Where to Start
To be a parent or caregiver of a child with autism brings a unique set of experiences, joys and challenges. Regardless of where you may be in your family’s autism journey, there are a variety of resources and tools available to support you and the unique needs of your child and family. We encourage families to gather as much information as they can from reputable sources to understand what resources are available to them, their child, and what steps to take next.
Autism Speaks is a national autism advocacy organization that has a wealth of information and resources. Their downloadable parent tool kit includes information about new diagnosis, building a support network, how to take care of yourself, and frequently asked questions.
Download Tool Kit
Autism Society of America
The Autism Society of America is a national autism network that provides information on autism, diagnosis, advocacy, and more. Each state has a local branch of the Autism Society of America, with state specific resources, community liaisons and more. Some states even have regional branches that can be a great local resources for parents of children with autism.
The Arc is a national organization that provides support for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They promote the respect and dignity of all, and focus on a variety of initiatives and advocacy efforts that relate to those with autism and other special needs. Many states have a local branch of the Arc that is well equipped to provide local resources to families in those states.
Organization for Autism Research
The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) provides free resources, guides and materials to anyone looking to learn more about autism. These include kits specifically geared towards parents and caregivers with autism, books to help teach neurotypical children about their autistic peers, and more.
For the parents and caregivers who love podcasts, there are a number of great podcasts that meet each individual where they are at on their autism journey. Whether you are looking to educate, hear from autistic adults on their experiences, or hear from other parents about shared experiences, they are a number of informative and reputable podcasts available.
Tips from a Lighthouse Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Lighthouse Autism Center believes that a parent knows their child best, and is best equipped to support them. However, we know that parents often look to providers and clinicians for support and tools to support their child and family and to implement in the home. For families who may be on waitlists for services, whether that be ABA therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, or other intervention services, we often times here that families need help at home while they wait.
Lighthouse Autism Center’s team of Board Certified Behavior Analysts compiled a list of frequent topics and goals that parents want to work on at home. We have included that list below as well as some steps that you can consider implementing with your child. Remember, while we have provided a general list of steps and tips you can try at home, this is not meant to replace a customized therapy program that is designed and developed by a certified clinicians following your child’s assessment for therapy.
Potty training can be challenging for all parents! Download the PDF on potty training tips below, from a Lighthouse Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Creating a Routine
Routines are challenging for children on the Autism Spectrum. Download the PDF on tips for creating a routine below, from a Lighthouse Board Certified Behavior Analyst.