I’ve noticed that parents of kids with special needs tend to have one thing in common: the strong desire to reach out and help out other parents dealing with the same issues. Maybe it comes from dealing with so many unknowns, or maybe it’s an understanding that so many of the current advances in treatment have come about because other, earlier parents also shared. Obviously, research is important in learning about a condition that has many more questions than answers.
In any case, here’s one opportunity to reach out, and it doesn’t take much time. Mischelle Miller-Raftery, a doctoral student in psychology at California Southern University, sent me an email saying that she is conducting a study on potential prenatal environmental triggers of autism. Ms. Raftery is looking to survey at least 50 mothers raising children who have been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder (Asperger’s Syndrome, autism, and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified); and 20 mothers whose children have not been diagnosed. She inviting readers to participate in this study. If you're interested in taking the survey the following link will take you to it: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3YBPGBT. There’s a contact number for Ms Raftery on the survey information page if you have any questions for her.