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Little Kids, Big Questions
is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into parenting practices that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. This podcast series is generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

Q: My child has just been diagnosed with "pervasive developmental disorder/autism spectrum disorder." Where can I find other parents to talk to? How can I find out about programs for children this young?

A:
  The diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder for your child can feel overwhelming, but there are many networks of parents and professionals that can offer critical information, support, and resources to parents.  A short-list of organizations to begin with include:

To access search agents that focus on children's health issues, you may wish to try:

The Web hosts numerous support groups.  One of the best ways to find a support group that meets your needs is to find a local chapter of the Autism Society of America. Use this clickable map to locate one in your area.  For Floortime discussions, the Floortime Foundation offers an information and support group for parents via Yahoo.com.

You should also contact your local early intervention (Part C) program to find out about what services or therapies your child may be eligible for. Part C programs are designed for children aged birth to three, and services are free of charge.  If your child is over the age of 3 years, contact your local school district - they are required by law to provide free special educational services, therapies, and supports for children with disabilities.  Your pediatrician or health care provider may also be a great source of information about programs, therapies, and research on autism.

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