If your child is autistic, you’re not alone. The CDC estimates that one in every 54 children in the United States is autistic. The global average is 1 in every 160 children. Yet, despite its prevalence, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) aren’t clearly understood in our culture at large. In fact, the autism community itself has many different perspectives on neurodivergent advocacy, clinical treatment, and more issues!
As a parent or caregiver, where do you start your research to help you understand ASD and make informed decisions for your child/children?
Behavior Support Resources for Parents
Sometimes an autistic child may act out and behave in ways that can create issues within the household or school environment. If you’ve experienced this, you’re not alone. The following information and tools can help you address such behaviors:
Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit
An individual with autism sometimes displays behaviors that can be difficult to grasp and take care of. With this toolkit, you’ll be equipped with the relevant resources and strategies to handle such behaviors and support you during complex situations. From the Autism Speaks website, the kit is classified into various sections that you can read in their entirety or work through each section at a time.
Potty Training a Child with Autism via ABA
Understandably, this is among the most significant challenges for caregivers and parents of autistic children due to their unique needs and challenges. Consequently, traditional toilet training approaches may not be practical. Fortunately, this ABA (applied behavioral analysis) guide can be an excellent resource for your potty training program.
The Autism Helper Handout
The download from the Autism Helper organization, is dedicated to anything and everything about applied behavioral analysis. It gives parents a walk-through of the most common autism behaviors and how parents and caregivers can address them. This PDF handout also uses ABA to address various autism challenges.
Family Support Resources for Parents and Caregivers
It’s overwhelming to have an autistic child. But you’re not alone, and various trusted resources can link you with other families and learn from each other. These include:
Autism Resource Mom
This valuable digital resource is the brainchild of a mother whose child was diagnosed with ASD. Here, she shares all she has learned about navigating the diagnosis. On this site, you’ll find guidance, support, and hope for families.
Family Autism Network
The Family Autism Network program is designed to simplify and advance family access to resources to help them take care of autistic children.
Grandparents Autism Network
This network educates grandparents about ASD and the social, medical, legal, and educational issues affecting a diagnosed child’s family. It also enables them to share insights on improving their children’s and grandchildren’s quality of life.
Resources for a Successful School Experience
If you have an ASD-diagnosed child, you can request for an IEP (Individualized Education Program) from their learning institution to optimize their potential for academic success. Here are some of the best tools to guide you in advocating for your child.
Individualized Education Program: Summary, Process, and Practical Tips
An individualized education program is the best solution to help your kid get the most from their educational experience. But do you know how to request it? This interactive and comprehensive guide from Autism Speaks can help parents understand the program’s ins and outs.
ABA Therapy Schools Funding
Parents looking for treatment for their autistic children can adequately provide support by seeking funding from various sources. According to the CDC, you need at least $17,000 annually to care for an ASD-diagnosed child. This WebABA guide highlights the different steps you can take to obtain the appropriate funding to help your child.
Autism Information, Support, and Advocacy Resources and Organizations
Parents can also find the following organizations and web resources helpful when taking care of their autistic children:
This informative and fun website was created by a parent whose son had autism. Navigating the platform is easy, and parents can access a comprehensive list of ASD-related specialists and events. Furthermore, the site has interactive kids’ games.
Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children
Sesame Workshop created this nationwide initiative for communities with kids aged two to five years. It’s a contributory project comprising the input of people with autism, those serving the autism community, and parents. The resource will help you overcome hurdles and simplify daily activities.
The grassroots autism organization grows public awareness on the daily challenges of people across the spectrum. It also advocates for relevant services across all ages and offers the latest news regarding education, treatment, advocacy, and research. The organization’s partnership with AMC Entertainment lets autistic children watch hit films in sensory-friendly environments.
In essence, this is a collection of web courses and tools designed to connect community practice to science. The interactive web platform integrates current research and adequately illustrates effective techniques through a rich library of video content.
Organization for Autism Research
The organization researches autism challenges and uses science to address the educational, treatment, and social concerns of parents, self-advocates, caregivers, and autism professionals. It also disseminates the latest helpful information to the autism community.
A Guide for Parents: Choosing an ABA Provider
When looking for an ABA provider, you primarily focus on your child’s best interests. But finding a reliable provider isn’t a simple task without understanding what you’re looking for. This WebABA guide has all you need to know, from consideration factors to the different ways of evaluating a practice.
Federal Agencies and Federally-Funded Organizations
If your child has an ASD diagnosis, it’s essential to connect with the following federally-funded organizations and federal agencies:
Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)
CPIR can be considered the central product and information resource to CPRCs (Community Parent Resource Centers) and the Parent Training Information Centers. The latter is available in all states, serving as a rich source of training and information customized for parents, including those who don’t know English or have unique training needs. Furthermore, CPRCs serve underserved and targeted communities throughout the country. You can access all these by clicking here.
The Center on Technology and Disability
This organization increases the capacity of providers and families to acquire, implement, and advocate for reliable assistive and instructional technology devices, services, and practices. Youth, children, toddlers, and infants have a lot to benefit from research-based technologies if they fully participate in the daily routines. The solutions have also made the general educational curriculum accessible, improved educational results and functional outcomes, and met academic and career-ready standards.
Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA)
This organization is at the University of North Carolina’s Chapel hill. It’s focused on supporting and strengthening the local and state service system to provide quality, culturally appropriate, family-centered, and evidence-based services and support to disabled children and their families. Autism support is within the organization’s scope.
The U.S. Department of Education
When your child joins a public learning institution, they have rights under state and federal laws. The Department of Education provides information about these laws. In addition, its Office of Special Education Program backs projects that provide technical assistance and information to families of youth, children, toddlers, and infants with disabilities. There’s also a wealth of information concerning IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) from OSEP’s IDEA site.
We hope the resource list is helpful. Please comment below and share any organizations or tools we might have missed!