This is another post on autism awareness brought to you by ASANV. Together we can conquer autism.

This information is meant to give purposeful direction to parents in the those of anxiety and remorse when they receive the initial diagnosis of  Autism Spectrum Disorder (PDD-NOS, PDD, Aspergers/Autism) or before a diagnosis, when there is suspicion in the mind of
parents or teachers.

These suggestions are in no way to represent or take the place of medical advice.

1. Immediately call Lynne Ryan, the Information and Referral consultant. She can give you information and names of parents willing to mentor and help other parents with suspicions or new diagnoses.

2. Talk to more than one parent to ensure that you get all the unbiased information. Different therapies and interventions work for different children and it is your job to investigate them all thoroughly so you can make the best decision for your child.

3. Call your county’s Special Education office and ask to speak to an eligiblity coordinator. Let them know you suspect your child has delays or possibly autism and ask for an evaluation. They will provide one FREE. If your child is under 2 years old, the school system may direct you to the PIE program, who will provide the free evaluation.

4To begin learning about the special education law and your child’s rights visit:  http://www.edlaw.net
http://www.wrightslaw.com
Also look at the ASA-NV resource directory for advocates available across Northern Virginia. They can help ensure your child receives appropriate intervention.

5. Investigate options that are available to help your child learn. Learn the benefits and differences in ABA / TEACCH / Miller Method / Higashi Method / Floortime / PECS / Social Stories. Web sites to get you started include the following.

http://www.unc.edu/~cory/autism-info/autitrea.html
http://www.autisminfo.com/aba.htm
http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep99/pi4.html
http://www.millermethod.org
http://www.bostonhigashi.org
http://members.tripod.com/~RSaffran/aba.html

http://trainland.tripod.com/pecs.htm non verbal communication

6. Research biomedical interventions for children with autism.
http://www.safeminds.org….Sensible Action For Ending Mercury-Induced Neurological Disorders
http://home.att.net/~pediatricaac/main.html.
urocholine/ bethanechol/Vit.A therapy

http://www.healing-arts.org/children/holmes.htm
Chelation of Mercury for Autism

7. Research Biomedical Testing done by those with experience.
http://www.greatplainslaboratory.com Lenexa , Kansas
http://www.gsdl.com Asheville, North Carolina
http://www.doctorsdata.com
http://medigenesis.com

8. Find a DAN! (DEFEAT AUTISM NOW! ) Doctor and make an appointment while you are doing your homework. It will seem like forever before you might be able to get in to see the
doctor for the first time, but while you are waiting to get in to see the doctor, you can be learning about the disorder. This way you are not wasting time by learning about the disorder and THEN waiting to get in and see the doctor. http://www.autism.com/ari/danlist.html

9. Give serious thought to Dietary Interventions. Learn what you can about them. Make sure that you are working in conjunction with a licensed nutritionist or your child’s pediatrician if you aren’t yet working with a DAN ! doctor to make sure that your child’s nutritional needs are being met.
http://www.gfcfdiet.com – Gluten Free/Casein Free Diet
http://www.newdiets.com – GF/CF Recipes
http://www.healingarts.org/children/..
Understanding and Implementing the GF/CF Diet http://www.autismndi.com – Autism Network for Dietary Intervention

9. Attend the ASA-NV meetings and trainings in your area. Most trainings are held in Loudoun, Fairfax, and Arlington Counties on the 2nd Thursday of each month. The general meeting is held at McLean Bible Church on the 4th Thursday of each month. All are scheduled from 7-9 pm. Here you can meet local parents and professionals.
And you can visit: http://www.autism-info.com or http://www.unc.edu/~cory/autism-info/

10. Read some introductory books on autism. These are available through the ASA-NV lending library (contact Lynne Ryan at 703-495-8444 for titles)

11. There is active research on a suggested link between the MMR vaccine and
some forms of Autism:
http://osiris.sunderland.ac.uk/autism/vaccine.htm
http://www.909shot.com/NVICSpecialReport.htm
http://vaccineinfo.net

12. Locate and talk to parents who have done specific treatments and therapies. ASA-NV has an egroup that you can join through our website at www.asanv.org. Parents and professionals discuss many treatment options via the egroup and messageboard also maintained on the
website.

13. Remember that as parents of a child with autism, you need time to understand and accept this diagnosis. There is pain and grief that you may have to deal with during this time.
Find support from other parents and from your family. Do not try to do this alone.