If you have a child with autism spectrum disorder, you can likely clearly recall the day of the diagnosis. Parents who learn that their child has special needs or differences often quickly feel a wide range of emotions, from confusion and fear to generally feeling completely overwhelmed. Luckily, Maryland has a wealth of resources to help guide and reassure parents of children with ASD, calming and empowering parents all over the state.
Here are 5 incredible resources that are local to our state:
This center is an incredible resource for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. Their website is extremely comprehensive, offering education and information on autism, therapies, insurance, and more. The Pathfinders for Autism Resource Center promises to respond to parent inquiries through their phone, email, and social media channels, which is certainly comforting for parents seeking information. Pathfinders also provides their own list of resources and articles, including a calendar of events relating to autism, as well as an extensive provider search feature.
A quick glance at the upcoming calendar shows sensory-friendly storytime Saturdays at local libraries, including the Baltimore County Public Library, a sensory friendly musical at Imagination Stage, as well as various classes, trainings, and support groups. This calendar provides an easy, thorough way for Maryland families with autism to stay connected to the community and advocate for their child.
Pathfinders for Autism also hosts autism-friendly recreational events throughout Maryland, and sponsors workshops, as well as trainings. Of particular interest to parents of teens with autism is the center’s Be Safe safety program, wherein teens 13 and older can learn how to properly and safely interact with law enforcement.
Maryland Family Network provides services and operates resource centers supporting the early development and education of young children. They also have an extensive child care resource network that helps promote quality child care centers. By calling the Maryland Family Network, you can receive help locating child care for children with special needs and differences through age 21, an invaluable resource to parents and caregivers.
Maryland Learning Links provides online tools and resources to parents of children with ASD and other special needs. The site provides a comprehensive searchable directory of resources, as well as information regarding special education, community groups, and events.
The Maryland State Department of Education provides information on the Autism Waiver for eligible kids with autism spectrum disorder. The Autism Waiver provides services to children with ASD, including intensive individual services and respite care for families. The waiver can also be applied toward adult life planning skills and other therapies provided outside of school or early intervention programs, including many Maryland summer camps.
The Maryland State Department of Education is also involved one of the partners of Maryland Learning Links.
The Parents’ Place of Maryland is staffed largely by parents of children with special needs, allowing them to have a unique understanding of the needs of families and children who have experienced diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorder. The Parents’ Place of Maryland (charged by the U.S Dept. of Education) functions as a parent training and information center for children with special needs from birth to 26-years-old, as well as a supportive health information center, and a program allowing medical students to learn from families of children with special needs.
They also offer support, information, training, and referrals, as well as a viewable autism spectrum disorder CDC milestone checklist and developmental screening.
Neurobehavioral Associates: Maryland’s Resource for ASD and Neurobehavioral Disorders
Of course, Neurobehavioral Associates is another resource for Maryland families with an ASD diagnosed child. We are qualified to provide comprehensive neuropsychological assessments and also have a strong, well-connected referral network for our families. We will help you advocate for your child, as our neuropsychologists regularly attend public school IEP meetings and private school planning sessions to ensure students with ASD and other neurobehavioral disorders are receiving the high-quality, correctly accommodated education that they deserve.
Contact us today to schedule an assessment or to discuss your specific situation and how we can help.