My Next Steps: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Autism

Overview of the project

A first-time diagnosis of autism in a child can be an overwhelming and stressful time for parents and families. My Next Steps: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Autism serves as a roadmap for parents dealing with this challenging period and seeks to provide answers to the many questions that arise during the journey from autism diagnosis to treatment. The project was produced by the University of Washington Autism Center and funded by the Washington State legislature in 2008. Through interviews with experts and treatment providers, My Next Steps familiarizes parents with topics that are crucial in providing the best support for their child.

Content of My Next Steps

My Next Steps teaches parents preliminary tools and “how-to” techniques for engaging their child with autism and highlights the importance of parent involvement in the treatment process. Other areas covered include an in-depth definition of autism and autism spectrum disorders, the diagnostic process, treatment options, and tips for working with the school system, including a discussion of the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and the Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Further insight is provided through the wisdom and validation of parents who have children with autism. These parents share their stories of adaptation, growth, challenges and solutions, and provide examples of living their lives in the community.

What is Autism? (Part 1)
My Next Steps – Chapter 1 (Spanish subtitles)

Additional Information

Download Resources and Links (PDF) (114KB)
Download Project Information (PDF) (63KB)

My Next Steps: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Autism was produced by Gigantic Planet in collaboration with the University of Washington Autism Center (Raphael Bernier, PhD; Jamie Winter, PhD; Jen Varley, MS) and funding by Washington State Legislature.