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20 Alice Agnew Drive
Attleboro Falls, MA 02763
Phone: 877.622.2884
Fax: 774.643.6331

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The National Autism Assoc. places focus on the safety of children with ASD.  It offers information on preventative measures such as pool/water safety, wandering, and general safety tips.  It has a video advocacy project helping people understand that behaviors such as restlessness and “stimming” are forms of communication

Big Red Safety Box | FOUND
     The NAA offers a tool kit for caregivers and one for first-responders to assist a wondering child in keeping safe. “The National Autism Association is committed to those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who may be prone to wandering off or eloping from a safe environment, and may be unable to recognize danger and/or stay safe. Wandering, elopement, “running” or fleeing behaviors among those within our community not only present unique safety risks, but also create extraordinary worry and stress among caregivers. Drowning fatalities following wandering incidents remain a leading cause of death among those with ASD.”
The kit includes:
1) Educational materials and tools:
A caregiver checklist; A Family Wandering Emergency Plan; A first-responder profile form; A wandering-prevention brochure, A sample IEP Letter
2) Two (2) Door/Window Alarms with batteries
3) One (1) RoadID Personalized, Engraved Shoe ID Tag*
4) Five (5) Laminated Adhesive Stop Sign Visual Prompts for doors and windows
5) Two (2) Safety Alert Window Clings for car or home windows
6) One (1) Red Safety Alert Wristband

The NAA also lists several ways a person can help:

Ways to Give

Donate now – Make a tax-deductible donation to NAA.

Donate in someone’s honor – Click here to make a donation in honor, or in memory of someone special.

Create your own online fundraising site – Get creative and build your own fundraising page on Crowdrise or Firstgiving.

Shop in NAA’s Little Shop of Hope – all store proceeds support NAA’s programs for the autism community.

Shop with our Partners.

Shop With Purpose – Download the free We-Care.com app on your web browser and NAA will receive a donation on any of your online purchases with participating merchants including Best Buy, Macy’s, Carter’s, Gamestop, 1-800-Flowers, QVC, Travelocity and more!

Workplace giving – CFC – https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?FEDID=267&CID=12085

Matching gifts – Many corporations will match charitable donations made by their employees. Contact your HR Department to ask about matching your donation to NAA.

Donate a Car – To donate a vehicle to the National Autism Association, please contact Donate A Car at 1-800-237-5714.  It’s simple, easy and tax deductible!

Donate a Timeshare – Please contact our partner, Donate For a Cause at 877.822.2873, or visit their website at http://www.donateforacause.org and select NAA as your donation beneficiary.

Bequests and Planned Giving – Click here for information.

These are the subcategories of Family Support. Each offer a helpful direction.

Family Support »

This is what is contained in the section “You’re Not Alone”:

You’re Not Alone

We’re parents just like you. We understand the heartache, confusion, fear, anger, and the million other emotions that accompany an autism diagnosis. We also know that progress is on your side. No matter how severe the degree of autism may be, our children do progress. More and more of our children are even recovering from autism. Early intervention, therapies and treatments can lead to dramatic progress. Breakthroughs have already been made – some big, some small. Research will continue to help us have even more breakthroughs.

Even during your most difficult times, hope will always be there. You will always have support among fellow parents, and you will always have hope.

The website recommends means of treatment, such as:

Treatment »

Early Intervention

If your child is young and you suspect there might be something wrong, immediately seek early intervention services for your child.

To find Early Intervention services in your state, click here.  You can also call NICHCY at 1.800.695.0285 and ask one of their information specialists to give you the number for early intervention services in your area.

How else might you find out about early intervention services in your community?  Here are two ways:

  • Ask your child’s pediatrician to put you in touch with the early intervention system in your community or region
  • Contact the Pediatrics branch in a local hospital and ask where you should call to find out about early intervention services in your area.

It is very important to write down the names and phone numbers of everyone you talk to. You can use this Parent’s Record-Keeping Worksheet developed by NICHCY to keep track of this important information. Having this documentation available will be helpful to you later on.

For additional information on Early Intervention, visit zerotothree.org

Dietary Intervention

GLUTEN-FREE/CASEIN-FREE DIET

The Gluten Free/Casein Free Diet is the removal of all wheat protein (gluten), and milk protein (casein) from the diet.

Many parents and physicians have found that implementing the GF/CF diet relieves many of the symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorders.

For more information about the GF/CF Diet please visit: gfcfdiet.com

SPECIFIC CARBOHYDRATE DIET

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is a scientific diet based on chemistry, biology and clinical studies. It is detailed in the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, written by Elaine Gottschall. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was designed for patients with intestinal diseases. Many individuals with autism suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases including Colitis and Crohn’s Disease.

For more information about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet please visit pecanbread.com.

Remember, each individual with autism is unique.  There are many other types of dietary intervention that may be helpful in addition to the two noted above.  Speak to your doctor or nutritionist to determine what’s best for your child.

Recommended Reading:

Medical Intervention

Research shows that many individuals with autism spectrum disorders have underlying medical issues that frequently go undiagnosed and can cause or exacerbate symptoms of autism.

These medical conditions include Fragile X, allergies, asthma, epilepsy, bowel disease, gastrointestinal/digestive disorders, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, food sensitivities, persistent viral and fungal infections, PANDAS, feeding disorders, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, OCD, sensory integration dysfunction, sleeping disorders, immune disorders, autoimmune disorders, heavy metal toxicity and neuroinflammation. Treating these underlying medical issues can greatly improve some of the behaviors and symptoms associated with autism.

Treatment options may include:

  • vitamin and mineral supplementation
  • immune system support
  • anti-inflammatories
  • neurofeedback
  • chelation/detoxification therapy
  • hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • anti-fungal and anti-viral therapies
  • dietary intervention
  • methyl B-12 therapy

Patients should undergo diagnostic testing and consult with a licensed physician to develop an individualized treatment plan. 

NAA recommends finding a physician who will not ignore underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the symptoms and severity of autism.  There are a number of physicians in the U.S. who specialize in treating children and adults with autism.  Until recently, the Autism Research Institute (ARI) maintained a list of clinicians who attended DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) physician training seminars. While the list is not actively maintained at this time, you can click here to view an archive:  Clinician Listing

A new effort is now underway to educate, train and board certify physicians treating individuals with autism.  Please visit http://medmaps.org for information.

Therapies

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION

Many professionals feel that early intervention is key in treating autism, and that behavior modification techniques are crucial in a child’s early years. There are several types of behavior modification techniques, including:

  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
  • Verbal Behavior (VB)
  • Floortime
  • TEACCH
  • Son-Rise
  • Relationship Development Intervention
  • SCERTS

Below is a sampling of behavioral aid apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices:


OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health service that is concerned with an individual’s ability to participate in desired daily life tasks, or “occupations,” which give one’s life meaning. If a person’s ability to perform these tasks which include caring for one’s self or others, working, going to school, playing, and living independently is impacted by an illness, disease, and/or disability, OT can be important. OT is often paired with Sensory Integration.

HINT: Have your child evaluated by an occupational therapist that is both trained in sensory integration therapy and is certified to perform diagnostic testing such as the SIPT (Sensory Integration and Praxis Test).  Also consider having your child evaluated by the school occupational therapist and request sensory integration support in his/her IEP.


PHYSICAL THERAPY

An individual with autism spectrum disorders may benefit from Physical Therapy if they have any of the following indicators:  muscle stiffness or tightness; Delay in obtaining motor skills milestones; Poor balance and coordination; Difficulty in moving through the environment; Postural abnormalities; Muscle Weakness; Pain.


SPEECH THERAPY:

Speech therapy services focus on enhancing or restoring limited or lost communicative skills or oral motor skills like swallowing.  Since autism often affects speech and communication, many will need Speech Therapy to help facilitate language. Some individuals may do well with a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and others may do well with augmentative communication devices.

Below is a sampling of communication aid apps designed for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices:


VISION THERAPY

Vision therapy is based on the fact that vision is learned. The ability to see and correctly interpret what is seen does not appear automatically at birth. It develops over a lifetime and is shaped by the experiences a person has.


MUSIC THERAPY

Music Therapy is the use of music and its elements (such as; sound, rhythm, melody and harmony) by a qualified music therapist. It can be used with an individual or in a group setting.


CANINE COMPANIONS

Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Options include:


SEARCHING FOR LOCAL THERAPISTS


FINDING APPS FOR iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone

If you’re searching for apps for your child, you may find it helpful to first download Autism Apps from the iTunes Store.  Autism Apps is a comprehensive list of apps being used by people with Autism and other special needs.  The apps are separated into over 30 categories, are easily searchable, and include reviews by users.

Also visit http://autismpluggedin.com for a listing of apps and reviews.


FUNDING FOR iPads AND OTHER AUGMENTATIVE COMMUNICATION DEVICES

Click here for a great article from Holly Bortfeld of TACA.

Visit this link at AutismPluggedIn.com.

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