Dealing with autism is tough. It's more and more common, though, so more and more people are having to deal with it. But, in a silver lining, there are now many groups around, from national to local, that are there to help. If you want or need to learn more, here are five sites to check out, also from national to local:
Autism Speaks http://www.autismspeaks.org/ - A national group that in addition to advocacy also funds science and research.
Autism Society http://www.autism-society.org/ - A national group mainly interested in advocacy.
Autism Society of Alabama http://www.autism-alabama.org/about-us.html - A statewide group, affilated with the Autism Society. Holds walks in the state, has advocated for autism legislation in Montgomery.
Alabama Autism & Asperger's Statewide Info and Support Network http://www.alabamaautism.org/ - A statewide support group, started by a dad with two children on the spectrum. We are good friends with the founder, Mr. Tumlin, and can say he has does wonderful work setting up a group where people can ask questions and get help - he has recently added a shortcut for a special ed. attorney, which is greatly important. He has also been involved in advocacy, ferrying parents to Montgomery for autism legislation.
Calhoun County Alabama Autism Information Website http://www.calhouncountyautisminfo.com/ - This is my wife's website, set up mainly for local support but affilated with the Autism Society of Alabama. When Xan was diagnosed, we had to find out so many things on our own that she resolved to help others start out better. If you remember the Walk for Autism at Zinn Park back in April, that was her walk. She's also arranged some speakers to come down and a autism-friendly trip to the planetarium. On her site is links to local dentists, speech therapists and much more, a link to online support/networking groups and a daily twitter feed with autism news.
I hope these help.