EarlySignsofAutism.com Review


Autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a topic of great interest and importance to parents, and, as with all aspects of parenting, the more parents know, the more effectively they can do their job as caregivers.

EarlySignsofAutism.com is a site designed to offer information to parents and caregivers on a wide range of autism and ASD-related matters.

The website is designed to provide resources and information regarding the early identification of autism in infants and toddlers; since early detection is key to early intervention, the resources on this site are invaluable to anyone wanting to learn more about autism and ASDs.

On the site’s main page you will find information regarding the upcoming Second Autism Conference on Signs of Autism in Infants: Changing Outcomes Through Early Identification and Intervention, scheduled for October 11 and 12, 2008, in Yorba Linda, California.

The site also contains an autism blog that reports on the latest research and findings related to early autism detection and intervention, and a link to Child Development Media, Inc.’s website, where readers can find a wealth of information about child development.

The Autism Links and Resources link is being updated to include even more information for readers; currently, you can find links to a page about the 2008 International Autism Conference Preliminary Brochure , autism books and videos, and DVDs from the 2006 International Autism Conference.

SurfersHealing.org Review


Treatments for autism are certainly in the news and on the Web these days, but perhaps you’ve not considered the healing benefits that surfing can have on autistic children.

SurfersHealing.org is a foundation for autism that was founded by parents of an autistic child who discovered that his symptoms were relieved by surfing.  Thus, an idea for helping other autistic children was born.

Israel and Danielle Paskowitz, parents of Isaiah, run the camps along with several sponsors.  A former competitive surfer, Israel is well prepared to run the camps for children like his son.

The organization is based in California but runs free camps for autistic children in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia as well.  There is a “Sign up for Camp” link on the homepage that contains information about the camp dates (all are full for 2008) and tips for a successful camp experience.

The camps run a day in length, and parents can check out the “Typical Day at Camp” link for photographs and a summary of how the camp is run.  The organization has gotten a lot of press, and a list of links to various stories is available from the homepage as well.

Videos and photographs, as well as artwork from the child who inspired the camps are available for viewing as well.

The organization is always in need of volunteers to help this free experience continue; interested readers can find contact information under the “Volunteer” link.

FamilyFun.com Review


Now that back to school time has passed, the holiday season is fast approaching:  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas will be here all too soon, and that means kids will want to create some craft projects for each event. FamilyFun.com, part of the DisneyFamily.com website, has great ideas for craft projects designed to keep little hands busy.

Visitors to the site can either click on various holidays presented on the homepage to find appropriately themed crafts ideas, or choose from the pulldown menu “Arts and Crafts” and select links by category:  Holiday and Seasonal, Crafts by Age, Quick and Easy, Classroom, Kids’ Room, and How to Videos, or simply search all crafts.

The pulldown menu features also a Halloween section, under which users can find ideas for crafts, recipes, decorating, pumpkin carving, and costumes.

Other categories to search are Games, Travel, Printables, Parties, and Recipes, each with its own subcategories that make for easy browsing of the unique ideas the site contains.

Under the Video tab, check out multimedia presentations of craft ideas for easy-to-follow instructions, and visit the Magazine section for past issues of Family Fun and subscription information.

Since the content of this site is updated as different holidays approach, be sure to check back often for fun craft, recipe, and decorating ideas your kids are sure to love!

NetSmartzKids.com Review


Children use the Internet with increasing frequency, and parents may be concerned about their access to inappropriate content.  NetSmartzKids.com is a fun way to teach children how to be safe while surfing the web, and is a great resource for children, parents, and educators.

The site is an interactive, educational safety resource from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and is designed for for children ages 5 to 17, their parents, guardians, educators, and law enforcement.

The site’s goal is to help children recognize dangers on the Internet, to report victimization to a trusted adult, and to increase communication between children and adults about online safety.

The NetSmartz Workshop teaches children the rules for online safety:  “I will tell an adult I trust if anything makes me feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused; I will ask my parents or guardian before sharing my personal information; and I won’t meet in person with anyone I have first ‘met’ online.”

The site contains videos designed to educate children about what to avoid on the Internet: what to do if they encounter content that makes them uncomfortable, if anyone asks for personal information, the importance of protecting passwords, and other lessons in personal safety. The site does not link to any external sources, so parents can trust that the site is child-safe.

Users can play games, download wallpaper and music files, send safe e-cards, and email different characters from the site.

Parents can be assured that the games and activities children encounter on this site are not only educational, but they are secure, so this is a terrific site to introduce to children since it is never too early to start learning about Internet safety.

ParentingTeens.com Review


All stages of parenting have their own sets of challenges, and parenting teens is no exception.  Parents of teens often search for comprehensive sources of information to help them navigate the potential problems of this stage.

ParentingTeens.com is a great source of information for parents looking for advice and information on parenting teenagers.

The information here is grouped into categories the reader can click and then browse:  teen health, education, troubled teens, drug abuse, behavior, parent support group, parent forum, and other teen issues (which includes topics such as divorce, self-mutilation, and sex, among others).

There is also a link to Parent Blogs where readers can visit the thoughts and advice of other parents, as well as links to information about boarding schools, child care, foster parenting, help for troubled boys, help for troubled girls, parenting resources, single parents, and treatment centers for teens.

Readers can comment on the stories on the site; there is a login link for those who wish to join the community.

Parents can also sign up for a free newsletter to help them stay abreast of the latest information this site has to offer about parenting teens.