When parents first learn of their child’s autism diagnosis, they may feel overwhelmed with the need to learn about the details and complexities of autism spectrum disorder. They have to not only educate themselves about the medical details, but also the range of treatment options available. Understanding a complex disorder such as autism can be difficult because it often requires the ability to find evidence-based research and interpret the scientific terms that are used.
OAR developed A Parent’s Guide to Research to help parents do just that. A Parent’s Guide to Research holds a special place in OAR history as the first of 10 installments in the Life Journey through Autism series. Released back in 2003, the guide aims to help families of newly diagnosed autistic children better understand autism and navigate both public information sources and current research to make better-informed treatment decisions for their children.
In honor of OAR’s 18th birthday last year, OAR collaborated with Kara Hume, Ph.D., Nancy McIntyre, Ph.D., and Sallie Nowell, Ph.D., from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute to update the guide and ensure it contains the most relevant and current information for parents. The updated guide helps parents better understand how to read online information critically. It covers evidence-based research, current trends in autism research, and updated sources of autism research.
To date, the guide has reached the homes of more than 15,000 families and has been accessed online and downloaded countless times beyond that.