Raising Healthy Kids: Autism Roadmap

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Autism experts have a new project aimed at making that journey easier. (WPVI)

When a child is diagnosed with autism, parents are often overwhelmed and don't know what to do first.

Autism experts at Children's Hospital have a new project aimed at making that journey easier.

Cynthia Robinson knew very little about autism when her first child, Carson, was diagnosed.

Cynthia says back then, "I went to the bookstore and just got books. I wanted to know everything there was on autism."

But the books seemed generic and out-of-date. And she didn't trust information online, so she resorted to more time-consuming means to learn.

"I would go to medical conferences, I would go to different support groups, just to learn what was current," she said.

Debra Dunn and Gail Stein had parents like Cynthia in mind when they started building the Autism Roadmap 2 years ago. They wanted it to give families access to the valuable resources they knew about, and knew it could help other families.

Dunn says, "Whether they had a new child diagnosed, or an adult living with autism."

The Roadmap has hundreds of articles, written in easy-to-understand language and reviewed by experts inside and outside the Children's Hospital. They are aimed at guiding families through everything from education to everyday situations.

Dunn explains, "We cover family issues, from toilet training your child, to holidays - you know, Thanksgiving with your child with autism."

With 3 kids now, Cynthia likes getting the information she needs when she needs it.

"I'm just so ridiculously appreciative that they're saving me so much time," Cynthia said.

Dunn and Stein also included articles written by people with autism to get a first person perspective.

And they say just like a real roadmap, theirs is constantly being updated.


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healthhealthcheckhealthautismraising healthy kids
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