Families' Tips for Challenging Situations

Parents tell us...

"There were parts of our lives that were hard to talk about, I knew that I needed help."

"At first, I was embarrassed, but our doctor really understood and had some good suggestions."

Behaviors: Pica (eating non-foods), head banging etc.

Contact your child's doctor and/or case manager and request a behavioral evaluation.  Read about managing behaviors in Autism Speaks toolkits 

Constipation, impaction, diarrhea, vomiting and other digestion issues

Diapers for older children, teens, and young adults

Contact the Intensive Care Manager or Exceptional Needs Care Coordinator at your health plan to request financial assistance for diapers and supplies. Read our tip sheet: Getting to know your ENCC

Preparing your youth/child for contact with police or paramedics

This can be especially important for children who have life-threatening medical conditions, wander, or whose behaviors become extreme when they are under stress.

Consider self-disclosing cards and teach your child how to use them. 

Medical ID bracelets can be lifesavers.  Many insurance companies pay for ID bracelets with a prescription.  Some organizations offer them for free, or at a reduced cost. 

Autism Speaks offers social stories about safety.  You can order printed copies or use them as templates for creating your own. Learn more in this webinar, "Teaching Safety Skills to Individuals with Autism"

This emergency room planning sheet was written by parents and professionals together, to prepare for trips to the emergency room or riding in an emergency vehicle.


Extreme or dangerous behaviors

Oregon Community Developmental Disabilities Program: Stabilization and Crisis Unit for emergency residential care  

"A Tip Sheet for Families Considering Residential Programs"

Parent to Parent support for challenging parenting situations:  Reach Out Oregon

Parent to Parent support for parents with mental health issues, or those parenting children with mental health issues:  NAMI Oregon

Financial, food, or medical debt, crisis

Bedbugs, lice, and other infestations

Parent incarceration and criminal justice issues


Inclusion of resources on our site does not imply endorsement nor does exclusion mean we do not think it is valuable.  We work to keep our list of resources current and relevant but it is not exhaustive.