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updated 8/9/2005 2:06:34 PM ET 2005-08-09T18:06:34

For parents, family members, individuals with autism, educators and caregivers
Autism Speaks is a new initiative devoted to educating the public about autism, facilitating and funding research, motivating private and governmental resources, and, ultimately, helping to find a cure for autism.

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Autism Society of America works to promote lifelong access and opportunity for individuals within the autism spectrum and their families. The Web site includes Autismsource.org which is a nationwide online directory of ASA chapters, professionals, government resources, diagnostic centers, and service providers. En Español.

Cure Autism Now is an autism information portal. CAN is the largest provider of support for autism research and resources in the country. The site includes a resource database, research initiatives and an index of national chapters.

Talk Autism is a site sharing knowledge, information and assistance. Databases contain up-to-date resources, and they are developing new interactive communication technologies like Expert Find, Virtual Speaker, and Help Wanted.

The Organization for Autism Research is a parent-led organization using applied science to answer questions that other parents, families, individuals with autism, teachers and caregivers confront daily. The site includes a comprehensive Parent's Guide to Research (.pdf).

Unlocking Autism works to increase awareness about the disorder. Their Parent 2 Parent Network assists parents of newly diagnosed children in finding resources and support available in their local area. They also provide a list of the Congressional Autism Caucus.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers an Autism Resource page and a Developmental Stages guide covering children’s health topics including Autism.

Families Togetheris a non-profit organization serving families in Kansas that have a son or daughter with a disability.

Families Together for People with Disabilities™ serving families who have a child with a disability.

The National Autism Association offers information, research and support regarding the numerous theories on the cause of autism and the diverse treatments available in biomedical, educational, therapeutic, and dietary fields.

The Southwest Autism Research and Resource Centerprovides up-to-date information, training and assistance to facilitate early intervention and long-term care. They also offer a resource directory for the Southwest region.

Autism New Jersey (formerly N.J. COSAC) provides information, advocacy, family and professional education, and consultation to New Jersey's autism community.

Fight Autism is a Pennsylavania-based organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with autism through research, education, advocacy and treatment.

The University of Michigan’sYour Child – Autism Information Page contains information and online resources covering topics such as legal matters and parenting tips.

The Schafer Autism Report is a newsletter produced by volunteers to promote autism awareness and education toward finding the best treatments, preventions and cures for the range of autism spectrum disorders.

Founded in 1975, The Help Group is dedicated to helping children with special needs related to autism, Asperger's Disorder, learning disabilities, emotional development, mental retardation, and abuse and neglect. The Help Group's wide range of special education and therapy programs are inspired by its belief that dignity, hope, opportunity, and love are the birthrights of all children.

Association for the Help of Retarded Childrenis to provide opportunities and choices for children and adults with developmental disabilities to realize their potential and achieve their goals by providing an array of individual and family supports.

Early Detection and Intervention
The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities is a CDC initiative. Their “Learn the Signs. Act Early” campaign provides milestones for child development and ways to measure your child’s growth.

The Center for Disease Control Autism Page features general autism resources including an Information Center, an overview on Developmental Screening and links on specific CDC programs related to autism spectrum disorders. CDC en Español.

First Signs is dedicated to identification and intervention of children with developmental disorders bycreating a national model for disseminating information about early warning signs, the need for routine screening, and the treatment options.

The New York State Department of Health Early Intervention Program’s Clinical Practice Guideline Report of Recommendations on Autism.

Education
The National Research Council’s study on Educating Children With Autism outlines an interdisciplinary approach to education for children with autism.

The Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention is a research-based program that specializes in teaching children with autism using the Model of Applied Behavior Analysis created and developed under the direction of Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas.

A parent-driven information site on autism-related applied behavior analysis (ABA). 

The Douglass Developmental Disabilitiesis a Rutgers University-based program which uses the principles of ABA to meet the needs of people with autism spectrum disorders and their families through outreach and school programs.

The McCarton School in New York City is dedicated to the education of children with autistic spectrum disorders and recovery through aspects of Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy, speech and language therapy, motor skills training, sensory integration therapy and play and socialization with peers.

The University of North Carolina’sTreatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-Handicapped Children division focuses on the person with autism and the development of a program to enable these individuals to function as meaningfully and as independently as possible in the community.

University of California Autism Research and Training Center works to improve elementary and secondary education efforts for children with autism and other severe disabilities.

Fund-raising, public awareness and treatment and research organizations
The Autism Coalition for Research and Education works to raise public awareness about autism and to accelerate biomedical and applied research in order to find the causes of autism.

TheAutism Treatment Networkis creating five regional “centers of clinical excellence.” Working together, physicians, clinicians, researchers and families will develop effective, broadly available treatments for individuals with autism.

National Alliance for Autism Researchfunds and promotes biomedical research, seeks to determine causes, prevention, effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure for autism spectrum disorders. They also provide general information about the disorder.

The Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment Network is comprised of eight centers across the country. Each center contributes to autism research in the areas of causes, diagnosis, early detection, prevention, and treatment. The site includes information about centers and treatment studies.

TheUC Davis M.I.N.D. Groupbrings together parents, educators, physicians and scientists in fields as diverse as molecular genetics and clinical pediatrics in treating and finding cures for neurodevelopmental disorders.

The Miami Children’s Hospital Dan Marino Centeris an integrated neurodevelopmental center specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of children at risk for developmental and psychological problems. The center also coordinates community outreach projects.

The Princeton Child Development Institute conducts behavior analysis research. Their activities focus on language acquisition, social interaction, promotion of decision-making skills, independence from caregivers, expansion of career options and for young adults.

The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’sChild Development Unit includes an Autism Center serving young children who have or are suspected of having an autism spectrum disorder.

The Autism Research Foundation is a group of researchers investigating the neurobiological underpinnings of autism and related disorders.

The University of Washington’sAutism Center provides diagnostic evaluations and multi-disciplinary intervention services for children with autism spectrum disorders from infancy through adolescence.

The PLAY Project is a training and early intervention center helping parents and professionals learn effective, low cost and efficient ways to provide intensive intervention programming for young children with autism.

The Floortime Foundation approach to therapy takes a child back to the very first milestone he or she may have missed and begins the developmental process anew.

The Kennedy Krieger Institute is an internationally recognized facility located in Baltimore, Md., dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. They offer school, clinical, professional training and research programs.

Causes of Autism
Genetic Studies of Autism at Vanderbilt UniversityVanderbilt University investigators are involved in research to identify the genes that cause this complex genetic disorder.

Immunization Safety Review: Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine and Autism— A report from the Institute of Medicine Immunization Safety Review Committee. It presents an assessment of the evidence regarding a hypothesized causal link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.

The Autism Web site of The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) is part of the National Institutes of Health, the biomedical research arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They conduct research into various aspects of autism, including its causes, prevalence, and treatments.

The Autism Research Centerconducts research and disseminates results on the causes of autism and on methods of preventing, diagnosing and treating the disorder. They are affiliated with The Center for the Study of Autismwhich provides a number of Internet resources.

Autism Birth Cohort — Details of an upcoming joint study between Columbia University and the Norwegian government.

The Center for Autism Researchis dedicated to uncovering the causes of autism through MRI studies to identify the brain structures that are abnormal and describe their atypical growth from late infancy through adulthood.

The Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging investigates high-level cognition through the use of MRI. They conduct a specialized Cognitive Studies in Autism project.

Groups who believe in a link between vaccines and autism
The Coalition for Safe Mindsis a private nonprofit organization founded to investigate and raise awareness of the risks to infants and children of exposure to mercury from medical products, including thimerosal in vaccines.

Talk About Curing Autism is focused on building the autism community by connecting people — families, friends and professionals. They offer resources, articles, support groups and information on vaccines.

National Vaccine Information Center is a national organization advocating reformation of the mass vaccination system.

The Environmental Working Group is an organization devoted to studying government data, legal documents, and scientific studies to expose threats to personal health and the environment. They have recently produced a report on Mercury Exposure and Autism.

Legislation Would Ban Mercury from Vaccines — U.S. Reps. Dave Weldon, M.D. (R-FL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) have introduced legislation to eliminate mercury from vaccines.

Autism and the Law
Families Together Inc. is a Kansas-based parent training and information center serving Kansas families whose child have a disability.

National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systemsthe Protection and Advocacy (P&As) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAPs) comprise the nationwide network of congressionally mandated, legally based disability rights agencies.

Harbor House Law Press publishes information about special education law and advocacy designed to meet the needs of parents.

Government Resources
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committeecoordinates autism research and other efforts within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

National Institute of Mental Health Web site on Autism SpectrumDisorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders).

Created by the U.S. Congress in 1950, The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke conducts and supports research on brain and nervous system disorders. En Español.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorder’sAutism and Communication Web page. En Español.

Blogs
Walking with Alec— “In May of 2004 we received the "label" of Pervasive Developmental Disorder — "Not Otherwise Specified" — for our then 2-year-old son Alec. This is a record of that journey.”

Adventures in Autism— “In March of 2004 we got confirmation that our beautiful two-year-old son, Chandler, was autistic. So we have set off on a new journey. Come along for the ride, won't you?”

Hidden Laughter— “One child’s journey through autism.”

Books and publications
"The Boy Who Loved Windows"
By Patricia Stacey

"The Child With Special Needs"
By Stanley Greenspan

“What your Doctor May Not Tell you About Vaccinations”
By Dr. Stephanie Cave

"Children with Autism: A Parent's Guide"
By Michael D., Powers, Temple Grandin

“Teaching Children With Autism: Strategies for Initiating Positive Interactions and Improving Learning Opportunities”
Byy Robert L. Koegel, Lynn Kern Koegel

“Thinking in Pictures”
By Temple Grandin

“How To Compromise With Your School District Without Compromising Your Child: A Field Guide For Getting Effective Services For Children With Special Needs”
By Gary Mayerson

“Brothers & Sisters: A Special Part of Exceptional Families”
By Thomas H. Powell,

“Breaking the Vicious Cycle”
By Elanie Gottschall

“The Autism Encyclopedia”
By John T. Neisworth and Pamela S. Wolfe

“Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph Over Autism”
By Catherine Maurice

"Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy"
By David Kirby

Spectum Publications

Mayerslaw.com

The Autism Perspective

© 2005 MSNBC Interactive

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