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Autism Spectrum Disorder

"Autism is classified as one of the pervasive developmental disorders of the brain. It is not a disease. People with classical autism show three types of symptoms: impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual or severely limited activities and interests. These symptoms can vary in severity. In addition, people with autism often have abnormal responses to sounds, touch, or other sensory stimulation. Symptoms usually appear during the first three years of childhood and continue through life. Recent studies strongly suggest that some people have a genetic predisposition to autism. Researchers are looking for clues about which genes contribute to this increased susceptibility. In some children, environmental factors also may play a role. Studies of people with autism have found abnormalities in several regions of the brain which suggest that autism results from a disruption of early fetal brain development. Autism affects an estimated 10 to 20 of every 10,000 people, depending on diagnostic criteria used, and strikes males about four times more often than females.


~from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes

Maine Resources​

Autism Society of Maine:
The Autism Society of Maine invites you to join families and professionals in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of autism spectrum disorders, treatments and support of Maine children and adults with autism.

Learning Disabilities Association of Maine:
The organization is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all individuals with learning disabilities and their families, to alleviating the restricting effects of learning disabilities, and to supporting endeavors to determine the causes of learning disabilities.

Parent-to-Parent Support Groups:

Victoria Beetel
393 Maple Road 
Atkinson ME 04426

Helen Jones 
124 Range Road 
Dover-Foxcroft ME 04426 

Larry and Rachel Perkins 
14 Pleasant Avenue PO Box 278
Sangerville ME 04479

Suzane Provost 
9 Central Avenue 
Dover-Foxcroft ME 04426

Family Support Groups:

GEAR Support Groups for Parents of Children with Emotional/Behavioral Needs
Helen Jones 
564-3361 or 800-264-9224

Parents Anonymous of Maine/Mainely Parents 
Pam Marshall 

Parent Support Groups:

Parent Professional Autism PDD Support Group
Molly Eldridge or Betty Crossman 
50 North Street 
Dover Foxcroft ME 04426 
Molly 973-3589 or Betty 973-3590

Tri-County Help in Transition
Tammy McKenney 
PO Box 167 
Dexter ME 04930

Family Support Services for Children in Maine (from NAMI):

Southern Maine Support group for Autism/PDD/Aspergers:
Meets last Thursday of the month from 6:30pm-8:00pm. This group is sponsored by the Southern Maine Parent Awareness which can be reached via phone at 207-324-2337, in Maine only at 800-564-9696, or via email:

Conference Board:
This board is for the public posting of autism related conferences. If you know of a conference that is not listed here, please add it along with a link to the conference site for more information.

National Resources​

The purpose of the project is to connect autistic people with the services we need to live whole and happy lives. The immediate goal of is to build a global database of information and resources by and for persons on the autistic spectrum.

i autistic:
Autism resources by a Singapore autistic who has accepted Humanity. Includes free autism tests, games, videos, books, art, resources & explanations about autism. Not language sensitive.

Getting the Truth Out:
"The young woman in this picture has autism, a debilitating developmental disorder that affects communication, socialization, and behavior. . . . She can't speak, so this website is speaking for her and many others like her. Our aim is to portray some of the realities of living with autism."

Autism Network International (ANI):
An autistic-run self-help and advocacy organization for autistic people. 

Autistic Advocacy:
A repository for Frank Klein's articles, editorials, and "questionable attempts" at humor.

AS Teens:
Do You Have Asperger's Syndrome (AS)? Are you a teen? Do you want a site that can help you out? Then this site may be for you! I am a teen, and I am willing to help out other teens who have AS.​

Online Asperger Syndrome Information & Support (OASIS):
A parent-run information portal.

The Asperger's Association of New England (Maine Chapter):

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):

NIMH scientists are dedicated to understanding the workings and interrelationships of the various regions of the brain, and to developing preventive measures and new treatments for disorders like autism that handicap people in school, work, and social relationships.

Autism Society of America:
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. The result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, autism and its associated behaviors have been estimated to occur in as many as 2 to 6 in 1,000 individuals (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2001). Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries. Family income, lifestyle, and educational levels do not affect the chance of autism's occurrence.

"The Pediatrician's Role in the Diagnosis and Management of Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Children" - A Report by The American Academy of Pediatrics:;107/5/1221

Parents, advocates, educators, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, up-to-date information about special education law and advocacy for children with disabilities.

Extensive list of Autism-related links:

Autism Hand-In-Hand:
Educational portal with a collection of programs, learning materials, activity ideas, and more.

New England Center for Children-
since its founding in 1975, The New England Center for Children has remained true to its original mission: providing state-of-the-art education and individualized treatment-with care and respect-for children with autism and other disabilities.

The Asperger Syndrome Coalition of the U.S.:
A national nonprofit organization committed to providing the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on Asperger Syndrome and related conditions.

Their mission is to connect the parents of newly diagnosed children with autism and professionals working with these children with critical resources, support, and research information.​

Autism Research Institute, San Diego, CA (ARI):

ARI is primarily devoted to conducting research, and to disseminating the results of research, on the causes of autism and on methods of preventing, diagnosing and treating autism and other severe behavioral disorders of childhood. They provide information based on research to parents and professionals throughout the world.

Center for the Study of Autism (CSA):
Located in the Salem/Portland, Oregon area. The Center provides information about autism to parents and professionals, and conducts research on the efficacy of various therapeutic interventions. Much of their research is in collaboration with the Autism Research Institute in San Diego, California.

The Yale Developmental Disabilities Clinic:
Offers comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluations for children with social disabilities, usually focusing on the issues of diagnosis and intervention. The clinic is headed by Fred Volkmar, M.D., and Ami Klin, Ph.D., two of the most respected experts in the field of autism, Asperger's Syndrome (AS), and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs). We are also conducting several large research projects on autism, AS, and other PDDs. The clinic is located in the Child Study Center at Yale University, in New Haven, CT.


Provides patients, family members, health care professionals, and members of the public easy access to information on clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and conditions. The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), through its National Library of Medicine (NLM), has developed this site in collaboration with all NIH Institutes and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The site was launched in February 2000 and currently contains approximately 7,600 clinical studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, other Federal agencies, and the pharmaceutical industry in over 89,000 locations worldwide. Studies listed in the database are conducted primarily in the United States and Canada, but include locations in about 80 countries. receives over 3 million page views per month and hosts approximately 11,000 visitors daily.

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