7 Great Resources for Families Managing ASD

With more awareness about ASD, we can share strategies and offer each other help.

The term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an accurate moniker: the condition is so diverse that it can be very difficult to find strategies that work. That said, having a wide breadth of information about ASD can be the difference between a daily struggle and thriving for many families. These various sources provide support, guidance, and inspiration to families with a member who is on the spectrum, regardless of the particulars he or she faces.

  1. National Autism Resources

http://www.nationalautismresources.com/

This group puts together an extensive list of products like toys and books specially designed, or found to be helpful, for special needs children. Topics include: Calming Products, Social Skills, Anger Management, Academic Intervention, and more educational resources for children and parents.

 

  1. Autism Speaks

https://www.autismspeaks.org/

Here is a fantastic wealth of information on early identification, strategies for childcare, what the latest research indicates, and ways to contact and connect with local organizations. Becoming part of a community through ASD is a lifesaver for many families because they can share information, so this is a great website to keep in your bookmarks.

 

  1. This American Life: “Unconditional Love” Podcast

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/317/unconditional-love

This is a three-part series on attachment, and for most of us, it is the single most important thing we will ever do as humans, but for some living with this condition, attachment can be a herculean task. These three stories explore the beauty and the challenge of human connection, with the third segment telling a moving story about some brave parents who did the right thing for their severely autistic child, despite the social pressure they were facing.

  1. Real Life Stories from the National Autism Society

http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-autism/real-life-stories.aspx

It can be strengthening to form community around ASD and developmental issues, in part because we are just now learning so much more about it. Hearing other families’ stories, how they overcame difficult situations, and what worked for them is potentially very powerful for those living with ASD.

 

  1. Neurotypical

http://www.pbs.org/pov/neurotypical/

“Neurotypical” is a term that neuroscientists use to define people within the realm of normal brain function, but as this documentary explains, that definition is hazy. Created from the point of view of high-functioning autistic narrators, this film digs past our labels and presumptions about the condition, asking some fundamental questions about the nature of perception. This page also has a ton more programming on the subject so be sure to check out the sidebar.

 

  1. A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism

http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/a-mothers-courage-talking-back-to-autism/

The HBO documentary charts one woman’s journey when her third son is diagnosed with autism. A close look at the science, the politics, and the hard work parents face, this story is emotional and empathetic education about ASD.

 

  1. Real Life with Jane

http://www.reellifewithjane.com/2013/04/world-autism-awareness-day-25-movies-about-autism-on-netflix-dvd-and-blu-ray/

If you are looking to soak up more movies that deal effectively and bravely with the subject of ASD, Real Life with Jane is a lifestyle and family blog that assembled a list of 25 great titles available on Netflix and DVD. Out of that list, Temple Grandin is a standout performance from Claire Danes, and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape was Leonardo di Caprio’s breakout role.

 

Knowledge and creativity are our allies as we put more energy into understanding this still mysterious condition. Some of these resources show how families everywhere are learning to foster their children’s strengths and help them better navigate the world.

 

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