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Tips for New Families

Families of children who have just received a diagnosis of autism can be overwhelmed thinking about what to do next. They have a lot of information to sift through, including advice from professionals and various websites, blogs, and social media sites. If you are a parent, the following resources are a great place to start. If you are a service provider, these are great resources to provide to families.

Autism Speaks has created a 100 day kit for families of children ages 4 and under to guide them through the first 100 days following their child’s diagnosis of autism.


The Interactive Autism Network provides information on therapies and treatment and the importance of record keeping. The site also contains free webinars, including one on parenting a child with autism.


The National Autism Center has a manual designed to support parents as they make decisions about their child’s treatment. It reviews diagnostic evaluations and identifies and describes evidence based interventions. It also gives families guidance on choosing professionals and how to incorporate family values and preferences into that decision making process.


The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) offers free guides on a variety of topics, such as transition and safety. A Parent’s Guide to Research provides guidance on places to find information about autism that is accurate and evidence based. It also helps parents become savvy consumers of information regarding interventions.



The Parent Playbook is an online training provided by the VCU Autism Center for Excellence specifically created for families and caregivers. It covers an overview of autism, information about essential supports, how to provide a structured and organized home, and more.


In addition to these resources, Commonwealth Autism has a comprehensive list of local and national resources in our database and we have a dedicated information and resource specialist available to help both families and service providers. Call us at 804-355-0300.

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