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					        Suggestions for Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

1.   Contact or visit the websites for national disability organizations.
      a. Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) at http://www.cec.sped.org
      b. The Autism Society of America (ASA) at http://www.autism-society.org
      c. DisabilityInfo.gov at http://www.disabilityinfo.gov.
      d. CADDRE: Centers for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and
          Epidemiology at http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/caddre.htm
      e. Organization for Autism Research at http://www.researchautism.org/
      f. Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network at
          http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/addm.htm
      g. For information about early warning signs of ASD, go to
          http://www.firstsigns.org/
      h. For information about IDEA and early intervention visit Child Find at
          http://www.childfindidea.org/

2.   Look into state and local resources.
      a. Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) is a wonderful resource for
         families at http://ucf-card.org/ (Check for 6 other centers at universities
         throughout Florida.)
      b. ASGO (Autism Society of Greater Orlando (ASGO) http://www.asgo.org/
      c. Look for resources within your school. Talk to guidance counselors, school nurses
         and school administrators.
      d. The Florida Diagnostic Learning Resource System (FDLRS) provides resources
         and information for many disabilities at http://www.paec.org/fdlrsweb/
      e. The Florida Department of Education at www.fldoe.org/ese
      f. Positive Behavior Support Network is a huge resource on Autism. It focuses on
         behavioral analysis and how to determine the appropriate behavioral plan when
         working with children with autism. Go to
         http://cfs.fmhi.usf.edu/project-details.cfm?projectID=184
      g. The Florida Inclusion Network provides resources for inclusion at
         http://www.floridainclusionnetwork.com/page265.aspx
      h. Look into Miami Children’s Hospital Dan Marino Center at
         http://www.mch.com/page/EN/521/Ambulatory-Locations/Miami-Childrens-Hos
         pital-Dan-Marino-Center.aspx

3.   Stay in touch with what your community has to offer:
      a. Find a local support group.
                1.      http://www.childrensdisabilities.info/ has a list of support groups for
                         parents of children with ASD.
                2.      www.CafeMom.com provides a forum for parents to chat with other
                         parents who are going through similar problems.
      b. Look into local school programs, summer camps, and peer group activities.

4.   Search out experts in the field and access available services.
      a. Find a pediatrician who is knowledgeable about ASD.
      b. Contact universities to see if they have anyone who has expertise in ASD.
      c. Medicaid services - Despite the long waiting list and possible budget cuts, it
          remains an avenue worth exploring as it can offer life-long services for the
          individual with autism such as OT, PT, speech, behavior specialist, respite,
          supported employment coach, supported living coach.

5.   Use the internet as a resource, but do so cautiously.
      a. Autism Speaks at http://www.autismspeaks.org/
      b. National Autism Association at
          http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/index.php
      c. Autism and PDD Support Network at http://www.autism-pdd.net/

6.   Read about Autism Spectrum Disorders.
      a. Visit the public library to access resources.
      b. Suggested titles include: The Tiger’s Child, Emergence: Labeled Autistic,
          Unraveling the Mystery of Autism, and Thinking in Pictures.
      c. Get Some Perspective: read a book written by a person with ASD

7.   Do your research to avoid spending extraordinary amounts of money on “quick fixes.”

				
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