Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Autism Support Network recently announced the launch of its free online support community available at www.AutismSupportNetwork.com. The online service – rapidly growing with already thousands of members around the world – connects families and individuals touched by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with each other, provides support and insight, and acts as a resource guide for treatments, strategies and therapies. Key features of the community include matching those members seeking similar support with one another, the ability to create appointments virtually or in actual locations between members, community groups for open sharing of information, user blogs, chat and capabilities for members to host and share personal photos and documents. The Autism Support Network also includes resource listings across the United States, Canada, England and India. “Parents frequently feel paralyzed and isolated when they discover their child has autism. Those adults who have autism themselves also frequently find it difficult to engage socially with others for support,” said Brian Field, co-founder of Autism Support Network. “Whether you’re a parent whose child has autism, a medical practitioner or someone with autism, our global community was created to facilitate an exchange of ideas, help and interactive discussion. Those dealing with ASD needn’t have to ‘re-invent the wheel’ – they can find others here that have likely experienced what they’re going through and can help provide personal guidance.” Today 1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism, with a new case diagnosed every 20 minutes and is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States today. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined. Autism is characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests. Other ASDs include Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). Males are four times more likely to have autism than females.

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