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Resources for parents of a child with an ASD

Resources for parents of a child with an ASD

Autism Speaks

The nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization; dedicated to funding research, increasing awareness of ASD’s, and advocating for the needs of persons with autism and their families.

Helpful Materials: Contains links to parent support groups, education materials, and videos. Also, a free downloadable 100 Day Kit is the definitive resource for families of children with newly diagnosed ASD.
Autism Response Team 1-888-288-4762
Email: Familyservices@autismspeaks.org

CDC National Center on Birth Defects & Developmental Disabilities

Aims to promote the health of children and adults and to enhance potential for full, productive living, through research, partnerships, prevention, and education. This program offers many helpful materials for parents and free resource kits for health care and child-care professionals.

Helpful Materials: Learn the Signs, Act Early campaign to educate parents about child development and the early warning signs of ASD’s and encourage developmental screenings and interventions.

Organization for Autism Research (OAR)

Mission is to use applied science to answer questions that parents, families, persons with autism, teachers, and caregivers confront daily.

Helpful Materials: Educators Guide to Autism is an online publication for parents, teachers, and other professionals teaching a child with autism in the educational setting and they also offer a Parent’s Guide to Assessment tool.


Autism Society of America

The nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, with a strong chapter network that has spearheaded numerous pieces of state and local legislation, including the 2006 Combating Autism Act.

Helpful Materials: Online quarterly journal called Autism Advocate, annual national conference on autism, and links to local chapters for families.

Future Horizons

Aims to disseminate information about autism and asperger syndrome through books and other media; has grown to be a world leader in publications and conferences on ASD’s.

Helpful materials: Catalog of books, DVD’s, and other materials for families, professionals, and children. They also have an online magazine called Autism-Asperger’s Digest which features practical strategies for meeting the real-life challenges of ASD.


Leading website for special education law and advocacy; publishes thousands of articles, cases, and free resources for parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys.

Helpful Materials: Online articles to help families understand the special education process, books, CD’s/DVD’s, and digital medial through Harbor House Law Press.

The National Academies Press

Publishes reports from national institutions, offers free online access as a PDF read-and-print publication.

Helpful Materials – Educating Children with Autism– seminal publication outlines evidence-based educational intervention in children with ADS’s and identifies characteristics of programs that work.

Related Services for Families of a Child with an ASD

Speech and Language Therapy

Depending on the verbal aptitude of the child, the goal might be mastery of spoken language, use of signs or gestures to communicate, or the pragmatic (social) use of language. To find a speech-language pathologist, contact the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: www.asha.org

Augmentative Communication

Any tool, strategy, or technology that compensates for, enhances, expands, or helps develop expressive and receptive communication skills; these range from gestures and signing to communication boards, speech-generating devices, and exchange-based approaches.

For example of AC devices, see the GoTalk Communication Device Series from Spectronics:www.spectronicsinoz.com/catalogue/gotalk0communication-devices-series

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

PECS allows children with little or no verbal ability to communicate using pictures; PECS starts by teaching the child how to exchange a picture for an object. For a video demonstrating PECS go towww.youtube.com/user/pentaburks#p/search/0/eTzedhezar8; for a training module on PECS go towww.autisminternetmodules.org/mod_intro.php?mod_id=33.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

OT can provide strategies for learning key tasks that can be practiced at home, in school, and in other settings; OT can also address sensory defensiveness, which is common in children with an ASD. For a podcast on the role of PT in children with ASD, go tohttp://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-29844/TS-203502.mp3

Social Stories

The goal of a social story is to share accurate social information in a patient and reassuring manner that is easily understood; it is usually written in the first person in short, direct statements that target a particular skill to be mastered. For a video describing Social Stories, go towww.youtube/watc?v=VOHqcz9gZqk

Peer-Mediated Instruction (PMI)

PMI aims to increase the social engagement of children with an ASD through semi structured interactions with typical developing peer. For a training module on PMI, go towww.autisminternetmodules.org/mod_intro.php?mod_id=13

Video Modeling (VM)

VM is used to teach desired behaviors in children with ASD; either videotaped instruction of another person performing a desired behavior or videotaped models of the target child successfully performing desired behaviors. For more information on VM, visit The national Professional Development Center on ASD’s website: http://autismpdc.fpg.unc.edu/content/video-modeling