A world focus on autism: guest bloggers & multi-lingual reviews of on line sources

During the opening week of the United Nations 67th General Assembly, on the 27th of September, Autism Speaks will host its 5th Annual World Focus on Autism. This is exciting for all of us at Hunter becuase it will be held at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House and many of us who are part of the Hunter Autism Research, Practice & Policy Center (HARPP) will be presenting posters. My colleague Nilofer Naqvi and I are excited to be presenting a poster on Autism in Low Income Countries: current status, challenges and solutions, which is based on our grassroots work during the past 14 years.

This event will be attended by First Spouses and Ministers of Health from around the world, as well as leaders and experts in the field of autism who will share best practices for countries, communities and families affected with autism.

To celebrate this imporant event I have asked my student tecachers in my Autism class to be guest bloggers. Our intention is to be of service to the global community and this month we will be reviewing on line resources which are of benefit to families and practitioners. We will be reviewing sites in Chinese, Spanish, Greek and Hebrew in addition to sites in English. Please let us know your thoughts.

Thank you and let’s all work together to make this a well informed Autism friendly world.

6 Comments

  • http://www.autismclassroom.com is a site with some practical ideas for working with students with autism at home and in the classroom. In the “Strategies” sections, there are many suggestions for strategies for preventing and responding to challenging behaviors in children with autism, as well as for supporting their learning. In the section about encouraging communication and social behavior, there is an organized, descriptive list of techniques for encouraging these behaviors. Additionally, there are other helpful resources such as:
    • A list of possible IEP goals
    • Basic templates for center labels and picture supports
    • Behavior Intervention Plan templates
    • Presentations that could be useful for informing people about autism
    • Links to other resources about things such as sensory needs and books about autism
    Overall, the site was mostly organized but could use some updating. For example a link labeled “Real Classrooms” has spaces for images that no longer are available. Also, the visual layout of the site was somewhat basic and could use some visual personality. Finally, while much of the information presented seems in line with research-based practice, the website does not have many references or research sources cited aside from brief mention of The Autism Society of America and the DSM-IV manual.
    This is a good website if you want some practical, easy to implement techniques today, but be sure to use it with other resources that reference more research. Most of the site is accessible without becoming a member, though doing so is free.

  • http://www.autismhangout.com is a website for those interested in more than just finding the causes and cure of autism. It is an online resource complied with news and reports, an education catalog, blogs and discussion forums. It also provides reviews of products and services submitted by members of the autism community. The site is simple to navigate and most of it is accessible without creating an account, although doing so is free. All tabs offer a drop down menu with direct options such as headlines and webinars located under the news and reports tab and videos and photos located under the community tab. The site dedicates itself to, “bringing timely, relevant news, resources and hope to those affected by autism”.

  • Jennifer Covelli says:

    Site Name: ASD Dad
    Link: http://www.asddad.com

               This site, authored by the father of a young child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, is more than just another blog. ASD Dad writes with the candid tone of a journalist and spares no details of his journey with his 3-year old son and their family, all the while maintaining a sense of hopefulness and pure adoration for his children. The site is organized in a standard blog format, with updates at least 2-3 times a week. It includes an “About Me” section with a very short but touching autobiography and provides links to Autism-related websites that he has found helpful.
                 ASD Dad recounts his experiences with his child, “C”, who also suffers from a rare lung disorder, and his relationship with his twin brother “M”, a typically developing child. ASD Dad shares triumphs and tragedies, visits to the psychologist and other therapists, and his own experiences with a variety of apps, toys, websites, and anything a parent of a child with ASD may encounter. Many of his best features are those that provide readers with reviews of articles and research related to Autism as they surface on the web and in academic circles—he offers his own opinion on the subject matter of each article and provides a link to the original copy. It is easy to navigate, well-designed, and features beautiful photographs of his two children in almost every post. The photographs offer a personal touch and glimpse into his life that some parent bloggers are afraid to share.
             Though geared toward parents of children with ASDs, professionals could certainly turn to his site to read valuable firsthand accounts from a parent that seems to have a knack for expressing his experience with Autism with an expert eloquence. The resources listed are limited and the site is relatively new, but parents will find exactly what they are looking for at ASD Dad: A companion, a voice of reason, and answers to some very difficult questions. If the site continues to post on a semi-daily basis, it will most certainly continue to improve its already valuable content.

  • Sara Radelicki says:

    Helpguide.org is a non-profit resource that has information about mental health, healthy lifestyles, children and family, and aging well. Specifically, we looked at the information for parents who suspect their child might be on the Autism Spectrum and were very pleased with what we found.Helpguide.org was launched in 1999, shortly after a married couple lost their daughter. They felt that their daughter could have still been alive if there was reliable information available. They started this organization in order to help other families who struggle to find the resources that they need in order to help their loved ones. “This website has grown from a small local project to an internationally recognized resource serving over 50 million people a year.”

    Being educators and knowing little about Autism Spectrum Disorders, we stumbled across this website and found it very informative. The website is easy to navigate and has a variety of information about Autism Spectrum Disorders without being overwhelming. Whether you are looking for an understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders, signs and symptoms, or how to go about getting a diagnosis, it is all conveniently located on the main page with additional links that open up in a new page so you do not lose the homepage. The website is updated frequently and information on the website is provided by doctors and scholars in the medical field, specializing in autism, social emotional, and social cognitive development.

    When we came upon this website, we were immediately satisfied with what we had found. We especially liked how things were explained in layman’s terms. Whether you are a parent, a sibling, an educator, or someone interested in Autism Spectrum Disorders, this website is a good place to start your research. In addition to the information provided on this website, under the resources and references link there are a ton of other great websites where you can find more information about Autism Spectrum Disorders. There is also a free toolkit offered on the website that helps loved ones deal with a diagnosis of Autism. It gives tips on how to remain calm and focused, goals and strategies, and steps to achieve these goals through videos, articles, and printable documents.

    Overall this is a wonderful website, very detailed and informative-we recommend that you take a peek and see for yourself!

    From Sara Radelicki and Lauren Kimmel

  • Simone Altman says:

    Simone Altman

    The Jewish Autism Trust website, http://www.jewishautism.org/, is a great resource that is geared towards Jewish families that have a child or children with autism. The information of the website is organized in a way that is easy to navigate and very user-friendly. The website offers information and support for parents and families about autism. Email support is available for families, which provides up to date and current information about autism. There are events such as speakers and youth activities posted as well. However, the events are only for families in the UK.

    Within the support tab, there is a section called, “What am I entitled to?” This section has information and goes through disability allowance, care assessment, and much more. It has a lot of good supports for families and gives them information about what assistance or benefits they are entitled in places such as airports and at the theater. I especially think that this website is helpful because it provides links to other websites that go into more detail. Jewish Autism Trust gives information for families who need guidance and support. The resources were useful and very accessible from this website.

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