We have a 4 year old child which we have some concern may fall within the autism spectrum disorder scale. Fortunately testing and therapy (if needed) are covered by our insurance. Unfortunately testing locally is booked solid for 9 months. His symptoms are mild, but noticeable enough that we feel both we and he may benefit from a real diagnosis and some assistance.

We'd like to get an early jump on this so we better understand how to aid him while we wait for an opening.

What books and other resources can you recommend to help us:

  • understand and better identify symptoms, and change our behavior and his environment to better support his needs
  • teach him how to cope with a world that he might not understand sometimes, or may not always match his expectations

asked 20 Nov '09, 21:19

Adam%20Davis's gravatar image

Adam Davis
accept rate: 31%

edited 21 Nov '09, 02:52

If someone who has the ability - please replace "diseases" with "disorder" and "education" with "autism" - I can't create new tags yet, so chose some others that don't fit quite as well.

(20 Nov '09, 21:21) Adam Davis

Done - retagged.

(20 Nov '09, 22:36) Chris W. Rea

@BasicallyMoney...whoops sorry I was doing it just now aswell...

(20 Nov '09, 22:37) Emi

Thanks all! I appreciate that.

(21 Nov '09, 02:50) Adam Davis

Does your son attend preschool? Some preschools are knowledgeable in this area and could help you find local resources. I know for sure that in California and Washington you can get an assessment through the local school district for free (contact the school district) and I would imagine it would definitely be less than 9 months for the waiting list. From my experience working as a Speech Language Pathologist in California I know we had to do initial evaluations within 30 days. It woudln't hurt to be assessed twice and if you did it through the local school district you could qaulify for free services. Then once he starts kindergarten they would already be familiar with him which would be nice.

If you think his symptoms are mild you might want to research these terms:

Asperger's Syndrome

Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

You might find that your son displays characteristics of these more specific terms that are on the Autism Spectrum.

WebMD gives a good description of these terms.

You might find this book titled Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Other ASDs helpful to you. The forward is by Temple Grandin which is a famous lady/professor whith high functioning autism. Any book endorsed by her I would think would be a good one.


answered 21 Nov '09, 00:03

Sabrina's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%


He's in preschool, and the teacher is aware of our concerns and helping him. I'll have to check to see if the school district does assessment, but I think we might have already checked with no success.

(21 Nov '09, 02:56) Adam Davis

I think that's really great that the preschool teacher knows and is helping him. Sounds like he'll be off to a great academic start. And the fact that you asked this question is a head start to tackle ways to better help him. I hope your question helps you find the answers you are looking for. Bummer about the school district, that is VERY surprising to me.

(24 Nov '09, 06:56) Sabrina

A friend from our neighbourhood, who works as a Physical Therapist with autistic children, recommended a book to me during the summer this year. She was so impressed with the author Julia Moor and the quality of the book Playing Laughing Learning Children Autism Spectrum that she had no hesitation in recommending to all parents she knew.

I must admit that I was not very well informed about Autism, until I became friends with this lady. Our daughters attended a local ballet class, so we'd meet up regularly while the ballet lessons took place.

I had the opportunity to hear first hand about the importance of her work. She explained passionately in great detail about how she worked with autistic children of all ages, using games and basic exercises to develop their basic motor skills.

Quoted from autism.about.com

What Does a Physical Therapist Do for People with Autism?

Dance and movement therapy, hippotherapy (therapeutic horseback riding), aquatic therapy (therapeutic swimming), recreational therapy and even play therapy may also be offered by people with a background in physical therapy. While none of these specialized services is likely to be supported by medical insurance, many may be right for your child.

Physical therapists may work with very young children on basic motor skills such as sitting, rolling, standing and playing. They may also work with parents to teach them some techniques for helping their child build muscle strength, coordination and skills and to hear about how children made incredible progress over time with regular physical therapy sessions.

I hope that this answer helps a little, the book may give you some ideas for activities and general information until you are able to have a full assessment.

Added note: I just spotted that there is some interesting information available for travelling with a child who has autism spectrum disorder on Delicious Baby I like this blog because it is written by a mum and is down to earth and full of practial tips.


answered 20 Nov '09, 22:33

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 24 Nov '09, 16:13

National Autism Center released the National Standards Project with a comprehensive view of the current research in a format for parents and health care professionals.


answered 22 Jan '10, 02:44

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Jeff 1
accept rate: 0%

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Asked: 20 Nov '09, 21:19

Seen: 3,762 times

Last updated: 22 Jan '10, 02:44