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 AUTINET FORUM, a free, open, unmoderated electronic list discussing all aspects of Autism and developmental disorders, but especially High-Function Autism (HFA) and Asperger's Syndrome (AS) has been running since March 1996. Its aim is to be a point of unity between Autistic/Asperger people, their parents, friends and helpers, and neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists (both clinicians and researchers) and educationalists in the field.
Animation by kind permission of Steve Parady

You are visitor number Counter Image to this page since 14-Dec-01 (previously 11755 visitors since 19-Jun-97).

You may subscribe to AUTINET FORUM (without charge of course) simply by sending an email message to the list-owner Peter Wise along with a two line explanation of your interest in discussing Autism and related disorders and what country you are from.

The real action is still on the discussion list, but, in time, these pages are expected to develop into quite a web. For now you may find our DRAFT links page of interest, or you could try our search page to find the latest news and Web Pages on Autism, Asperger's Syndrome and developmental disorders generally.

One of the benefits of autism's being a spectrum disorder (that is one in which the effects may be anything from profound to mild) is that, at the mild (or "high functioning") end of the spectrum, those with the disorder are very capable of describing their condition "from the inside", as it were. There are many such excellent examples of descriptions on the Web and you may wish to read one by an AUTINET FORUM subscriber who, to my mind, in one short piece, sums up the crucial aspect of attachment to the concrete rather than the social world which almost entirely characterises the criteria for both Asperger's Syndrome and autism.

However, the "state of the art" in autism is that, however good the prognosis is for someone with an autism spectrum disorder, however clearly we are able to diagnose the condition, subclassify it and characterise it, treatment (in medical terms) is just about impossible and educational intervention difficult to taylor to each individual circumstance. This difficulty is critical not only as regards the cost (whether to the tax-payer or the individual), but also as regards those fleeting years of childhood, so important to an individual's development. Much of this problem might be solved if we could ascertain the root causes of autism spectrum disorders (so that we could shortlist possible interventions) and, especially recognise the particular mixes of genes that cause specific neurological disorders. This is the work of geneticists and other clinical researchers like that of Dr. Faraneh Vargha-Khadem and Dr. Anthony Monaco who are trying to pin down the SPCH1 Gene.

I think most members of AUTINET FORUM are quite aware how daunting it is for the parent of the newly diagnosed autistic (or Asperger's) child to set out to be become something of a cross-disciplinary expert on autism. However, they would equally say that you can do it with support and AUTINET FORUM is where to find that support.

But AUTINET FORUM is more than just a parent's support group, more than a news service to hear about the latest findings on autism and Asperger's Syndrome, we like to think of it as an autism community, where researchers learn from parents, where parents learn from adults with Asperger's Syndrome and high-functioning autism, where teachers learn from doctors and we all learn to be a community devoted to autism spectrum disorders.

AUTINET FORUM is run by voluntary effort with support from the following sponsors:

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People in Need Trust

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Ireland On-Line

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Tellabs Ltd.

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Bah�'� Community of Shannon

Find out why the UK's Guardian Newspaper became AUTINET FORUM's Newspaper of the Year 2000 or just read the article that does so much for awareness of Asperger's Syndrome.

Copyright � 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
Except where attribution is shown, both text and HTML on this Web page were written and are being maintained by Peter Wise for AUTINET FORUM who are the Copyright Holders.

Like all Web pages, it should be dynamic - your ideas and suggestions are most welcome.

Key Resource
Disability Information and Support for Parents

CERTEC Report 96:2 - Free Freya, Part 1


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