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Family Resources

Information about autism spectrum disorders, planning & tools, health resources, legal rights, and more.

Resources for Parents and Families

With the massive amounts of information available on the internet today, sometimes it's tough to find exactly what you're looking for with a simple search engine. We hope these resources will come in handy for families looking for specific and helpful information.

Information About Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks provides a great resource to learn about autism spectrum disorders, symptoms, available treatments, and more. The website is family-friendly, includes personal examples, and is easy to navigate — one of the best starting points for families living with autism and a resource that will be useful for years after.

CDC - Information for Families

The Center for Disease Control provides a good starting point for families who have received a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder and are looking for straightforward, basic information about it.

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Planning & Tools After Diagnosis

Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response Education (AWAARE) &

Wandering is a pervasive issue for families living with autism. Wandering commonly describes the behavior of leaving a safe place without a caretaker's knowledge and is incredibly dangerous. Created by the National Autism Association, AWAARE has excellent resources for families concerned about wandering, including frequently asked questions about wandering, safety materials , emergency plans, and much more.

In response to elevated mortality rates in the autism community, the National Autism Association has also launched , a multi-categorical safety site specific to the topics of wandering , bullying , restraint and seclusion , and suicide prevention in the autism community.

AblePlay™ Ratings for Toys

AblePlay's website provides professional evaluation of and specific recommendations for children's toys, classified by need and age. You can tailor your search by selecting from four categories to describe your needs; not all categories are required (for example, you may choose "Sensory" and "Autism Spectrum Disorder" but leave product category and age range empty for a wider variety of results). Be sure to check out the "Great Finds" section as well for other useful items.

Autism Speaks: 100-Day Kit

The 100-day kit is a superlative tool designed to get families through the first 100 days after diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder. It contains great information about diagnosis, rights and services, and treatment, and a schedule build to accomplish tasks that, taken together, might be overwhelming — but one week at a time are a little more feasible.

Autism Speaks: Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit

The Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit is designed to help families living with Asperger Syndrome or with high-functioning autism. It contains information about Aspergers and high-functioning autism, and how they are different from classic autism, as well as safety and emergency information, information about and planning for education, and transition into adulthood and other resources.

Both the 100 Day Kit and the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit are located on a family services page of the Autism Speaks website.

Autism Speaks: Transition Tool Kit

This is a tool kit for families of adolescents and young adults living with autism. It includes planning strategies and resources addressing legal matters, finding housing, employment, education, and more, designed to help families begin to plan for a child on the spectrum's transition from childhood to a happy, productive, fulfilling adulthood.

Autism Speaks: School and Community Tool Kit

This kit about autism and education may be useful to educators and parents alike. It provides information about autism, multiple strategies for communicating with students who are on the spectrum, as well as number of great resources to augment this information.

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Health Resources

Autism Speaks: Family Services Resource Guide by State

A list of health services by state is available at the Autism Speaks website, and includes support networks, medical professionals and therapists, school information,and more.

Autism Society of America

A great souce for parents looking for specific resources , the Autism Society of America provides a search by state, city, zip code, and/or language spoken for active sources of support, services (such as therapy centers), medical professionals, early intervention, and more.

Health Resources and Services Administration - Find a Health Center

The HRSA's mission is to provide low-cost, affordable health care for people in need but unable to afford traditional clinics due to situaiton or lack of insurance. The HRSA's federally-funded health centers provide services that include regular physician care for children, dental care, mental health care, and more. Their website provides a listing search by address (you can type in your zip code), state, or county.

Operation Autism

Information for military families living with autism can be found on the Operation Autism website, including health care, services to help children living with autism and their parents, and more.


Medicaid is managed by individual states, not the federal government. Information about health coverage programs by state is available at the Insure Kids Now government website, including state information about medicaid and application links. For families having trouble, eligibility and benefits are a truly helpful thing to check.

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Legal Rights

Autism Speaks: Your Child's Rights

Your Child's Rights on the Autism Speaks website is an outstanding resource. Comprehensive and written for families, this page can give you a solid understanding of how U.S. law applies to your situation, and what you child's rights are.

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) has some excellent information about IEPs and how they apply to parents and children. Page through this resource to learn who should be on your child's IEP team, what they (and you!) should be doing, and more.

The U.S. Department of Education is a good source of detailed legal information about IEPs. If you're looking for a layman's perspective, we recommend visiting Autism Speaks or first.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

If you need detailed legal information about IDEA, take a look at the U.S. Department of Education website and the National Education Association website .

Yale: Legal Rights of Children with Autism and Related Disorders

Yale University has posted a video about the legal rights of children with autism; a lecture presented by a lawyer with over twenty years of practice who also has a child living with autism. It's long — but thorough.

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Additional Resources

Autism Speaks: Family Services Resource Guide

The Family Services Resource Guide has two extremely valuable sections . In the upper section, you can find resources including diagnostic, treatment, education, and health services, and more, in your state. In the lower section, you can find books, websites, toys, safety products, and more.

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