Guest Blog: Sara Gershfeld

Follow Up Care for your Special Needs Child: 5 Organizations to Keep in Mind

Quality matters. Whether your child was just diagnosed with a disability, or you′re a seasoned parent of a child with special needs there are a number of organizations that have your back from the first day of your diagnosis up until follow up care and supplemental services are needed. In this blog, we’d like to highlight five of these organizations.

  1. Association for Science in Autism Treatment (
    ASAT is committed to improving the education, treatment, and care of people with autism. Since autism was first identified, there has been a long history of failed treatments and fads. ASAT serves as the scientific source of what is accurate and scientifically-sound in the treatment of autism. Most notably, ASAT responds to popular media articles in the monthly “Media Watch” articles and produces a quarterly newsletter highlighting writing from some of the top researchers in autism.  ASAT is looking out for what works for your child with autism.

  2. LoveMyProvider (
    LoveMyProvider acts as a Yelp for autism services. When parents are given a choice of a few different autism providers – anything from a dentist to an ABA therapist or doctor, you can be sure to log onto LoveMyProvider to see what other parents have to say about your provider. This site is a new addition to the autism community and is currently looking for families to rate their providers. Along with the rating/review component, they also provide a monthly newsletter and weekly blog that keeps you up to date on all things related to special needs.
    Watch this video to learn more.

  3. Rethink Autism (
    Rethink Autism places teaching tools at your fingertips. Information that has never before been available is now available at an amazingly affordable price for families everywhere. Rethink Autism provides access to comprehensive assessment tools, web-based teaching tutorials, hundreds of video images of teaching interactions, and teaching objectives, all of which will allow you to start working with your child right now. Rethink Autism is data-driven and guides families through important training programs. These trainings are based on hard scientific research. This resource is a must for families with special needs children!

    Founded by Alex Plank after receiving an Asperger’s diagnosis as a teenager in 2004. The site now has over 50,000 active registrants, representing between 20% and 30% of young adults on the autism spectrum. WrongPlanet is also a valuable resource for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum, seeking first-hand experience and insight from young adults on the autism spectrum. WrongPlanet’s discussions are actively moderated, and features high quality advice columns, articles, and videos on everyday life issues like finding jobs, relationships and dating, gaming and entertainment, making friends and sharing interests.

  5. Autism Research Group (
    Autism Research Group aims to use science to improve the quality of life for people with autism and the families who love them. ARG has a unique mission that focuses on parent-generated research by surveying families across the United States. In addition to research generated by parent need an interest, donors are given options to give towards causes ranging from topics such as Equal Access for Underserved Populations, Independent Living and Adaptive Skills, Cognition, Pediatric Feeding Disorders and Assessment and Treatment of Challenging Behaviors.

Organizations such as these serve as powerful resources for families with a child with special needs. For more information on the organizations mentioned above, take a look at:

About Sara:
Sara Gershfeld, MA, BCBA is an Adjunct Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Department of Applied Behavior Analysis.  She received her graduate training in Applied Developmental Psychology at Claremont Graduate University. Sara also runs her own private practice in Los Angeles, CA and works with a number of local school districts, regional centers and families. In addition, she is founder of Love My Provider, LLC a rating website for families of children on the spectrum. In addition to duties as an ASAT board member, she is the From the Archives writer for ASAT’s Focus on Science newsletter.

Connect with Sara on twitter @BehaveinLA


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