What is Autism?Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism is usually diagnosed by age 3. (

What are the signs of Autism?
  • Significant problems developing non-verbal communication skills such as: eye to eye gazing, facial expressions, and body posture
  • Failure to establish friendships with children of the same age
  • Lack of interests of sharing enjoyment, interest, or achievements with other people
  • Delay in/or lack of learning to talk. 40% never speak
  • Repetitive use of language
  • Unusual focus on parts instead of the whole object (

How common is Autism?
Autism affects 1 in 110 children. This means that it affects every 1 in 70 boys because males are four times more likely to have Autism than girls.As of 2011, an estimated 1.5 million citizens in the U.S have Autism which makes this more than children with AIDS, Diabetes, and Cancercombined. The rate is up to 10-17% anually and affects over ten million people worldwide. ( (

What are the causes?
There is no one cause of autism just as there is no one type of autism. Over the last five years, scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes, or mutations, associated with autism. A small number of these are sufficient to cause autism by themselves. Most cases of autism, however, appear to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development. In the presence of a genetic predisposition to autism, a number of nongenetic, or “environmental,” stresses appear to further increase a child’s risk. The clearest evidence of these autism risk factors involves events before and during birth. They include advanced parental age at time of conception (both mom and dad), maternal illness during pregnancy and certain difficulties during birth, particularly those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain. A small but growing body of research suggests that autism risk is less among children whose mothers took prenatal vitamins (containing folic acid) in the months before and after conception. (

*It is important to understand Autism is a complex disorder, but keep in mind that your child is loving, smart, and very capable of understanding the world around them*


Helpful books

Julia Moor.Playing, Laughing and Learning with Children on the Autism Spectrum: A Practical Resource of Play Ideas for Parents and Carers (Jessica Kingsley Pub, 2002). See 2nd edition. ISBN: 1843100606 (paperback, 176 pages). [autism,parent,se]


Parents of young children newly diagnozed as on the autism spectrum are often at a loss for ideas about how best to help their child. They feel dismayed and "shut out" by their child and are often also having to grapple with language and behaviour problems. "Playing, Laughing and Learning with Children on the Autism Spectrum" is not just a collection of play ideas; it shows how to break down activities into manageable stages, and it looks at ways to gain a child's attention and motivation and to build on small achievements. The use of case studies illustrates how problems of ritual and obsession can be used and redirected positively and shows how to structure play activities and overcome communication barriers by using picture cards. Each chapter covers a collection of ideas around a theme: music, art, physical activities, playing outdoors, puzzles, turn-taking and using existing toys to create play sequences. There are also chapters on introducing reading and making the most of television. The ideas are useful both for toddlers and primary age children who are still struggling with play.
Paula Kluth.You're Going to Love This Kid: Teaching Students With Autism in the Inclusive Classroom (Paul H Brookes, 2003).ISBN: 1557666148 (paperback, 286 pages). [autism,se]Paula Kluth & Kelly Chandler-Olcott.


This book provides strategies and concepts to aid educators in creating an inclusive environment for students with autism in both primary and secondary schools, covering such topics as collaboration, lesson plans, supports, and community. The chapters are designed to highlight how any student with autism spectrum disorders can be supported to participate in academic instruction, school routines, and social activities. The book uses examples of how to plan lessons, engineer a safe and comfortable classroom, provide communication opportunities, and understand and support challenging behaviors. The author uses her own classroom and school observations and her experiences as an elementary and high school educator to explore methods of adapting the school environment to be comfortable and appropriate for students with autism and autism spectrum disorders

Maureen Aarons & Tessa Gittens.The Handbook of Autism: a Guide for Parents and Professionals (London: Travistock/Routledge, 1991). Also New York. 128 pages. Paperback. The authors are speech and language therapists.ISBN: 0415055660 (paperback, 144 pages, Routledge, 1991);ISBN: 0415055652 (hardcover, 140 pages, Tavistock, 1992). [autism,parent,intro]


Autism is a variable and complex developmental disorder which is frequently not recognized, or else misunderstood by both parents and professionals. Based on their extensive experience with parents of young autistic children both before and after diagnosis, Maureen Aarons and Tessa Gittens provide a practical handbook which aims to dispel the myths associated with this puzzling condition and provides parents and professionals with relevant, up-to-date information. The book enables the reader to understand autism in a wide perspective, in relation to its history and within the context of current research into its possible causes. The authors describe their developmental approach to the assessment of the disorder in individual children and explore areas of particular difficulty such as social understanding and communication. Case studies are used to illustrate the variability of autism and an appendix of useful addresses is included.
Philip Abrams & Leslie Henriques.The Autistic Spectrum Parents' Daily Helper: A Workbook for You and Your Child (Ulysses Press, 2004).ISBN: 1569753865 (paperback, 128 pages.). [autism,parent]


As the parent of a child with autism, you know how difficult it can be to simply get through the day. From getting dressed in the morning to brushing teeth before bed, raising a special needs child can turn ordinary events into extraordinary challenges. This book focuses on those kinds of everyday events.
Charles A. Amenta, III.Russell is Extra Special: A Book About Autism for Children (New York: Magination Press, 1992). Ages 4-8. A sensitive portrayal of an autistic boy written by his father. A physician, Amenta skillfully weaves relevant factual information about autism into his narrative using clear language that children will easily follow. A wonderful book for children.ISBN: 0945354444 (paperback);ISBN: 0945354436 (hardcover). [autism,account,children]


Explaining autism to children can be a difficult task. This heart-warming portrayal of an autistic boy and his family will help children and their parents understand this serious developmental disorder. An introduction for parents and a list of resources supply further information. In addition, as they enjoy and identify with the family photographs so similar to their own, children will develop greater sympathy for those who may be different from themselves.

National Resources
1. The National Autism Center is May institutes center for the promotion of evidence-based practice. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This website provides reliable information, promotes best practices, and offers comprehensive resources for families, practitioners, and communities.
2. The mission of the National Autism Association is to respond to the most urgent needs of the autism community, providing real help and hope so that all affected can reach their full potential. This website offers news on recent studies and provides fabulous resource links.
3. The Autism National Committee is an Autism advocacy organization dedicated to “Social justice for all citizens with autism”. The website enforces their beliefs in support, inclusion, and social justice. It offers links to unique articles about every aspect of autism.

Disability specific Websites
1. This website supplies facts about autism, discusses the science behind it, provides family services, information about advocacy, and informs on recent news and events.
2. The autism society gives information on autism and living with autism. It also provides research and news, as well as ways to get involved in the autism community.

Helpful Websites
1. The Autism Research Institute provides research-based information about autism to parents and professionals around the world. There are links to monthly newsletters, frequently asked questions, and advice for parents of children with autism.
2. This website offers Autism Education for parents. It also gives information about autism, screening, schools, reviews, treatments, action plans, and coping skills.

Educational Programs
1. The Eagleton school is a very prestigious school for boys. It is based on thedevelopment of the individual through strong family and community relationships. This program responds to the individual and family needs with the flexibility to adapt to extraordinary situations.
2. This website gives parents a variety of out patient programs that work with a large number of disorders. Kennedy Krieger is an internationally recognized institution dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents with pediatric developmental disabilities and disorders of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system, through patient care, special education, research, and professional training.
3. This website focuses on the "The Son-rise Program." This website has many informational videos and information about the program. There is also a place to donate to this great cause!
4. This is a parent-directed program for children with Autism. This team comes to the home and uses Play-based relationship oriented methods, educational methods, and physiological and sensory strategies.
5. This non profit organization works off of donations to enable children with autism to reach their full potential by providing a resource for early intervention services based on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis, K-12 school and parent consultation, and community education.

Support groups, educational conferences, and workshops
1. This website is an autism support group. As soon as you click on the link you can hit the join now button to join. If you are just curious about the group you can take a look at the current autism discussions going on.
2. The autism education site provides a list of autism conferences coming up in 2012.
3. This support group is local. It is located at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital. The group meets on the first Thursday of every month. The website provides directions and other information. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting.
4. This link provides information on autism, PDD, and Asperger’s Syndrome conferences. It gives location, dates, and a brief description of what the conference is about.
5. This website is an Autism Calendar of events. When you click on the state you are located in it gives you information on conferences in the area.

Recreational activities for Individuals with Disabilities
1. American Special Hockey Association (ASHA)
Created in 2000 for players with develop­mental disa­bilities, the Amer­ican Special Hockey Assoc­iation (ASHA) gives people of all ages and abilities a chance to learn and grow by playing hockey. There are currently over 50 ASHA programs in more than 30 cities through­out the United States.
2. ALLPLAY Foundation is proud to present ALLPLAY Complex, the finest barrier free sports and recreation complex in the nation. The entire complex utilizes barrier free design concepts that allow people who have mobility impairments to fully enjoy its' sports and recreation features.
3. BIG FUN is the ultimate playground for special needs individuals of all ages. They offer families occupational therapy services, gymnastics, swimming, after-school enrichment programs, social skills, camps, art classes, parents and me, activities for autistic children, social skills training for autism, and more.
4. **** This website offers groups and events for people of all ages who have Autism. Whether it's a new diagnosis or you're looking for adult services, this is the place to go
The League’s year round Camping & Therapeutic Recreation program provides joyful, life-changing experiences in a safe environment and builds meaningful relationships in the lives of youth and adults. Camping & Therapeutic Recreation is proud to offer the following services throughout the year:

Funding Agencies and Federal Support Agencies
1. The Autism Science Foundation funds research that will help us understand the causes of autism and develop better treatments. They also fund projects that improve the dissemination of autism research so that parents and other stakeholders are fully informed about the latest autism science.
2. This website offers families a resource guide to both public and private organizations. This website makes it easy to access information about funding.
3. This website tells you all you need to know about Sepcial Education funding. It gives you details on eligibility, applications and forms that must be turned in, benefits, and state funds.
4. This website gives parents information about Autism and aids to help save money during these hard times.
5. This website describes Autism Legislation in detail and helps parents learn about government resources

Annotated Bibliography
1. We used this website to find out information about Autism. It gave an overview of autism as well as tips and informational sites.
This was a very helpful website. It is from more of the health point of view of Autism. It states the conditions of Autism. It gives a list of the drugs and treatments as well as the doctors and hospitals. I really liked this website because it also gives parents information about the community.
3. **__www.autismspeaks.org__**
This is the national website for Autism. It has everything you want to find in one place. Autism Speaks is all about awareness, fundraising, and the science dealing with Autism.
4. **__**
We used to this website to find out information about autism. The organization also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism.
5. Pictures are from google images. When we needed pictures or banners we went to google and typed in "autism".