Asked recently where I'd recommend someone concerned about autism and new to the whole thing look, I tried to picture being that: new to autism, not aware of all the drama, not versed in the controversies or the woo. And then I did a google search of autism and a search on Amazon for books, and the results were woo-laden. How frightening is that? Where do people go to get what they know will be good information when they don't have enough background to know it's good? Going straight into a bookstore is going to give you McCarthy related woo, as will doing an Amazon search. No wonder parents are confused.
Here are the sites I would send parents new to autism and wanting information, not controversy or additional drama.
The first is Lisa Rudy's About.com Autism site, specifically Is It Autism?
I would also recommend Mayo Clinic's Autism pages.
And for a blog that provides excellent explanations, I would send them to Dr. Coplan's blog over at Psychology Today.
I'd warn them, though, to avoid the comments as they explore.
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