Eric Peacock is the GM of MyAutismTeam and Insider Pages and is passionate about empowering patients. He lives in San Carlos, CA with his wife and two kids – Jack (7) and Katie (4) and is a hopeless Red Sox fan. You can follow Eric and MyAutismTeam on twitter at @ejpeacock and @MyAutismTeam. Visit www.MyAutismTeam.com for more information.
The Top 7 People Who Helped One Mother’s Child with Autism
When Sharon Esch’s two-year old son Adam was diagnosed with autism, she threw herself into researching and finding the best team of people who could help her son. This wasn’t a turn-key process. In fact, it took a couple of years and lots of “trial and error” for Sharon to architect the best team of providers who could effectively help Adam thrive. Among others, her team included:
1) a speech pathologist
2) an occupational therapist
3) a child psychiatrist specializing in autism
4) a dentist sensitive to the needs of a child with autism
5) an understanding and calm hairdresser for Adam
6) an inclusive gymnastics instructor
7) A caring librarian at a toy lending library
Feeling like she was forging her own path, Sharon started from nothing and built Adam’s “autism team” on her own. She pored over resources online and offline to find providers, “hounded” her state’s early intervention offices until she got basic services, tested and walked away from some providers, and fine-tuned his team as Adam’s developmental needs changed.
Today, thousands of parents of children with autism are going through this same frustrating experience. They feel alone, and despite the fact that other parents have gone through this process before them, they don’t have a way to easily learn from their experience and end up re-inventing the wheel. This is the inspiration behind MyAutismTeam. www.myautismteam.com
MyAutismTeam is a free site for parents (recently launched in partnership with Autism Speaks) with a very simple belief: It should be easy for parents of children with autism to find the best providers around to help them.
On MyAutismTeam you can:
- Find other parents in the autism community near you & read their stories
- See the providers (the “autism teams”) other parents use & recommend
- Ask questions and share tips about providers
- Connect directly with other parents on the site
- Search a directory of over 30,000 autism providers and autism-friendly businesses nationwide – including all of the providers in the Autism Speaks and Easter Seals databases. (e.g. you can do a search for “occupational therapists in San Francisco, CA”)
- Add providers and autism-friendly businesses to the directory
Since launching the site in April, the number of parents signing up on the site has been doubling every two weeks. Parents of adult children, teenagers, and school-age children, representing the full range of the autism spectrum are connecting, sharing their stories and their recommendations. Families with recently diagnosed children don’t have to re-invent the wheel, and the ‘’veteran’ parents also exchange information with each other as their children go through new life stages such as adolescence or transition into adulthood.
Everything from Doctors to Swim Lessons
The “autism teams” include far more than your standard autism medical experts. For example, Sharon from Albuquerque, NM and Jennifer from Redwood City, CA – have recommended over 10 different providers each including…
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech Pathologists
- Barbers (who “get it”)
- Dentists & Dental Anesthesiologists
- ABA Therapists
- Developmental Pediatricians
- Family Practice Doctors
- Summer camps
- Swim teachers
- Respite care
- Music classes and more
All Parents in the Autism Community are Welcome
We just opened the beta of MyAutismTeam to all parents and providers in the autism community across the United States. Hundreds of parents are joining each week, and nearly every one adds a new provider we didn’t know about previously.
Please join us! To learn more, you can join MyAutismTeam and begin exchanging recommendations with other parents in the autism community today. Please visit http://www.myautismteam.com and please share this link with anyone you know that could benefit from the site.
You’re not alone and you shouldn’t have to re-invent the wheel.