Autism Resources

Autism Resources

We know that finding good resources to help understand and learn about autism can be hard to find. There aren’t a lot of comprehensive resources on the internet, which can make it difficult to get information without consulting a professional. But what if you want to do a bit of research before contacting a therapist, doctor, or other Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) professional?

Thankfully there are some great resources available on the web if you know where to look. We put together a list of some of the best ASD resources on the web so you can start your research by going to the site with the best information for your specific needs.

Each of the following resources will be classified by a category to make it easier for you to find what you need. The ASD categories we will be using are general information, screening & testing, pediatric ASD resources, teen ASD resources, and important links.

We will provide information and brief summaries on each resource so you’ll have an idea of what information the site provides before going in. Feel free to skip to the category you are looking for information on; this article doesn’t necessarily need to be read from start to finish. That being said, the general information links are great resources for most ASD-related topics and questions.

General ASD Resources

These resources provide general ASD information and can be thought of as overviews. The sites in this section will focus on ASD as a whole; symptoms, when to test, where to go, options, FAQs, and other broad ASD-related information.

CDC ASD Information

CDC ASD Information & Resources 

The CDC ASD is probably the best place to start for general information and answers to your questions. The information provided by the CDC is one of the most comprehensive ASD resources on the internet. 

Topics the CDC provides information on include:

  • What is ASD?
  • ASD screening & diagnosis
  • Treatments
  • Research & tracking
  • Data & statistics
  • ASD-related articles
  • Materials & multimedia
  • Community reports

There is information on just about every general ASD-related topic available on the CDC website. Starting your journey here will give you a great general overview about what ASD is and what you can do to help.

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks Website

Autism Speaks has some great information on what ASD is and provides resources & articles on many broad topics. The CDC provides a link to the Autism Speaks website, as it goes more in-depth on more specific ASD topics like finding therapy or treatment in your area, associated symptoms, screening, and fundraising.

Autism Speaks has been the target of some criticism due to their former goal of ‘curing’ autism. Their focus has shifted over the years, however, and their website remains a great resource for getting information and promoting awareness about ASD.

ASD Screening & Testing Resources

Screening & testing is the most important step in diagnosing ASD. The resources in this section provide lists, links, and more that can help you find ASD screening and testing in your area. The first section, CDC screening & diagnosis, goes over what to expect and how to prepare for an ASD screening.

CDC Autism Screening & Testing

CDC ASD Screening & Testing

The CDC page on ASD screening & testing is the best place to learn about general practices and procedures. The information provided by the CDC on this page is a generalized overview, but it has enough information to get you started on where to look and what to look for.

The Autism Community in Action Finding a Doctor

TACA Finding an ASD Doctor

This link starts with a more in-depth look at what to expect during ASD screening & testing followed by several links to help find a doctor in your area. The focus of this page is providing information that will help you get the treatment you are looking for.

The TACA Finding a Doctor page does a great job of explaining what you should look for and what to avoid when selecting an ASD doctor. Further information includes how to avoid getting stuck with unpaid costs from your insurance company and resources to help with this.

This is a fantastic resource if you are unfamiliar with billing practices related to ASD therapy or treatment. The links provided to find a doctor or, specifically, a functional medicine doctor can also help you to start your journey on the right path.

Pediatric ASD Resources

Autism therapy is commonly associated with children, as early childhood is the best time to diagnose and start treatment for ASD. Many of the ASD resources available on the internet focus primarily on childhood ASD and available treatments. We wanted to share a few of the more comprehensive options available if you are starting your search for pediatric ASD information.

Healthline Autism Doctors

Healthline Doctors Who Specialize in Autism

This short article contains a list of all the questions you should ask your child’s doctor about ASD and related treatments. The article gives a list of screenings & tests your doctor may use to determine if ASD is a concern.

While this article is short it is still a fantastic resource for parents who want to know more about how doctors diagnose ASD. The questions and lists provided in this article will help you prepare for what to ask your doctor and what you should expect during an ASD screening.

Verywell Health Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians

Verywell Health Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians Article

Like the Healthline link above, the Verywell Health Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians article provides a short but informative look into ASD pediatricians.

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians (DBPs) are board-accredited pediatricians that have specialty training and certification that can help diagnose ASD. DBPs are some of the most experienced pediatricians when it comes to diagnosing and developing a treatment plan for ASD.

This article does a great job outlining the differences between a DBP and a traditional pediatrician, as well as where to find a trusted DBP in your area.

Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics: ASD

AAP Identification, Evaluation, & Management of Children with ASD

This is a dense article written by several doctors for a medical journal. This bold warning is not meant to turn you away from this resource–just that it is a lot of information on one page.

Written in 2020, this AAP journal provides a comprehensive look into what ASD is, how it is identified & evaluated, and how to manage it. The information provided goes over many topics and is a great modern look into how doctors look at ASD and how they recommend managing it.

This journal can be downloaded as a PDF for easier reading, as the journal itself may be hard to navigate on a mobile phone.

Recommended reading if you really want to get insight into current medical information on ASD.

Teen ASD Resources

Information on ASD in teens and young adults can be more difficult to find than its pediatric counterpart. The two links in this section represent great places to start if you are looking for ASD information focused specifically on teens and/or young adults.

CDC ASD in Teens and Young Adults

CDC Teens & Young Adults with ASD

The shortest of our CDC links, this page is a brief overview of ASD in teens and young adults. Information on this page includes the difficulties teens and young adults with ASD may encounter and how to help. There are several links to help you get started on finding help and other resources for teen & young adult ASD.

SAP Counseling for Teens and Young Adults with ASD

SAP Teens & Young Adults with ASD

We wanted to include this counseling resource for teens and young adults with ASD. Teens and young adults have different things to worry about than children and this article takes an in-depth look at counseling and therapy. Teens and young adults with ASD may have difficulties adapting socially and this article gives information, options, and resources to help with this.

ASD Resource Links

The last section of this article will provide several large lists of ASD resources. These links will provide you with a great list of resources to get you started on finding the ASD information you are looking for.


CDC ASD Links & Resources

This list from the CDC provides links to some important ASD resources on the web. The links lead to sites that talk about everything from diagnosis to finding treatment in your area. Each link has a description explaining what the linked site specializes in.

Reading Rockets Top Autism Organizations & Resources

Reading Rockets Top ASD Resources

This is a great list of ASD resources from a site focused primarily on encouraging children to read. The links on the Reading Rockets list include general information, articles for professionals, and financial aid information. A great resource from an unexpected source; all the links have descriptions about what they are about.

ABA Therapy from IABA Consultants

The information provided above is subject to change and the links are not owned by or associated with Instructional ABA consultants. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the above links, please let us know! Likewise, if you have any great ASD resources that we are missing, send them our way–we want to provide information and starting points for everyone who needs help with ASD.

If you have questions regarding autism treatment with ABA therapy, we are here for you! Our goal is to make sure no family is turned away due to financial constraints. Our therapy team would love to talk to you. Find the location closest to you and give us a call. We’re here for you.

Guiding Anger to Love

Guiding Anger to Love

What do you do with anger that’s real? Anger that will burn cities and clear anything and everything in its path? Where did it come from and why is it here? 

The very short answer is anger feels good in the moment–it’s the aftershocks that are damaging if they are unleashed without guidance. Anger is a release of pent-up emotions that have no direction to go. The ensuing explosion unleashes this anger and gives us a false pretense of power. Luckily, most of us feel horrible when we get this spot but there are people who abuse others during periods of anger.

Anger & Abuse

For those of you who abuse other people with your anger, know this: there is fear, hurt, shame, guilt, sadness, grief, and other emotions that lie just beneath your anger. While your explosions and “wins” over others may feel like triumphs they are in fact a loss. 

When you give in to your anger you abandon yourself and your other emotions. You are also hurting others to make yourself feel better. This is never OK. Not ever. You can heal at any time by choosing to stop hurting others and tend to your wounds.

Onto the rest of us.

Coping with Anger

If you wield your anger like a weapon then feel guilt, shame, or other emotions after an outburst, you are experiencing what most of us experience. We all experience this at some point–no human is perfect (I promise).

Anger is a messenger that you have a lot going on and are either not taking the best care of yourself or are faced with a very challenging situation in life. Anger lets us know that we need love and care. Anger tells us to look at our brave hearts, kind souls, and human feelings and provide care.

Finding the Cause of Anger

Last week I wrote to you about rage. Rage, like anger, is a powerful emotion. When rage is the messenger and not the driver it can be destructive beyond measure. Without direction anger and rage are destructive to you, me, and everyone in our path.

After my first son, Henry, was born I suffered from postpartum depression which was exacerbated by domestic abuse. I don’t have words for the darkness I walked through during that time. I also don’t have words for the shining light of love I found in my son. 

I fought my way through postpartum depression with therapy, medication, and a loving community. At the time, I still was not able to identify I was living in domestic abuse. When my son Declan was born less than two years later I was determined to avoid suffering from postpartum depression again.

Looking back at my pregnancy and the birth of my second son is bittersweet because the work and self-care I put in were incredible. None of it involved his father, other than my request to “not attack me while I have the baby.” It didn’t work. What worked was asking my friends and family to wrap me in support, encapsulating my placenta, and taking real maternity leave. I thought I had it down! 

This is the point when I started to feel anger, shortly followed by rage.

Avoiding Manifestations of Anger

I remember being stumped when I thought about why I was so angry after my six-week check-up. I am not a quick-to-anger person unless I witness serious injustice. I asked my wonderful OBGYN, who supported me through both births, why I felt anger? She laughed, “you have two children under 2, this is normal!” 

While I did not like this answer she was totally right. Henry and I had gotten into our groove over the past 20 months. I knew how to take care of the two of us, but caring for two babies changed our routine. I was also always walking on pins and needles during my previous marriage. My nerves were thin and my children were loud. I was sleep-deprived, nursing, and doing almost all of it on my own. Something felt like it had to give.

Anger told me I needed to find a way to take care of myself so I could cool down as a mama. I felt extreme guilt (as we all do) when I would lose it with my boys. I read this awesome book, How to Stop Losing Your Shit With Your Kids, and started a mom-tribe book club where we all applied the practices of the book while supporting each other as mamas. 

I would be remiss to not mention the asshole things kids do sometimes. God I love them and, yes, they are all limbic systems, but this is so maddening when they have no survival instincts.

Not Losing Yourself to Anger

I want to let everyone know that anger is completely normal if you are going through early motherhood while living with domestic abuse. If you let the anger take over, however, you will spend most of early motherhood lost in its grasp. If I had totally given into anger I would have missed so many moments with my sons simply because I was depleted. 

Now, two years later, while I still have my moments (don’t we all? Mamas?) I also know when I feel anger around the boys, what I really need is a quiet minute and to be present with them. I don’t always parent perfectly (OK, almost never) but ‘reset time’ only takes a few minutes and prevents anger from dominating my parenting, period. All because I listened to what the topography of my anger map was telling me.

Anger still comes for me, as does rage. When I see injustice against others, my children, or myself I can’t begin to explain the flames that rise within my heart. I do know that I unequivocally do not want to hurt another being. The quick release of lashing out in anger can cause long-lasting damage.

Channel Your Rage to be Productive

Anger can feel powerful. All-encompassing anger feels like it can get you anything you desire. I can promise you that this is a lie. What anger is really telling you is to pay attention to your own heart and world so that you can right a wrong. That wrong can either be how you’re caring for yourself (postpartum depression care or lack thereof) or how others are treating you (leaving domestic abuse). 

If we choose to listen to anger and rage, rather than act on them immediately, we can learn they can be some of the wisest guides in our lives. Anger and rage tell us what needs to be corrected. Love tells us how to correct it. 

You and I can use this wise messenger to become a warrior of love, create the lives we want to live, and build the better world we all envision. Don’t burn it down. Build it up.



All the Rage

All the Rage

Over the last several weeks I’ve written to you about staying true to yourself through trauma and the turmoils of life. As a woman, I used to think that staying true to myself meant being happy and polite all the time. The men in my life have been burdened with a similar mistruth of staying strong and brave all of the time. Brene Brown has a Netflix series and in it, she talks about these gender roles and shame. The pushing down of our truest emotions and the pressure of gender as well as societal roles.

A “Perfect” World

As a child, I was into books that created alternative societies creating a perfect world. Even then I knew the worlds created on the pages were harmful but I was curious why these societies were so “dreamy,” if you will. No one was themselves in these stories. A few examples of the books I read are Brave New World, Stepford Wives, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Giver. Each of these books has a different theme but the bottom line is the same; numb your pain, be quiet about your grievances, and do what’s best for the culture. Sound familiar? It gives me shivers and yes it sounds familiar. Don’t get me started on Disney’s Wall-E.

In these books, conformity is encouraged and societal defiance is looked down upon, with one hero/heroine who questions the metaphorical pillars of society. I would like to think we can all be our own similar types of heroes and find a way back to our sacred ground by honoring each beautiful part of our souls.

Anger & Rage

Anger & rage aren’t talked about enough. The lesson I was fed while growing up was not to make other people uncomfortable. Any emotion that is not pleasant is labeled as a negative emotion, anything negative is a problem to be fixed. But is it? Aren’t anger and rage normal human emotions that we all feel? I think so. 

If I’m right, what will you do with the rage in your heart? 

I don’t have a full picture of it yet but what I do know is that no human emotion is bad; it’s just part of the human psyche. There isn’t a single emotion that we are in charge of so why do we believe that there are emotions that are negative and others that are positive? That’s the part I’m seeking to understand through my own experience and knowledge as a clinician. 

So, if rage is just an emotion and we aren’t in charge why do we care so much about hiding or showing it? Why do we create gender norms to say who has permission to feel and show rage? I wish I had a very educated answer for you but I don’t. I do have a gut feeling that it has a whole lot to do with power and discomfort.

Looking at All the Rage

Here’s what I know about rage so far: Rage is a powerful emotion that tells us something is not right around us, that a threat is present. It’s an external emotion. A messenger if you will. A messenger that loudly screams “I see a threat, I feel unsafe.” When rage screams at us we need to listen. Really. The problem is that the vast majority of us don’t. Instead of listening to rage we either use it to lash out (puff up) or crumble (shrink down).

Rage is not a helpful emotion when we do these things. If we listen to rage, however, we can honor ourselves by demanding a life we are worthy of. A life where all our emotions are valid yet our behaviors following them are selected by us, not for us.

What about unfiltered rage? Rage exists as a reflex to perceived injustice. If you are not honest with yourself about what hurts inside of your heart, you, my friend, are at risk of hurting others or yourself with rage that will turn into hate.

Rage & Hate

Hate can seem sexy. It calls to you and whispers, “it’s not you, you are fabulous, wonderful; it’s them.” Hate tells us that we don’t have to feel rage and can quickly move back into happiness if we just remove the threat. Shame tells us we are in fact the problem and need to conform by pushing down the rage. Neither works, both steal a part of our voices and one desires to steal the voices of others. 

If we are willing to tell hate we are all fabulous and wonderful but not immune from hurting others or above anyone, we could collectively unravel hate. In its place rage will stand nakedly in front of us demanding a place to be. We can’t let hate come at us. We can’t let hate tell us we are smaller or bigger than we are. We need to remove the hate from our rage to look at injustices both toward ourselves and the world. 

I have often written about the forest and fire. That for new growth to come the forest must burn. If the fire is burning around us and we are lost in the flames hate has won. But if we are careful enough to stand amongst the flames, ashen, raw, and open to the change that is coming we can watch birth by flame. 

Rage wakes us up and tells us, “you are not being honest, it’s time to come home to yourself.” I’ve written time after time about not numbing your pain, not losing yourself, and not letting the voices from the outside world swallow you. I’ve not been earthside long enough to be immune from cycles of rage and shame attempting to swallow me like flames in the forest. But I have walked through enough of these forests to know that peace comes after it burns and the sun always rises from the ashes.

Listen to rage, but do not let it take over your life. Instead, use rage to take your life back. Fires and all.



Why Whole-Family Support Matters for Kids With Autism

Why Whole-Family Support Matters for Kids With Autism

Children with autism who work with Board Certified Behavior Analysts in a therapeutic ABA setting learn skills that help them function independently. These kids never work in a vacuum, since the long-term goal is the effective transfer of these skills from the ABA therapy center to their wider world.

In fact, ABA therapy can be more satisfying and effective when the whole family gets involved.

What Does Family Support for Autism Look Like?

Family support can include a wide range of elements, and each family needs something unique.

Potty training is a great example. Often, children find success in clinical settings but not as much in their home environment. Clinicians can work with parents to develop a plan that extends into a child’s home and school life.

With a goal to promote independence across all environments, therapists work with families to increase effective communication between parents, siblings, and the child with autism.

Oftentimes children won’t have developed language skills and ABA therapists come up with a communication system that parents can use. Whether it’s verbal, limited sign language, or picture exchanges, these methods can be used at home.

Parent-Therapist Communication

Maintaining therapeutic practices at home and not just in clinical settings is crucial for ABA therapy to have a life-changing impact.

Family involvement can start with the simple process of sharing with parents what the child is working on in the ABA therapy setting. As new families get familiar with the basics of ABA therapy, it really helps them understand what they can do at home, like how to respond to tantrums.

In some cases, just having help in creating a morning or nighttime routine can make all the difference to everyone in the family. Ideally, parents and families make time to meet or talk with therapists on a weekly basis, though many parents have busy schedules.

ABA Therapy from IABA Consultants

If you have questions regarding autism treatment with ABA therapy, we are here for you! Our goal is to make sure no family is turned away due to financial constraints. Our therapy team would love to talk to you. Find the location closest to you and give us a call. We’re here for you.

Sources: Chicago Parent Magazine

Getting Started with ABA Therapy

Getting Started with ABA Therapy

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is administered by professionals. As a parent, you play an important role in choosing the right person to help your child. But your work won’t stop when the professional begins.

Effective ABA therapy for people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) relies on active parent participation. You help your child to learn around the clock, even when the technician isn’t present.

You’ll have plenty of training to help you get started. You won’t be in this alone. But following a few basic do’s and don’ts can ensure your child gets the most out of therapy.

Finding the Right ABA Professional

Before you can play a role in your child’s ABA therapy, you’ll need someone to guide the process. That person is a therapist, and as a parent, you have the power to choose the right person.

Therapists certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board will have the letters BCBA after their names. Someone like this is qualified to create and oversee the treatment plan for your child.

Registered behavior technicians (RBTs) carry out the treatment plan that is created by a BCBA therapist. RBTs should be supervised by a BCBA through regular meetings, written reports, or both.

Parent Participation in ABA Therapy Is Critical

Researchers say that treatment works best when parents stay engaged. You know your child better than anyone else does, and you spend the most time with them. You’re in the perfect position to help tailor treatment and encourage skill-building.

You’re not expected to know everything about ABA therapy when treatment begins. Your child’s therapist is your guide. This is why it’s important to find a therapist you can trust. You will learn all about therapy goals and how you can help.

Ask your therapist for help with anything that seems unclear. They are there to guide you through the process.

ABA Therapy Best Practices

Follow best practices to ensure that your child has the best ABA therapy experience possible.

Throughout your child’s ABA therapy journey, you should:

  • Help yourself. Juggling work, childcare, education, and ABA therapy isn’t easy. Reach out to ASD support groups, experts suggest. In these groups, you can connect with others who are also dealing with these responsibilities. You may pick up tools and tricks that help you cope.
  • Practice everywhere. The more frequently your child can practice in novel situations, the better, experts say. Use shopping trips, car rides, doctors’ appointments, and church services as opportunities to solidify ABA therapy lessons.
  • Ask for progress reports. A child in ABA therapy should learn new skills and behaviors. You should see these in action as you move through each day with your child. You’ll see improvements in virtually every area of life, including academics, socialization, and day-to-day functioning. But your child’s therapist should also craft reports you can read and understand. Tracking data helps professionals to determine the next steps in the treatment plan.
  • Listen to your child. ABA therapy can be fun, enticing, and even a bit exciting. If your child seems nervous, scared, or angry, pay attention. You may need a different technician or a modification to the approach. It doesn’t necessarily mean that ABA therapy isn’t a good fit for your child. The approach might just need to be altered somewhat. Talk to your child’s technician about any issues that arise.
  • Ask for feedback. You’re part of the treatment team, and you are working hard. Ask your technician for advice about your role. Are you handling the work properly? Where can you improve?

Many parents enjoy ABA therapy. They look forward to the appointments, and they feel pride as their children learn and grow.

While parents are often involved in therapy sessions, they also have the opportunity to relax a bit as technicians take the wheel in these sessions. Parenting a child with autism is a full-time job. Getting hands-on guidance from a professional on a consistent basis can be invaluable.

You will have ups and downs in progress. That’s expected. But follow these steps, and you might like the therapy as much as your child does.

What to Avoid During ABA Therapy

Parents of children with ASD have plenty of tasks to tackle, and everyone makes mistakes now and again. You won’t be the perfect parent or caretaker. No one is. But avoiding some common mistakes as much as you can help your child.

As ABA therapy progresses, avoid:

  • Skipping appointments. Your calendar is packed tight, and it’s tempting to let one or two visits slide. Avoid that temptation. Your child needs many meetings with professionals to get better and make progress. When appointments are skipped, your child may lose the progress they have made thus far. This means a longer treatment timeline and slower results. Don’t let therapy take a backseat to other obligations.
  • Certain punishments. It’s easy to think that negative reinforcement is the best way to stop undesirable behavior, but it’s been shown to have the opposite effect. ABA therapy uses rewards for positive steps, and certain responses are used to discourage negative behavior. Behavioral technicians do not use physical punishment when kids don’t comply. This is a common misunderstanding among therapists and parents, experts say. If you’re not sure how to handle negative behavior, ask your therapist. Therapy should be fun, so kids will participate without coercion.
  • Backsliding. Consistency makes for effective ABA therapy. Kids should know what will happen and when. It’s tempting to let your child bend the rules now and then just to avoid a discussion. But doing so makes the lesson harder to grasp. Stick with the plan your therapist outlined.
  • Accelerating. ABA therapy is built on a series of very small steps that a child masters one by one. You can see the goal in sight, but your child might not see it yet. Don’t push your child to do anything they don’t understand quite yet. Be patient and let the therapy work. It takes time, but the gains are well worth it.
  • As with most things, there is a learning curve with ABA therapy. With more sessions, you’ll feel more confident in the approach, and you’ll be better able to reinforce the lessons learned in sessions.

Everyone makes mistakes. If you slip, don’t berate yourself. But look for ways to start fresh tomorrow, so you can help your child as much as possible.

ABA Therapy from IABA Consultants

If you have questions regarding autism treatment with ABA therapy, we are here for you! Our goal is to make sure no family is turned away due to financial constraints. Our therapy team would love to talk to you. Find the location closest to you and give us a call. We’re here for you.


Sprout Therapy ABA Information