Grandparents and parents who are responsible for teaching children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), deal with many challenges on a daily basis. ASDs cause many children to have difficulty in academic and social settings. Two of the most common types of ASD are Autism and Aspergers Syndrome. Resources are available through an abundance of online sites and local Richmond, Virginia resources have much to offer.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 1 in 110 children has an ASD and that is up from 1 in 150 children from just four years ago. There is no clear-cut answer about what is causing the increase but it has steadily risen for the past 20 years. Although it cannot be cured, children with ASD can improve and lead fuller lives through appropriate intervention and supportive resources.
There are many ways to help children learn when they have been diagnosed with ASD. A healthcare professional is the first place to turn when searching for help. Your personal physician knows your child best and will be an advocate for learning and care. He or she can help creat a full sensory diet that supports a child in every situation.
Another valuable resource is the CDC website where you’ll find support and developmental milestones based on age category. They also provide a resource kit for parents, screening and diagnosis information, and information treatments. The tips for helping children learn and develop are very helpful.
The Autism Research Institute is also a great resource for adults searching for information and support. Understanding the facts about the condition is extremely important.
Local Richmond resources
If you have a grandchild or child with autism or other ASD diagnosis, there are many local resources where you can turn for help. Most of these local resources also have associated websites for online convenience.
- The Autism Society of Central Virginia offers workshops, newsletters, and other resources for families. They are the local chapter of the National Autism Society of America. Their upcoming workshop in Richmond, VA on April 27, 2010 is Learning, Living, and Working with Person’s with Asperger’s Syndrome.
- The Autism Society also sponsors meetings in Richmond for adults and they are open to the public. A schedule can be located on the website.
- Family members of children with Asperger’s Syndrome can connect with other families coping with similar issues by participating in a family support group which is held the second Thursday of each month from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. It is part of the Fluvanna Asperger’s Network and you can find more information by calling Theresa Atkins at 434.589.5375.
- Autism Interventions of Richmond can be contacted at 804.266.1105.
- The Commonwealth Autism Service located at 2201 W. Broad Street, Suite 107 in Richmond, Virginia offers many services.
- The Faison School for Autism in Richmond — known for their Art for Autism programs — is dedicated to giving each child the best chance possible of improving their life’s journey. They are also holding The Faison School Gala on March 26, 2010 to raise money and awareness of ASD. They offer a huge array of services and resources for children and adults and are affiliated with VCU.
In addition to the above, some children qualify for free intervention services. Contact the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities at 800.695.0285 for more information.
Every child deserves a chance
Every child deserves a chance to be the best that he or she can be. With the many available resources in Richmond, Virginia and the wealth of online services available, there are plenty of ways to help children with ASD to live a full, active life. Depending on the severity of their condition, most children can excel academically and socially when they receive the proper medical treatment, interventions, and a full sensory diet that helps them with sensory integration.
As grandparents and parents, it’s important to seek out the most effective resources for children and give them all of the love and support they deserve.
For more information: Visit the Special Needs Kids Examiner.