Resource Page for Parents

Resources from AWorks

When we travel, we always wear our Asperger Works button, which inadvertently results in parents whose young children have been recently diagnosed with Asperger’s or autism asking us for information. We try to help as best we can with success stories from our friends and encouragement about the future of their children. Often these parents feel totally alone and completely frustrated by the inadequacy of the help their children receive.

Although our main thrust is to help adults, we could not ignore these cries for help. This page hopes to assist parents of children with autism, but especially those with Asperger’s, find information that may aid them and their children.

Despite No Link With Autism, Vaccine Rates Lag For Kids With ASD (Disabiity Scoop) – There is a disturbing trend relative to vaccinations for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their younger siblings according to a recent study that was published on April 27 in JAMA Pediatrics. Only 82% of children on the Spectrum received the necessary vaccines (between the ages of 4 and 6) after diagnosis. This is a considerably lower rate than that of 94% of neurotypical children. There is also a marked difference between the number of younger siblings of neurotypical and ASD-diagnosed children: 85% to 73%.

“We are following up on this study to try to understand what makes parents reluctant,” [Ousseny] Zerbo said. “The study does not tell us why we are seeing this disparity.”

However, it is quite possible that some parents may still believe the now-debunked theory that autism is caused by vaccines.

Autism Waiver Services (Mass.gov) – ATTENTION PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISM!!! – The Autism Division of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is running an Autism Waiver Program that provides one-on-one interventions to help children with autism under the age of 9 who exhibit severe behavior, social, and/or communication problems in the child’s home (or other natural settings) under the supervision of trained clinical staff and is available for a total of three years. Open registration is from October 17th, 2017 to October 31st, 2017.

Creating a Home Where Your Child Can Thrive with a Disability (HomeCity Real Estate) – HomeCity is a real estate company in the Austin, TX area that cares not only about selling homes but also about children with disabilities. This interesting article addresses the issue of how to provide a comfortable home for children with various disabilities. Additionally, it has various recommendations about financing and related issues and provides a link to resources for parents of disabled children in Texas.

Below are two related articles from Dave Angel, founder and organizer of the Parenting Aspergers Community, dealing with our Aspie children’s short- and long-term financial security:

Financial Help for Our Kids (aspergerworks.org) – In this article, Dave discusses how we go about getting financial help for our child (children) with Asperger’s in the future when he/she graduates or ages out of high school and we are no longer around to help him/her.

Estate Planning (aspergerworks.org) – In this article, Dave addresses the issue of planning for a secure future for our Aspergian child (or children) through estate planning.

It is our hope that these two articles will help prepare parents for the inevitable – our inability to care for our children because of illness or infirmity and death.

Grants for single mothers (singlemothersgrants.org) – In every demographic in the United States, there are thousands of people who have difficulty making ends meet. Although this Website was designed with single mothers in mind, families and individuals in the Asperger community definitely could benefit from the information disseminated here.

AUTCRAFT (autcraft.com) – Stuart Duncan, known in the game of Autcraft as AutismFather, has a child with autism and he himself is also on the Spectrum. He “created Autcraft in response to the many parents on social media reaching out to other parents because their children were being bullied on public servers. I wanted to give them just one server where that would never happen.”

Autcraft is a whitelisted Minecraft server for children (and adults) that have autism and their families.
What this means is that if you or a family member has autism and you own the computer version of Minecraft, you can register and apply to be put on the whitelist and play with other people just like you. . . .

Some features of Autcraft:
  • Bullying, killing, stealing, griefing, etc is not tolerated
  • Swearing is not tolerated
  • In game ticket/support system. Need an admin to do something, stand where you need the help and use /modreq <message>
  • Players builds are protected using WorldGuard. Ask an admin for protection
  • All kills, blocks placed, blocks broken, items dropped, picked up and more are tracked so that we can see exactly what happens anywhere
  • A few mini-games including hide and seek, mob arena, spleef and more
  • Community Wither fights and other events

So, if your child and/or you like to play MINECRAFT, this is a safe place to participate in the game and to socialize with others on the Autism Spectrum.

The subtle brilliance of Sesame Street’s first episode starring an autistic Muppet (VOX.com) – There is a new kid in town on Sesame Street (seen both on PBS and HBO) and her name is Julia. Julia is autistic. The “subtle brilliance” of all of the episodes that have Julia in it is that the crew at Sesame Street targets neurotypical (aka “normal”) kids in the way Julia is presented. They teach children that if you interact with an autistic child on his/her terms, everyone benefits. Julia is not sick, a person to be pitied or shunned. Julia is not weird or scary. Julia is just different, as Abby, the fairy Muppet, points out in the first episode.

Parenting Aspergers Community (parentingaspergerscommunity) – The opening remarks on the Home page says it all:

Discover the ULTIMATE collection of Parenting help and Aspergers advice that you are ever likely to need. Whatever parenting tips, tricks and techniques that you want for helping your child with Aspergers it’s all here for you to access now. That’s what our worldwide membership base is doing and it’s helping them to understand their child with Aspergers better, become even better parents, and make their home & family life a better place to be. And to be honest wouldn’t you like that too?

I have found the information on this site, the accompanying Facebook group, and regular e-mails from Dave Angel, the author of the Website, insightful, reassuring, helpful, and so much more. Whether your child is still a child, a teenager, or an adult, you will find the information here very useful. And, should you decide to join the Facebook group, you will be introduced to an incredibly supportive group of caring people from all over the world!

Travel Tips for Children With Autism (Parents.com) – Let’s face it. Traveling with kids is no picknick. And if you have a child with autism, going on vacation or any place outside of your home area can be even more daunting. However, according to this article, if you plan ahead, you may be able to avert some or most difficulties. First of all, you need to decide what is the best destination for your child. You should make arrangements ahead of time. “Contact airlines, hotels, restaurants, and amusement parks and explain that you are traveling with a child who has autism; discuss your needs and request certain accommodations.” It is imperative that you Get your child a medical bracelet or necklace with contact information. If your child has sensory issues, “you can order ID tags that can be attached to shoelaces or even zipper pulls.” Make sure your child has everything he or she needs. Include items that will keep your child occupied and busy. But the best suggestion is to prepare your child by practicing what to expect at a vacation destination.

Exploring Hobbies with Your Child (Autism Community) – The hobbies of children with autism might be a key to helping them cope with the world around them by identifying hidden talents, allowing them to be creative, having them develop their imagination, building social skills, and communication according to the author (Stephanie Ekis, MS, CCC-SLP). In her post, Ms. Ekis lists different types of activities that you might want to involve your children in.

Shopping for a child on the Spectrum – If you are a parent of a child with Asperger’s or Autism, you may be at a loss as to what toys you, your relatives, and/or friends should give to your child for his or her birthday and other major holidays.

Here are two links that you might find helpful.

  • Amazon.com – offers suggestions for toys for Autistic children. And if you purchase toys from them through Amazon Smile (toys for autistics), you can help Asperger Works at the same time.
  • Toys “R” Us – offers a list of sensory toys that are appropriate for children with Autism and other disabilities. In the UK, they also offer “quiet shopping hour” for children on the Spectrum.