Every parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder knows all too well that the condition not only changes the life of that child, but also affects the lives of all the family members. The website psychcentral.com points out: “Parents of an autistic child have to bear a lot of stress owing to complicated therapy schedules, home treatments, and juggling job responsibilities and family commitments. There is also financial stress coming from the expensive therapies and treatments.” It is easy to see why parents of autistic children can feel overwhelmed. But help is available.
Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center has assembled an extensive online resource guide—the Autism Resource Directory—to help caregivers. It can be found at https://www.rush.edu/services-treatments/psychiatry/autism-resource-center/caregiver-resource-directory.
“While there is no cure for autism, it is very clear that children benefit from therapies and interventions which reduce negative symptoms of autism and improve their skills and add to their abilities,” say the experts at Rush. “Autism spectrum disorders impact many areas of functioning, for both children and their families. Research has demonstrated the positive impact of interventions in helping to improve educational performance, socialization, language skills and sensory integration issues. However, it can be difficult to navigate the system and find the right treatment providers. The Autism Resource Directory is here to assist caregivers with this process. The Autism Resource Directory is an online resource guide to help caregivers and referrals in the following counties: Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage, Cook, Kendall, Will, Grundy and Kankakee. Within each resource listed, you will find a link to its website, a description of services and information about wait lists.”