Continuing in the spirit of Autism Awareness Month this month, I wanted to pull together some of my favorite online resources for parents of children with high functioning autism or Asperger’s disorder.
Information and Advocacy Groups:
- Autism Speaks – As one of the nation’s largest advocacy and education groups for autism spectrum disorders, Autism Speaks has a website with comprehensive information about autism, information on a variety of resources, and ways to get involved in advocacy work yourself.
- Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) – ASAT is an organization created to help provide parents with scientifically sound information on autism treatment and to help improve media coverage of issues related to autism spectrum disorders. Their website has a large searchable directory of autism treatments and provides in-depth analyses of the state of scientific research on any given treatment option.
- Disability Rights California – For parents here in California, this site provides extensive information on how to access services and your rights and responsibilities under California law.
General Support Groups:
As a parent coping with a new diagnosis or one dealing with the ongoing challenges of raising a child on the autism spectrum, finding support from other parents can be a huge blessing. While most areas have in-person support groups, several online support groups are also available.
- OASIS (Online Asperger Syndrome Information & Support) – Originally started as an online information and support group for individuals with an Asperger’s Disorder diagnosis, the site has expanded to cover the full range of autism spectrum disorders. In addition to links to local support resources, they provide active online discussion forums to connect with other parents and ask questions about a range of topics.
- Autism Source – A service of the Autism Society, Autism Source links to local affiliate chapters that provide information on local support and resources. They also have a toll-free number to call for information and referrals.
- MD Junction Online Autism Support Group – Provides discussion forums for parents to connect and discuss various issues related to autism spectrum disorders.
Local Support Groups:
For parents in the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas here in the greater Los Angeles area, there are several local support groups available to families.
- Santa Clarita Autism Asperger Network (SCAAN) – local support group for the Santa Clarita Valley.
- The Help Group – Large local research, intervention, training, and advocacy organization in Sherman Oaks. In addition to direct services, they also offer monthly support groups for parents. Please contact them for more information.