Autism Spectrum Disorder – You’re Not Alone
When we have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, it can sometimes feel as if we are the only people in the world who go through this experience. The daily challenges can often make us feel isolated from other parents, and we can often feel as if no-one else understands the unique tasks we face every day to get our child to feel encouraged, progressing, and completely supported. Whether as a parent, teacher of carer of a child with ASD, it’s occasionally overwhelming to tackle our challenges alone, and important to seek out other people who fully understand what we experience, and can lend a supportive shoulder to let us blow off steam from time to time. Even though the process of caring for a child with ASD can seem like an isolating experience, in fact the opposite is true. The good news is there are a wealth of resources out there to support us when we need someone to talk to, and every year more and more sites, forums and organizations are being set up to acknowledge the challenges we face, and put in place proactive steps to lessen our isolation. As ASD becomes more well known and publicized, so people are beginning to recognize the fact that carers and parents of ASD kids need a strong set of resources to support us. So, where do we start to look for fellow carers to talk to? Where can we go to get the latest research, tips, techniques and tricks to support our child to flourish, bringing out the very best in them? Here are just a handful of resources dedicated to offering you the very best support online… OASIS and MAAP The Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support (OASIS) center has joined with MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome to create a single resource for families, individuals, and medical professionals who deal with the challenges of Asperger Syndrome, Autism, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder / Not Otherwise Specified (PDD/NOS). The site offers carers, etachers and parents advice, articles, links to support groups, educational resources and conference information. It also features message boards where you can meet up with other people and share your experiences online. The Autism National Committee (AUTCOM/ANC) AUTCOM and the ANC offer carers of children with ASD and other disorders a range of support and resources. The committee describes itself as the only autism advocacy organization dedicated to "Social Justice for All Citizens with Autism" through a shared vision and a commitment to positive approaches. Founded in 1990, the organization was set up to protect and advance the human rights and civil rights of all people with autism, pervasive developmental disorder, and related differences of communication and behavior. The Autism Society of America ASA is one of the foremost resources dedicated to carers of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The site features statistics and information about the condition, a national directory of resources for people to search for their ideal support, and information specifically for parents, teachers, advocates or professionals supporting people with ASD. Founded in 1965 by Dr. Bernard Rimland, Dr. Ruth Sullivan and many other parents of children with autism, the Autism Society has spearheaded numerous pieces of state and local legislation, including the 2006 Combating Autism Act, the first federal autism-specific law. Families for Early Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Northern California FEAT is a non-profit organization of parents, family members, and treatment professionals, designed to help families with children of all ages who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which includes Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Aspergers Disorder (AS). It offers a network of support where families can meet each other to discuss issues surrounding autism and treatment options. FEAT has a Board of Directors that meets monthly to discuss issues, establish priorities, and vote on the direction of the organization.