Welcome advanced parents!! You are in a very crucial position of being somewhere in the middle of your son or daughter's journey. Many areas on this site may be considered "been there and done that" for you. However, we want you to know that there is a wealth of information on The Autism Exchange (AEX) and you are likely to find emerging areas that you have not yet encountered. In today's rapid information age, there are always links to new articles, studies, products, and services. Advanced parents can use our search feature to quickly locate information and develop a pathway to help point you in the right direction on your child's continuing journey. We also feel that advanced parents are in the unique position of being able to assist new parents given of all the knowledge and experience you have acquired throughout the years. We hope that you will find The AEX a place where you can be proactive by sharing your experience, knowledge, and your journey with other newer families who would be so appreciative of your wisdom.
To get started, refer to the home page where there is an explanation of "How The AEX Works" which provides all of the features available and how advanced parents can take advantage of some of these features. Our primary categories (Diet, Daily Living, Education, Biomedical, and Alternative Therapies) have sub-categories that are not only for new parents, but also for advanced parents who may find links to new sites, books, tools, and forums of which they are not aware.
Diet: Diet is usually one of the first choices that advanced parents have already made and most likely have tried one or more different diets to see what works the best for their child. One of the latest and very popular diets is the GAPS Diet that seems to be successful in helping heal the gastrointestinal tract, which is one of the most basic and foundational functions in the healing process of your child. As you will see, the Diet category contains several of the different successful diets for ASD children. If you are aware of a diet that is not on our site, please feel free to use the Exchange Box feature to upload a link to the information and we will make it available to everyone that uses the site.
Daily Living: This area incorporates a wide range of topics, many of which are very useful and informative for the advanced parent as their child reaches legal age. Such topics as Legal, Adult Housing, School Planning, Financial Considerations, Private Health Insurance, Government Funding, Social Security, and Transitioning to Adulthood all address the needs of the older child. Each topic is a powerhouse of resources and information to guide parents in the most difficult part of their journey when their child reaches legal age. However, there are also two more sections: one on Safety and the other on Reducing Stressors which speak to parents of ASD children of all ages. These two topics may provide many helpful tips so parents can meet the daily living needs of their child most effectively.
Education: In this category, a variety of educational modalities for cognitive learning, speech, language, occupational therapy and social development are comprehensively outlined. Advanced parents may have already explored these areas, but the Software and Apps category is much more evolved providing a variety of links that many parents may not have seen yet. With the current usage of ipads and iphones, this could be one of the hottest areas on the site.
Biomedical: As most of you advanced parents know, Biomedical is an area of on-going research and advancement, so the concept of 'peeling the onion' and 'rebuilding the foundation' is very familiar in the personal journey of your child. Some of the Conditions found in Biomedical may be early interventions that many advanced parents have already addressed such as: Allergies, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Excitotoxicity, and Leaky Gut. However, other Conditions such as Low Cholesterol, Lyme, Methylation/MTHFR, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, PANDAS and PANS, Pyrrole Disorder, and Thyroid Connection may be unexplored areas yet to be discovered by advanced parents. These categories could hold further answers to your child's journey and may be worth discussing with your doctor.
Contributing Factors (a sub-category to Biomedical): There are a large number of extenuating factors which are very important in order to understand how circumstances created 'the perfect storm' situation for your child's autism diagnosis. Further information on topics of contributing factors such as Environmental, Epigenetics, Viruses, and Bacteria may help advanced parents acquire a better understanding as to what happened to their child and which areas are best to explore with your doctor.
Therapies (a sub-category to Biomedical): Such therapies as Detoxification, Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBOT) and Parasite Therapies might have already been tried by ASD children of advanced parents, but may need to be considered more than once for on-going maintenance.
Alternative Therapies: This is a category which may be appropriate for ASD children of all ages. Such therapies as Reflex Therapy and Auditory Integration Training (AIT) are common therapies to children with autism because of the consistent effective results. Vision Therapy can be very helpful in assisting your child to learn how to read, write and focus by improving developmental vision problems. Neurobiofeedback is very effective in helping to normalize brain waves and improve cognitive functioning, but may be more appropriate for children of advanced parents. It is always best to check with your physician to see what advice they give concerning appropriate therapies for your child.
In addition to the primary categories of information on The AEX, there are also several very helpful features for parents. New parents can use these features to acquire basic information to help their children. However, advanced parents can take even greater advantage of these features by sharing information on the site and in turn helping all parents. Advanced parents have acquired a lot of knowledge over the years on their journey. We encourage you to use our Exchange Box to upload any information that you have that you deem pertinent (links to articles, books, etc.), which in turn will be made available to all parents. This provides a way for advanced parents to give back to all parents, thus helping the autism community at large. We also have other exciting features for advanced parents to use as listed below.
Exchange Box: Our site, The AEX, is named after this feature because we believe that sharing (exchanging) information with other parents will bring our community closer together. The Exchange Box can be used to upload information to any given area on the site. Advanced parents are welcome to provide information that they have learned over the years to help new parents. Our software has the unique capability of being able to manage all of the information on the site in addition to allowing us to post the information; thus growing the site on a regular basis. We encourage parents to utilize the Exchange Box so everyone benefits.
Community Library: This is a good tool for advanced parents to perform interactive searches for articles or documents relating to any of the site categories. This feature should help reduce much of the time that advanced parents typically spend using other more general search features. Keep in mind that our library only contains information related to autism and associated illnesses and conditions, so you won't find numerous pages of unrelated links.
Consumer Corner: If you're an advanced parent, then you most likely have searched for and purchased numerous products and services over the years. You possibly could have dozens or hundreds of web sites saved in your internet browser bookmarks. The downside is there can be too much information to manage and sometimes links can go bad over time. With The AEX, you no longer have to bookmark hundreds of web sites; we will take care of that for you. Furthermore, you will most likely find additional sites. The beauty of The AEX is that parent participation can add links to products and services that are not currently on the site, so the site will always be growing. Advanced parents can take advantage of this feature by quickly locating new products from Consumer Corner that they have heard about or read about and would like to view.
Directory: This is a very valuable tool which actually contains multiple directories such as: links to sites that have practitioner lists, supplement suppliers that autism parents frequently use, lab test companies, compounding pharmacies, business directory of companies with autism products and services, prescription drug lookup links, and a list of The AEX partners. These directories are provided in an easy-to-use database search format.
Forum: This will be a future area where advanced parents will be able to assist and provide guidance to the newer parents in this forum area. The purpose of the forum is for parents to be able to communicate with one another regarding any of the topics on the site, without leaving the site.
We designed The AEX to be an interactive place for autism parents to find information quickly without searching for hours. We will be adding new features in the future including a News & Events section which will offer the latest in autism news, conferences, webinars and other events. Much of the information on our site is free including a free Newsletter. It does take a lot of time, effort, and software development to manage this site. To offset that cost, we offer an optional subscription service which has many great features including: expanded information set for all primary categories, expanded information in the Directory area, access to the community library with hundreds of articles, access to the Consumer Corner with hundreds of autism related products and services, access to the interactive search feature, and access to supplier coupons. Parents will be able to sign up for a free trial subscription to check out the benefits.
If you have any questions or comments regarding The AEX, we encourage you to use the Contact Us feature. The AEX is a website designed to provide a central location for autism information and empower parents with the ability to share information to help others. We hope that you enjoy The AEX and gain knowledge to help your son or daughter on their journey and share information along the way with all families through the exchange box feature.