developmental and social/emotional challenges in children. Its autism section includes a guide to relevant terminology, information about the autism spectrum, details of how the condition affects different people in different ways and background information about how diagnoses are determined. The team is supported by more than 80 scientists and researchers.
A local resource: Autism New Jersey is another excellent non-profit organization dedicated to providing you with crucial and helpful information about your child’s diagnosis. It includes links to educational training programs, localized data and even articles geared towards adults with autism.
Books Worth Reading
For more thorough reading on childhood autism and related topics, here are several books we recommend checking out:
- Navigating the Medical Maze With a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Practical Guide for Parents
- The Loving Push: How Parents and Professionals Can Help Spectrum Kids Become Successful Adults
- Caring for Autism: Practical Advice From a Parent and Physician
- The Way I See it: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s: Revised and Expanded (Fifth Edition)
We hope these resources can help you make sense of the issues you’ve been trying to understand in order to provide your child with an environment where they can grow and thrive in a way that fits their individual needs. Of course, if you want to speak with anyone for specific, custom guidance for your child, the team at Empirian Therapy is here for you.