Seven Autism Providers One Mother Chose for Her Son
When Sharon Esch’s two-year old son Adam was diagnosed with autism, she threw herself into the process of finding the best providers to help him. She knew the importance of early intervention and hoped to get things lined up in a matter of weeks. After two years, lots of “trial and error”, and an unbelievable amount of red tape, Sharon architected a great team of providers to help Adam thrive. The seven key providers she formed as her team were a speech pathologist, an occupational therapist, a child psychiatrist specializing in autism, a dentist sensitive to the needs of a child affected by autism, an understanding and calm hairdresser for Adam, an inclusive gymnastics instructor, and a caring librarian at a toy lending library.
Like many parents of children affected by autism, Sharon started from scratch and built Adam’s “autism team” on her own. She pored over resources online and offline, “hounded” her state’s early intervention offices until she got basic services, tested and walked away from some providers, and fine-tuned the team as his developmental needs changed. Most frustrating was the knowledge that many other parents before her had gone through this same process – but there was no easy way to learn from their experience. Just like many of you, Sharon felt alone and had to re-invent the wheel. Sound familiar?
This is the inspiration behind MyAutismTeam. www.myautismteam.com
MyAutismTeam is a free site for parents to connect and share recommendations and tips on local autism providers. It was launched in partnership with Autism Speaks, Parents Helping Parents and Easter Seals (and now includes a partnership with US Autism & Asperger Association). It has a simple belief: It should be easy for parents of children with autism to find the best providers around to help them.
On MyAutismTeam you can:
• Find other parents in the autism community near you & read their stories
• See the providers (the “autism teams”) other parents use & recommend
• Ask questions and share tips about providers
• Connect directly with other parents on the site
• Search a directory of over 30,000 autism providers and autism-friendly businesses nationwide - including all of the providers in the Autism Speaks and Easter Seals databases. (e.g. you can do a search for “occupational therapists in San Francisco, CA”) • Add providers and autism-friendly businesses to the directory
The Full Autism Spectrum
In the past several weeks 20 Seattle-area mothers of children with autism, and another 950 parents from around the country, joined MyAutismTeam. Parents of adult children, teenagers, school-age children, and toddlers representing the full range of the autism spectrum are connecting, sharing their stories and their recommendations. Families with recently diagnosed children don’t have to re-invent the wheel, and the ‘’veteran’ parents also exchange information with each other as their children go through new life stages such as adolescence or transition into adulthood.
Everything from Doctors to Swim Lessons
The “autism teams” include far more than your standard autism medical experts. Parents have recommended a full range of providers including:
• Occupational Therapists
• Speech Pathologists
• Barbers (who “get it”)
• Dentists & Dental Anesthesiologists
• ABA Therapists
• Physicians trained in a biomedical approach to autism treatment
• Developmental Pediatricians
• Family Practice Doctors
• Summer camps
• Swim teachers
• Respite care
• Music classes and more
MyAutismTeam Coming to the USAAA 2011 World Conference
Co-Founder and General Manager of MyAutismTeam, Eric Peacock, will be speaking on the Support Services panel at the US Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA) 2011 World Conference in Seattle October 27-30 and would love to meet with parents, caregivers, health care practitioners, educators, individuals with autism, students, therapists, and others at the conference to hear your feedback about MyAutismTeam. MyAutismTeam will have an exhibitor booth throughout the course of the conference. Please stop by and meet Eric!
In the meantime, please check out MyAutismTeam and begin exchanging recommendations with others in the autism community today. The more all of us share our wisdom with the community the better!
You’re not alone and you shouldn’t have to re-invent the wheel.
About Eric Peacock - Co-Founder and General Manager of MyAutismTeam, Eric Peacock, will be speaking on the Support Services panel at the US Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA) 2011 World Conference in Seattle October 27-30 and would love to meet with parents, caregivers, health care practitioners, educators, individuals with autism, students, therapists, and others at the conference to hear your feedback about MyAutismTeam. MyAutismTeam will have an exhibitor booth throughout the course of the conference. Please stop by and meet Eric!