Suspecting your child may have autism can be an anxious and unnerving feeling for parents and relatives. Often these caregivers are looking for information that can help them determine signs of the disorder. Fortunately, there are many websites that provide detailed information about autism diagnosis, treatment, support and research. However, while the internet can provide a lot of useful information, it should not take the place of the expert evaluation and treatment that centers like Reaching Milestones can provide. Each person with autism is different, and while the internet can deliver the general information, only an expert can properly address the conditions specific to your needs.
Learning the Signs
Many websites provide comprehensive research guides that can help parents identify early signs of autism. These guides lay out characteristics of communication and behavior that parents can pay attention to if they have concerns about their children. These usually include a checklist that parents can use to decide whether they should take their children to be evaluated. The guide also includes other useful information to help evaluate your child, including a series of videos that can provide better visual representations. While the signs can help parents know whether to have their children evaluated, it can’t help place the child on the range of autism spectrum disorders, which can vary from mild to severe.
NIH Online Resources
The National Institute of Health represents some of the leading government science and research on medical issues and has significant resources available online that address autism spectrum disorder. One valuable resource on the NIH website is the “Parent’s Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder.” This document answers many common questions about diagnosis, treatment and causes of ASD. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a division of NIH, also has information about autism, including detailed research on the symptoms, causes and conditions of autism. There is also information about research the NICHD is conducting, including clinical trials.
The National Autism Association
The National Autism Association is a parent-run, nonprofit advocacy organization that provides information about autism and resources for parents that are in need of support. The NAA has local chapters, which gives parents an opportunity to connect with others who are involved with autism outreach, support, or advocacy. NAA has resources to help parents find local support groups and it includes a focus on safety for individuals on the autism spectrum. NAA has started a campaign called “AWAARE” — for Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response Education — to help raise awareness about the issues of autistic children who leave the supervision of adults.
Autism Speaks is one of the leading advocacy organizations dedicated to research and education on autism spectrum disorders. In addition to funding research, this organization also strives to raise awareness on the growing rates of autism and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism, and their families. The Autism Speaks website has many resources for people who want to learn more about the causes, prevention, and treatments for autism. The website also gives details on fundraising activities, monitors advancements in treatments and research, and follows legislation and changes in public policy.
Other Autism Internet Resources
There are many other places to find good information on autism spectrum disorder on the internet. The Autism Blog Directory gives parents a wide variety of news, opinions and perspectives on ASD. Parents and caregivers can find many resources, including sites that focus on inspiration, motivation and success stories, on The Autism Action Partnership website.
The Friendship Circle has a good list of useful websites on autism, including specialized sites for parent coaching, finding caregivers, and finding support groups.
Finding Help in the Southeast
Parents, family members and caregivers in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina can find help at Reaching Milestones, which offers many options for both home and center-based autism therapy. Our caring experts can help with behavior problems, schooling and development of self-help skills and can work with a wide variety of autism spectrum disabilities. Call today for a consultation.