Autism Action Plan
Has someone told you that your child may have a developmental delay
or disorder such as autism or Asperger'sSyndrome?
Do you have concerns about your child's development?
Here are some steps to get you going in the right direction...
1. Validate your concerns:
If you have concerns about your child's motor, social/ emotional, cognitive or communication development, investigate them with the following tools:
2. Get an Evaluation:
The sooner you get an evaluation, the sooner you can get services from schools, programs and specialists. In Oregon, you can get both an educational identification and a medial diagnosis.
An educational identification qualifies your child for educational and therapeutic resources through your local "Educational Service District" or "ESD." For children younger than age 5, contact the early intervention specialists that work through your county. For English, click here. En Espanol, click here
For children age 5 and older, contact your local school to request an evaluation.
To pursue a medical diagnosis, which qualifies your child for medically necessary autism therapies, contact your pediatrician for a referral to an experienced psychologist or developmental pediatrician. A list of providers who evaluate children for autism spectrum disorders in located on the Professional Resource Directory under "Child Diagnosis."
3. Get Organized:
Manage medical records, assessments, laboratory values and other important data in a binder and have it organized and ready to go for appointments. A "Child's Life Care Notebook" is available for free from the Swindell's Child Center.
4. Get Resources:
The Autism Society of Oregon provides many wonderful resources for families in Oregon. These resources include Support Groups, a Resource Directory, Helpful Links, a Calendar of Events, the "Take a Break on ASO" program and more.
5. Get help with your child's IEP (Individualized Education Plan):
FACT Oregon helps parents with the IEP process - for free! They run free seminars throughout Oregon, have a free Special Ed helpline, and - on request - provide volunteer Parent Partners to attend IEP meetings with the parents. The website is at: http://www.FACTOregon.org or call 1-888-988-FACT (3228).
If your child is under the age of 5, the child has an IFSP (Individual Family Support Plan).
Other helpful links and info can be found at our Helpful Links tab
6. Obtain early theraputic intervention:
Organize a team of therapists, under the guidance of your primary care provider, pediatrician or an autism consultant. A good therapist will be able to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses and provide detailed recommendations for your child. Early intervention leads to better outcomes!
Types of professionals to consider:
7. Find a doctor who is experienced in biomedical assessment and treatment of children with autism:
A doctor is an important step on the autism journey. There are many safe and effective biomedical therapies that can be helpful for your child. Examples include: Methyl B12 injections, nutritional therapy, homeopathy, dietary treatments and immune modulation.
Remarkable improvements have been seen in some children who receive biomedical treatments. Find a doctor who stays up-to-date with information and has experience in treating children on the spectrum.
8. Address your child’s diet:
The foods your child eats directly effects the ability of your child’s brain and body to develop and function properly. Remove additives, preservatives & dyes from all foods. Go organic if you can and eat as many whole, fresh foods as possible. Get some good recipes and experiment with vegetables! Your child will only eat them if he sees you eating (and enjoying) them, so get creative and have fun!
- Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon
- The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, by Lisa Barnes
- The Family Nutrition Book, by William Sears, MD
Some parents have found a Gluten free/ Casein free (GF/CF) diet to be effective in reducing autistic symptoms. For information, see:
8. Attend support group meetings:
See our Support & Activity Group listings for all of Oregon and SW Washington at: Support Groups by Region. We list all the support and activity groups that we are aware of throughout Oregon and in SW Washington. There are groups that meet in person and on-line, with groups for parents, siblings, grandparents and child, teen and adults on spectrum.
9. Find Balance:
Keep in mind that advocating for your child is quite like running a marathon. You need to pace yourself. Balance in your life will benefit both you and your child. Remember to cherish your spouse and other children. Also, remember to take time for your self. Keep seeking out the fun and love that comes with being a family. Keep participating in activities that help control stress and lift you up. Encorage your child every day and emphasize all of his or her unique and wonderful qualities.