Autism Resources: Using the Web to Understand the Autistic World
Use the sites in this section to understand what autism is, learn about its potential causes and familiarize yourself with its signs and symptoms.
- You'll likely find a handful of terms mentioned frequently during your research. For example, autism is a type of pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).
- Because every individual case of autism is unique, most online information about autism is purposefully very general. If you'd like more specialized help, try searching the Web sites of autism foundations and organizations.
- The Autism PDD Support Network has a list of books on autism; many of the titles address children with autism.
Many of the symptoms and causes of autism are difficult for scientists and medical professionals to determine with certainty. The Web can help you learn about symptom trends and possible causes of autism.
- Autism symptoms are generally evident within the first 18 months of a child's life. Keep in mind, however, that children at that age often exhibit sporadic or quirky behavior. After reading this section, be careful not to project and read into symptoms that may not be there.
- Many medical Web sites offer an "Ask the Expert" feature. This feature can be helpful in offering a basic overview of a condition and answering simple questions, but it should not be used as a substitute for a face-to-face appointment with a doctor.
Dealing with autism is easier when you're equipped with reliable autism diagnosis and treatment information.
- The Web is no substitute for a doctor's formal diagnosis. If the autism diagnosis and treatment information you find at these sites leads you to suspect that your child may be autistic, take him to a pediatrician who can make a diagnosis or refer you to a specialist who can.
- Autism is known as a spectrum disorder, which means that the severity of disabilities autistics may face can vary greatly from person to person. As a result, lots of Web advice regarding autism diagnosis and treatment is more general than specific. Be in touch with your doctor or specialist for more precise information.
With a few adaptive teaching techniques and an understanding of autistic behaviors, parents and teachers can provide a well-rounded education for autistic children.
- Your state's Council on Developmental Disabilities may be able to help you with questions about your child's education.
- "Autism in the School-Aged Child" is a highly recommended book for parents and teachers of autistic children. It reviews both behavioral management strategies and tips for educators who want to successfully integrate an autistic child into the school system.
Autism does not go away with age and maturity, yet many of the resources about autism are geared toward children. Use these Web sites to find resources for adults with autism.
- We've included some sites in this section that are helpful in preparing an adult with autism for life after school.
- If you're caring for an adult with autism who has finished public school, your state's Council on Developmental Disabilities can be a valuable resource.
There are a variety of ways to get involved with autism advocacy, and share support with families faced with autism. Use the Web sites below to learn more.
- Autism advocacy tends to follow one of two approaches: working to cure autism, and working to help people understand autism. Visit the "About Us" section of a Web site to get an even clearer idea of the site's mission.
As researchers continue to study autism, it's important to stay abreast of the latest developments. You'll need good autism news and research sources to keep current.
- Many news sites offer e-newsletters. Subscribe to have news delivered straight to your e-mail inbox.
- Consider subscribing to RSS feeds to have new content delivered to you as it's posted.