Home > Family Services > Family Services Office Hours – 11.10.11

Family Services Office Hours – 11.10.11

Office Hours easily connects families to a wide variety of autism-related resources, including Family Services Tool Kits, and the Autism Speaks Resource Guide, an online national database of autism providers and resources searchable by state and zip code.

Family Services Office Hours is designed to quickly provide access to resources that are available and free to the entire autism community.

The Office Hours sessions are staffed by ART coordinators who are specially trained to connect families affected by autism to resources.

Hey Everyone! We will be on in a few minutes!
Ok! We are here and happy to start taking questions!
Comment From Melissa

How much information is available on the possibility of autism being genetic? From parent child?

Hi Melissa! Alycia Halladay, Ph.D., hosted a LIVE chat dealing with genetics! Here is the transcript!https://blog.autismspeaks.org/2011/08/16/increased-risk-live-chat/
She was also interviewed on CNN about autism and siblings, which you can see here:https://blog.autismspeaks.org/2011/08/18/siblings-news-coverage/
In addition, our Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson did a LIVE Chat about the Genetics of Autism. She is great! Here is that transcript: https://blog.autismspeaks.org/2011/10/27/transcript-dawson-schere/
Our science team regularly posts blogs explaining new research findings about autism. Stay connected by checking up with us atblog.autismspeaks.org!
Comment From Shannon

Is PDD-NOS actually a form of autism?

Hi Shannon! The answer is yes! Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) is one of the autism spectrum disorders and is used to describe individuals who do not fully meet the criteria for autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome.
You can learn more about it here!http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/pdd-nos
Comment From Kathy

Hi! I am the mom of a 10 yr old High functioning son and I am having trouble finding any help since he seems so “normal”. He gets no help in school and limited help through his dr’s. Is there help out there for High functioning Aspy’s?

Hi Kathy! We have a great Asperger Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism Tool Kit. It is mostly for newly diagnosed families but contains lots of tips and information for all families of children with AS/HFA. http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/asperger-syndrome-and-high-functioning-autism-tool-kit
We also have plenty of resources on our website related to helping people with Asperger Syndrome. Here are a few great links:
Our Resource Library contains tons of great books, magazines, online software, toys, game, apps and much more!www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/resource-library
Comment From Haley

Hi! I was just wondering where I could get information or if there was someone I could talk to about careers in autism? I am in college right now and I would like to talk to someone who could help me make sure I’m on the right path….

Hi Haley! That is so great you are interested in a career in autism. If you are looking to provide direct services, I suggest you search our very extensive online Resource Guide. You can click on your state and find service providers in your area in lots of different fields (schools, therapists, after school programs, recreation activities, etc.) Those providers will most likely have lots of information to help point you in the right direction!www.autismspeaks.org/resource-guide
Comment From Brenda

I have been reading a PDD and ADHD and how some ADHD medicines, actually help with the PDD. Is there any information you can share on this?

Many families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are faced with the option of using medicines to help treat their child’s challenging behaviors. This is a tough medical decision and there is no one right answer.
Comment From Shannon

I have read the forum in autism speaks and it is great. I just wanted to make sure that when I say my son has autism that I am not exaggerating. It sure feels like it!!

Shannon, we also have a great Learn the Signs campaign and an Autism Video Glossary that contains lots of videos that show symptoms of autism, compared to neurotypical children. They have been really helpful to so many people.
Comment From Jane

My son’s father and I are divorced and his father would like me to have him and his nt brother for extended time (for respite) however I don’t have the home which can accommodate his needs. He’s registered with DDD but they are unable to help. Are there any other resources for me to look into?

Hi Jane – that sounds like a very tough situation you are in. Your ex-husband needs to stick with the rules of the court. You can search our Resource Guide by your state to find a lawyer in your area as well as respite care options.http://www.autismspeaks.org/resource-guide
Hi Shelly. You are not alone! We hear from lots and lots of families who have grandparents who do not understand the diagnosis or are unwilling to accept it. Everyone responds to the diagnosis differently and many people need time.We would suggest gradually introducing your parents to the idea, and emphasizing how important it is to you that they understand and are able to help you. I’m sure they love their grandchildren so much so will understand that the way they are treating him isn’t working to his benefit.
Comment From Shelly

I have a three year old with PDD-NOS. I am having a hard time trying to educate my parents (his grandparents) on the subject. They are still in denial and I have even given them the tool kit for grandparents. They refuse to even look at it. They do not even want to make changes in the way they act arond my son (which makes him digress after every one of their visits.) What more can I do?

Hi Shelly. You are not alone! We hear from lots and lots of families who have grandparents who do not understand the diagnosis or are unwilling to accept it. Everyone responds to the diagnosis differently and many people need time. We would suggest gradually introducing your parents to the idea, and emphasizing how important it is to you that they understand and are able to help you. I’m sure they love their grandchildren so much so will understand that the way they are treating him isn’t working to his benefit.
Perhaps you want to speak to one of your parents who may be more willing to listen. It is important to stress that a family’s understanding and willingness to help their loved one with autism is crucial to the child’s progression and happiness.
Comment From elizabeth

I have a non verbal 2 1/2 year old that was just diagnosed with severe autism. where can i get PECS cards that are not going to banrupt me?

Hi Elizabeth! Have you tried our 100 Day Kit? It is a guide specifically created for families of children recently diagnosed with autism. You can read it here: www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/100-day-kit
I suggest you call our Autism Response Team at 888-AUTISM2. They can take your information and place your order. It is FREE!
I also suggest you search our Resource Library for tools like PECS cards. One of our categories is for visual tools that have been helpful to families in our community:http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/resource-library/visual-tools
Comment From Sarah

My “step son” (he is legally my son but not biologically) is Autistic. How likely is it my husband and I will have a child who is Autistic? I know that it affects about 1 in 110 children, 1 in 70 boys, but is it more likely since my husband already had one.

Hi Sarah! We have a few chat transcripts that you may find helpful. Here is the ‘Genetics of Autism: What It Means for You’ hosted by Geri Dawson, PhD, and Steve Scherer, PhDhttps://blog.autismspeaks.org/2011/10/27/transcript-dawson-schere/
Recently the High Risk Baby Siblings Research Consortium made the news with the findings that autism recurs in families much more frequently than had been realized. Here is more information! https://blog.autismspeaks.org/2011/08/30/the-babysibs-consortium-important-findings-ahead/
Comment From Maria

Do you know what therapies can help with behavior problems?

Hi Maria. We have a list of treatment options on our website in the What is Autism page. These are all treatments with documented science research behind them. In the left column of the page you will see a long list. You can click each of them to learn more about what that treatment involves.http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/treatment. Our Resource Guide lists lots of therapists who specialize in these treatments www.autismspeaks.org/resource-guide. It is important to remember that because every individual with autism is different, not everyone responds well to the same treatments. Be sure to research before you decide what you feel is best for your child. There are lots of helpful tools out there!
Comment From Sarah

Elizabeth, with our son we found a lot of websites that had picture and stuff. We put them around the house and our son picked up on some of the things and now even says some of those words.

Thanks so much for adding your insights! We love seeing the community help each other out!
Comment From Rebecca

My son is 3 and is somewhat verbal. He will ask for things at home but at school he doesn’t ask for things unless he sees the object/thing he wants. It is because of this and his lack of spontaneous language(at school) that they are suggesting we use PECS. We had stated at his IEP that we didn’t want him using this. Our concern is that he would become dependent on this. What is your opinion of PECS? Is it beneficial?

Hi Rebecca! It is important that your IEP team listens to your needs and what you feel is best for your son. We have recently released an IEP Guide that will help you ensure your son’s needs are being met. You know what is best for him, so it is important that you make sure the school and the IEP team are hearing you loud and clear!
Here is a book about PECS that was submitted to our Resource Library by a family who found it helpful:http://woodbinehouse.com/main.asp_Q_product_id_E_978-1-60613-015-5_A_.asp
Comment From elizabeth

thanks! I did order the booklet yesterday. thanks for the links and also your input, Sarah

Comment From Sarah

Rebecca, I am not an expert by any means but I do have an autistic son as well. Stick with your gut feelings. Make sure the IEP is following what you want! The schools sometimes try to do what THEY want and what’s easiest for them and they can’t! If you end up wanting to use the PECS later, you can then add it to his IEP. You know your child best!

Comment From Rebecca

Our wishes and concerns have not been heard . At the first IEP the school district told us that all they wee willing to ouffer our son was a place in their Autism preschool program. Eventhough the “school” where he had been presented a report saying that their team thought that it would be in his best interest to continue with his home therapy program. Where can we find Educational Advocates in our area that would help us free of charge. We are in Modesto, California.

Hi Rebecca. It is important to make sure your concerns are being heard. You are entitled to have your voice heard in all matters related to the IEP. Our Resource Guide contains a list of advocates from across the country. You can search the resource guide at www.autismspeaks.org/resource-guide
We don’t list them by fee but hopefully they will be able to help you. In addition, you might also want tos earch our Local Autism Organizations category. Those organizations may be better able to point you in the right direction in terms of an educational advocate.
Comment From Sarah

google advocates in your area. I know here in GA there are not any in our city, but nearby towns.

Comment From Rebecca

Thank you Sarah

Comment From Guest

My son’s teacher communicates via email with us (parents). That’s fine, however, the emails are sent to the stepmother at her work’s email address rather than to my son’s father. I’m concerned for my son’s privacy. The school’s position is that they send emails to whatever address is provided. Are there any laws which can protect information regarding my son in this particular situation? SPAN was unable to find any

Hi Guest, have you tried changing the contact email that your school has listed?
That seems strange that the only one they send to is your son’s stepmother’s work email. You should make sure to have your email listed on there too, as all parents need to be involved in these decisions.
Comment From Guest

I don’t know how to explain to kids at the park that my son has autism and i live in NYC do you have any suggestions.

Hi Guest. Disclosing your child’s autism diagnosis to other people can be tough sometimes. We have a great list of stories on our website for peers that help them to understand more about their friends or playmates who have autism.http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/resource-library/books#peers
Perhaps you could show them these fun picture books, or get ideas from the books on how to best share the diagnosis. All of these books have been submitted by families who have found them to be extremely helpful with peers.
Comment From Sarah

I have also had troubles explaing to other children why my son isnt “normal”. They don’t understand why he doesn’t want to play with them or why he doesn’t talk back. I always say “God made Cody different (like he does everyone) and Cody just doesn’t always like to play or talk to others. It doesn’t mean he doesnt like or love you, it just means he likes to have his own space. He sometimes prefers to play alone instead….

Thank you Sarah for your helpful responses. We love seeing families in our community helping each other out. Sometimes listening to people who have had similar experiences as your own is extremely helpful and comforting.
Our Facebook page is a great way to get conversations started with other families in our community.www.facebook.com/autismspeaks
Comment From Sarah

You’re welcome. Hopeful I can help other parents. I have had wonderful friends with simiar experiences that have helped me!

Well we’d like to thank everyone for stopping by today! Remember we are here every Wednesday at 3pm EDT and you can reach us at 888-AUTISM 2 (288-4762) or email us atfamilyservices@autismspeaks.org.
  1. Aquila
    November 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Hi I’m a 12 yr old from the smallest state and I have a 7 yr old lil bro with autism. I know he can’t help it, but I’m kinda scared. He has bitten me, punched me, kicked me, thrown toys at me, and even broke my glasses twice. And my mom can’t come to any of my school functions because of him. What should I do/

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