Sunday, July 10, 2011

Autism Works: Help others who have autism or other special needs.

Page down for links of interest: businesses, games, websites, opportunities... and more.

It was only a little while ago that I began openly writing about what it's like to raise twins with autism -- for a long time, we didn't know they had autism and then for a longer time I didn't feel it was the kind of thing that should be shared publicly.

That all changed, as you probably know, on a trip to the library a while back, when I decided that it was my obligation -- and Mr F's and Mr Bunches' obligation -- to help teach people what it's like to live with autism, and so I began my series of posts "Life With Unicorns."

As the Babies! have gotten older, I've begun more and more to worry about their fitting into society, and Sweetie and I have also had to spend more and more time looking for places they can go for help, or social opportunities, and the like. For example, both boys have (traditionally) hated to get hair cuts -- screaming and crying through the whole process. But we've found a place that welcomes them and makes sure that they're comfortable, and that's helped so much that the last time we went there, neither boy had any problems. (That place, by the way, is the Supercuts in Middleton Hills, a great business with a great bunch of stylists who work there.)

We have to try to find a dentist for the boys, who will need their first checkup soon -- but they don't like doctors and probably will need to be sedated. When we go to parks, we have to find a park that isn't too near traffic and has a variety of different things to do all close by, because we can't leave one kid playing on the slide while the other goes on the swings, like other parents might be able to do.

But despite constantly looking, and subscribing to several email alerts and being members of various organizations, I've yet to find a single, comprehensive source anywhere that will tell people whose children have special needs (or who may themselves have special needs) -- autism or otherwise -- which businesses, playgrounds, employers, or other people are especially friendly (or unfriendly) to them and their family.

So I'm starting a series of posts I call Autism Works -- as you may have guessed, by the title -- which will help spread the word about those places that people with special needs and their families can feel welcome, or can get some help, or which they otherwise should know about.

Think of it as an Angie's List for special needs families. And if you hear of something that you think should be on the list, let me know.

Reviews of businesses I've taken my kids to:

Supercuts in Middleton Hills (see above): great business for autistic people & kids.

Sears Photo Studio, West Towne Mall: semi-autism-friendly.


My Autism A website to help share information about providers and businesses.

A website to help find apps for autism.


My world of mismatched socks: A blog by a woman with autism, about her and her also-autistic brother. Well-written, interesting, with some helpful tips.

Lou's Land: A father blogs about his oldest child, who has autism.


Hack Autism: Have an idea for an app to help autistic people? Are you a programmer or autism expert? This project wants to create new programs for touch-enabled computers.

College-bound? Autism Speaks has a post and links to information about the Rehabilitation Act, which can help with accommodations.

Games & Toys:

1 comment:

Michael Offutt said...

There are several apps in the Apple iPad store that are great educational tools designed to work with children who have Autism.