The advice that has helped me most as a parent of kids on the autism spectrum has come from other parents. Some work for our particular family, others have not, but all have been worth trying.
On this page I will include links to information others have passed on to me. Some of the links will be local to Utah, but I’m hoping that they will provide other Spectrum Parents ideas of where to look for help/support in their own state.
(If/when you do find those resources, please let me know so that we might share those resources with other parents. Thank you.)
Department of Services for People with Disabilities
I’ve only worked with DSPD here in Utah, but I am hoping there are similar services in other states. Here in Utah, this department has a division specific to families dealing with Autism. The application process is long, and the wait once accepted can be up to a year or longer, but they provide a variety of services to help relieve some of the daily struggle of taking care of a loved one with Autism. The services can include in-home help, out of home day services, summer day camps, and more.
Big Red Safety Box
The National Autism Association has an amazing tool for families caring for autistic family members with “who may be prone to wandering off or eloping from a safe environment, and may be unable to recognize danger and/or stay safe.” I have an on-line friend whose requested one and received the box one week later. The box includes:
“1) Our Be REDy Booklet containing the following educational materials and tools:
- A caregiver checklist
- A Family Wandering Emergency Plan
- A first-responder profile form
- A wandering-prevention brochure
- A sample IEP Letter
- A Student Profile Form
- Emotion Identification Cards
- Wandering Quick Tips
2) Two (2) GE Wireless Door/Window Alarms with batteries
3) One (1) MedicAlert Bracelet or Pendant, and One (1) Shoe ID tag*
4) Five (5) Adhesive Stop Sign Visual Prompts for doors and windows
5) Two (2) Safety Alert Window Clings for car or home windows
6) One (1) Red Safety Alert Wristband
7) One (1) Child ID Kit from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children”
I am ordering one for our home this week.
If you are like me and enjoy attending your local comic convention but know you will never be able to take your Autistic or SPD kids (sensory overload to the max) then you might want to check out groups like Calm Passion. Calm Passion is a Non-Profit Organization in New England that sponsors sensory appropriate events for special needs kids.
Utah Kids Foundation
One of the greatest tools a Spectrum Parent should have in their arsenal is that of a parent support group. Many of these groups may be found on social media and provide a virtual safe place for parents of special needs to ask questions, pass on valuable information, and to lift each other up emotionally. One of my favorite foundations is local to families specifically living or getting medical care in Utah–Utah Kids Foundation.
“The mission of the Utah Kids Foundation is to support all special needs families in Utah by:
- Sharing information about doctors and resources in the community.
- Facilitating the legal exchange of spare supplies.
- Providing comfort and support when our children are inpatient.
- Sharing community events that are open to and accessible to special needs families”
For more information on Utah Kids Foundation check out their website (http://www.utahkidsfoundation.com/) or their Facebook forum page. For families outside of Utah, do a search for similar foundations in your area, then feel free to let me know about them here. I would be glad to pass on the information to other parents looking for a parent support group.
Other Fantastic Spectrum Parent Blogs:
I have the opportunity to connect with many families that live on the autism spectrum. To read more about how they strive to thrive check out there stories here: