Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Autism Resource for Families

If someone in your family has an autism diagnosis, there's a new online resource you should check out. The Interactive Autism Network was created by the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore to connect families with other families and researchers, according to a recent article in the US News & World Report. You can fill out forms detailing your family member's treatment plan and find out more about how effective others view the treatment - though information is kept confidential unless you agree to have it released to researchers.

There's a community section , as well, where you can chat with other families. Within a month, the site has attracted 13,000 members - that's a lot of people who can give you feed back.

I have a friend whose child was diagnosed with autism. This child has a long medical history - she was born a micro preemie, and that means a lot of health problems and developmental uncertainity. She's had surgeries, is legally blind and is developmentally delayed. My friend handled these issues so well, I thought she should've been named Mother of the Year.

But the autism diagnosis was very difficult for her. It took her several months to process it and, more and less, accept it. (Everyone who knows this child has a lot of questions about the diagnosis, including me.)

My point is, autism is a frightening diagnosis because there's so little we know and we associate it with a child turning into some sort of robot that can't love us. But it's more complicated than that. Maybe this website will help doctors and families learn more about what autism is, what it means and what helps.

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Blogger Freddie Sirmans said...

Just browsing the net, very interesting.

9:50 AM  

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