The lack of autism funding at the state level for services leaves parents and families with an autistic member in a tight spot. Qualified resources are hard to find regardless of the funding, but as state programs shrink, families must turn to private sources for help. To complicate matters, autism affects a whole family, not just one individual; we are all part of the autism equation. When parents can learn to understand the basic dynamics that influence their child’s behavior, then every day can become therapy at home. As parents, no one is more present to our child’s struggles than we are. As painful as that is, that also puts us in the unique position to be the most available and consistent source of therapeutic support for our child; a repetitive and consistent environment (across all points of contact – home, school, therapy) is a critical part of effective work with a child on the autism spectrum. Our parental proximity and presence (armed with our working knowledge of autism), allows us to create the most fertile ground possible for our children with autism to thrive and grow towards independence in their uniqueness.

This role is also exhausting (and often discouraging) to parents. Over time it can become stressful and draining on the parent. A well-structured, hopeful understanding of the basics will enhance any other therapy used to benefit the child. For more information on parent training, visit the National Autism Academy at, which was developed solely for the purpose of encouraging, educating and supporting families with an autistic individual by providing low cost and convenient on-line training, coaching and support for parents, families, and caregivers.