Other Resources

Other Resources

Pro Tips for Parents

Pro Tips: Practicing Waiting

  • The amount of time we spend waiting throughout our lives is incalculable. We wait in line at the grocery store, we wait for our turn at a stop sign, we wait to eat a meal until we are hungry, we wait to cross the street. For individuals with autism, waiting can be challenging even if it’s for a few seconds. It’s an important skill children need to develop for day-to-day life and can help with safety skills, learning to communicate, and accepting no. Read our tips to learn more.

Pro Tips: Planned Ignoring

  • There are a variety of strategies available to parents and caregivers to teach children appropriate behaviors. Planned ignoring is a strategy where a parent ignores an attention-seeking behavior their child is engaging in until they stop. Read our tips for planned ignoring and when it might be appropriate to use.

Pro Tips: Staying with Adults in the Community

  • Elopement is a safety concern for many parents and caregivers of children with autism. It’s something they need to be prepared for at any given moment and can make outings with their child more stressful. However, there are steps parents can take to teach their child to stay with an adult while out in the community.

Pro Tips: Learning to Accept “No”

  • Teaching children to accept the word “no” can be a challenging task. However, it’s something that everyone must learn and starting early in life is the best way. Read our tips on how to approach the word “no” with your children.

Pro Tips: Reinforcing Communication

  • Communication is a critical skill every child needs to learn. For children with autism or other developmental disabilities, communication may come in the form of verbal words, a device, or PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). Check out our tips on how families can help reinforce the communication skills their child is learning.

Pro Tips: Setting Boundaries

  • Setting rules and expectations is part of parents’ journey as their child begins to test their boundaries. Establishing rules is critical for families to set their child up for success at home and in the community. Read our tips about setting boundaries for children with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Pro Tips: Autism and Grief

  • At some point, we all must deal with the difficult and emotional experience of losing a loved one. Explaining death and grief to individuals with autism can be complex, especially when parents and caregivers may be having a difficult time themselves. Read our tips on how to talk to your child about loss.

Pro Tips: Autism and Physical Activity

  • Physical activity is an important part of every person’s life to maintain their health. Learn more about the benefits and challenges of physical activity for a child with autism, and ways families can incorporate activity into their child’s daily routine.

Pro Tips: Visiting the Dentist

  • Going to the dentist is not a trip most children and adults look forward to, but it’s necessary to maintain our health. Children with autism may have a heightened aversion to the dentist for a variety of reasons. It can be an overwhelming experience in an unfamiliar place. Read our tips to make visits to the dentist a little easier.

Pro Tips: Planning for Vacation

  • Warmer weather typically means vacation time for many families. Planning a vacation can be stressful, especially when parents have to consider the needs of a child with autism. Read our tips to help make taking a trip with a child with autism smoother.

Pro Tips: Creating Bedtime Routines

  • Helping a child with autism get ready for bedtime can be a challenge for parents and caregivers. Read more about how to establish a bedtime routine to help a child settle in for the night.

Pro Tips: Building Safety Skills

  • Teaching a child safety skills is important for any parent or caregiver, but it can be especially critical for anyone raising a child with autism. Learn more about what you can work on with your child at home to help them stay safe.

Pro Tips: Building Relationships with Siblings

  • Growing up with a sibling with autism can be a challenging and sometimes lonely experience. However, there are steps parents and caregivers can take to help foster relationships between children with autism and their siblings that can develop into a deep, nurturing bond.

Pro Tips: Transitioning to Young Adulthood

  • As a child with a developmental disability nears age 21, it’s time to start thinking about what comes next. The Summit Center offers several adult services to help young adults navigate the working world, continue to build independence skills, and become a part of their community. Learn what topics you should think about when your child starts to transition to young adulthood.

Pro Tips: Preparing for Holiday Visits

  • Loud environments, bright lights and crowded rooms can make the holiday season overwhelming for children with autism. Learn how you can make holiday visits with friends and family a better experience for you and your child.

Pro Tips: Introducing Your Child to New Foods

  • Is your child an extremely picky eaters? Are you concerned that your child resists trying new foods or eats a limited number of foods? Here are some tips to help make introducing new foods to your child’s diet more successful.

Pro Tips: Visiting the Doctor’s Office

  • Doctor visits can be stressful for both you and your child. Learn more about how to make these trips smoother for everyone.

Pro Tips: Teaching Your Child to Wear a Mask

  • Read more about tips you can use to help your child wear a mask as part of the safety guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pro Tips: For Parents/Caregivers as they Support Teaching Their Child at Home During COVID-19

  • Here are some tips to help you and your family during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pro Tips: Staying Calm During the Crisis

  • Suddenly our kids are home, the rest of the school year is up in the air and there is almost no where to go.

Pro Tips: Taking Your Child for a Haircut

  • Does your child dread going to the hair salon or barbershop? Between the loud noises and touch sensory overload, getting a haircut can be very stressful for many children and families. This is especially true for individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities, where haircuts can easily trigger a small or large meltdown. To help prepare for your next visit, we’ve compiled three tips  to get through your child’s haircut with ease.

Pro Tips: Dealing With a Temper Tantrum

  • Screaming, kicking, falling to the floor, and in the case of older children, perhaps even cursing – the dreaded tantrum! Many parents overthink how to manage tantrums, or worse, give in to child’s rage because they just want the behavior to STOP!

Pro Tips: Resistance to Change

  • Children with autism often dislike changes to set routines. Some examples of change include doing things in a different order, taking an alternate route to school, eating new foods, change in clothing due to weather, and switching between activities. Worrying about how your child is going to react or respond if an event does not go as planned can be anxiety-provoking and stressful!

Pro Tips: Preparing for the Holidays

  • The holiday season can be overwhelming for most people, and even more so for a child with autism.  Children may become overwhelmed by 1. changes made to their environment when trees are set up and decorations are hung; 2.  traveling to unfamiliar settings when visiting relatives; 3. music, noises and commotion that often occur at holiday gatherings; 4. disruption in their schedules due to school breaks and resulting changes in sleep patterns; and 5. anticipation of the day that the Holiday season arrives.

Pro Tips: Maintaining a Routine

  • Now that your children have been home from school for a few weeks, you might and your family really struggling with the disruption in regular school routines. You might be working from home (as am I) and wondering how you are going to make this work, getting your work done while helping your child stay in a learning routine.

Pro Tips: Parenting Routines

  • Even the most calm and well-adjusted parents have encounters with their children which they dread. Maybe it’s bedtime, bathtime, or doctor’s visits. These are the times when parents are more likely to lose it: either the ability to remain calm or to accidentally reward a behavior they do not want to (like giving that cookie before dinner). We all do it. There is no shame in admitting it happens from time-to-time.

Pro Tips: Three To Do’s for the New Year

  • Fortunately, resources are available to help make these three to-do’s a little less daunting.


Here is a list of regional, state-wide, and national resources that specialize in developmental disabilities.


Autism Society of WNY

The Autism Society of WNY provides support to parents and caregivers of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder through information and referral services, Parent Support Meetings and bi-annual workshops with the goal of meaningful participation and self-determination in all aspects of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

Developmental Disabilities Alliance of WNY (DDAWNY)

The Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York is a collaborative group of member voluntary agencies that provide services to people with developmental disabilities by assisting agencies to develop relationships, promote unified strategies and share risks for the mutual gain with and for the benefit of people with developmental disabilities.

Early Childhood Direction Center

The ECDC provides free information, referral, technical assistance and support to families, professionals, and community agencies concerned with children birth to five with suspected or diagnosed delays or disabilities.

John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital Autism Spectrum Disorder Center

The Children’s Guild Foundation Autism Spectrum Disorder Center at Oishei Children’s Outpatient Center provides medically-based, multidisciplinary evaluation and diagnosis of children with autism spectrum disorders.

Parent Network of WNY

Parent Network of WNY is a not-for-profit agency that provides resources, workshops and support groups for families of individuals with special needs (birth through adulthood) and for professionals to assist families of individuals with disabilities to understand their family member’s disability and navigate the support service system.

The Summit Center

The Summit Center is an agency in WNY providing a range of programs and services for children and adults with autism and other developmental, behavioral and social challenges.

New York State

New York State Education Department – Special Education

The Office of Special Education provides assistance to parents, advocacy groups, and schools related to services and programs for students with disabilities. Staff work together across various units to provide the most up to date policy and guidance, technical assistance, professional development, and monitoring to attain equal opportunities and positive results for students with disabilities across New York State.

New York State Education Department – Special Education, Autism

The New York State Department of Education Office of Special Education provides disability specific assistance related to Autism.

New York State Education Department– Special Education, Early Childhood Directions Centers

The Early Childhood Direction Centers (ECDCs) provide information and referral services for children with disabilities ages birth through five, as well as professional development and technical assistance for families and preschool providers to improve results for preschool students with disabilities. The targeted areas for improved outcomes are early literacy and communication, social-emotional skills, and positive behaviors.

New York State Education Department– Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC)

RSE-TASC work in partnership with NYSED’s Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) offices, and other NYSED supported initiatives to provide directed technical assistance and professional development to improve instructional practices and outcomes of students with disabilities.

New York State Education Department – Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES)

ACCES assists adults with a host of services to address education and employment needs.

New York State Department of Health

NYS health department disseminates information, regulation, and policy to prevent disease, promote health and protect the public from health problems and hazards.

New York State Department of Health, Early Intervention Program

The New York State Early Intervention Program is part of the national Early Intervention Program for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families and offers a variety of therapeutic and support services to eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

New York State Department of Health, Early Intervention 2017 Update to the Autism/Pervasive Development Disorders Report of the Recommendations

Update to the New York State Guidelines on Assessment and Intervention Services for Young Children (Age 0-3) with Autism Spectrum Disorders based on scientific evidence and expert clinical opinion on effective practices

Office for People with Developmental Disabilities

The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) coordinates services for New York residents with developmental disabilities through direct services and through a network of nonprofit service providing agencies.

Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities Regional Offices (DDROs)

DDROs oversee catchment areas that oversee coordination of services for individuals within each region with the State Office of Mental Health, State Department of Health and other partner agencies

Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Autism Advisory Board

The OPWDD Autism Advisory Board was created to help provide guidance and information to New York policymakers, individuals with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, and families seeking reliable information regarding available services and supports.

Parent to Parent of New York State

Parent to Parent of NYS is a statewide not-for-profit organization established to support and connect families of individuals with special needs. The 13 offices, located throughout NYS, are staffed by Regional Coordinators, who are parents or close relatives of individuals with special needs.


American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

An organization whose mission is to promote the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research, and to meet the professional needs of child and adolescent psychiatrists throughout their careers.

American Academy of Pediatrics

The mission of the American Academy of Pediatrics is to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults through development and dissemination of policy, advocacy, and education.

Autism Society of America

A national organization which advocates for individuals with autism, increases public awareness of the issues facing those affected by autism and provides the information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy.

Association for Science in Autism Treatment

A national organization which disseminates scientifically sound information about evidence based treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder and challenges unsupported or false information, and advocates for the use of scientific methods to guide treatment.

Autism Speaks

A national organization which promotes and funds research into causes and treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder, provides information and resources aimed at increasing understanding ASD and promoting solutions for the needs of individuals with ASD and their families across the spectrum and lifespan through advocacy and support.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services whose mission is to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S.

Interactive Autism Network (IAN)

IAN was established in January 2006 at Kennedy Krieger Institute. IAN’s goal is to facilitate research that will lead to advancements in understanding and treating autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The IAN Community is an online environment designed to act as an inviting library and meeting place where everyone concerned with autism spectrum disorders can learn more about autism research.

National Autism Center

The National Autism Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to disseminating evidence-based information about the treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), promoting best practices, and offering comprehensive and reliable resources for families, practitioners, and communities.

National Institutes of Health

NICHD conducts and supports laboratory research, clinical trials, and epidemiological studies that explore health processes; examines the impact of disability and disease; and sponsors training programs for scientists, health care providers, and researchers.

National Institute of Mental Health

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. NIMH is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest biomedical research agency in the world. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke (NINDS) – Autism Information Page

As part of the Children’s Health Act of 2000, the NINDS and three other institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have formed the NIH Autism Coordinating Committee to expand, intensify, and coordinate NIH’s autism research. Eight dedicated research centers across the country have been established as “Centers of Excellence in Autism Research” to bring together researchers and the resources. The Centers are conducting basic and clinical research, including investigations into causes, diagnosis, early detection, prevention, and treatment of autism.

The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders

A grant funded collaborative to promote the use of evidence-based practices for individuals with ASD from birth to 22 years of age.

National Research Council

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide expert advice on challenges facing the nation and the world to shape policies, inform public opinion, and advance the pursuit of science, engineering, and medicine.

Organization for Autism Research

An organization founded and led by family members of individual’s with ASD which funds applied research and disseminates information on social, educational, and treatment concerns to improve the quality of life for self-advocates, parents, autism professionals, and caregivers.

U.S. Department of Education – Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)

OSERS supports programs that help educate children and youth with disabilities and provides for the rehabilitation of youth and adults with disabilities through a wide array of supports to parents and individuals, school districts and states in two main areas, special education and vocational rehabilitation.