October 25, 2006 09:00 ET

HealingThresholds.com Launches, Connecting Community and Science to Heal Autism

Founding Entrepreneur Is the Mother of an At Risk Child

CHICAGO, IL--(CCNMatthews - October 25, 2006) - HealingThresholds.com, the first autism Web site to combine community knowledge with layperson-accessible summaries of the latest medical research, launched today. The site enables parents to improve the quality of life of their children with autism by meeting parents' needs to understand the disorder, assemble a team of therapists, and identify optimal therapies for their child. HealingThresholds.com synthesizes vast amounts of complex information and links it with advice and experiential wisdom from the autism community. The Web site was conceived and created by a team led by a mother, scientist, and entrepreneur, Dr. Lara Pullen, who earned her Ph.D. in microbiology.

One in 166 children will be diagnosed with autism, which means that a child with autism is born every 20 minutes in the United States. A diagnosis of autism can be devastating for parents. The emotional turmoil makes it difficult to gather and wade through all of the available information in order to create an optimal therapeutic program for a child. HealingThresholds.com efficiently connects parents to scientific and health information.

Dr. Pullen is an established medical writer who became acutely aware of the need for such a site when her newborn son was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a leading genetic cause of autism. She is joined by Dan Kohn, an Internet entrepreneur with a track record of developing successful startups. Developmental pediatrician Alan Rosenblatt, MD, FAAP, a specialist in neurodevelopmental pediatrics who sits on the Autism Expert Panel of the American Academy of Pediatrics, serves as Senior Medical Advisor for HealingThresholds.com. Together they have created a Web site that gives parents the necessary tools to design their child's therapy program.

Dr. Pullen said, "I realized that I had a visceral understanding of the needs of parents whose children have just been diagnosed with a developmental delay. I also had the ability to connect parents with the information they need to improve the lives of their diagnosed children. I felt compelled to help make a difference."

Web Site Features

HealingThresholds.com contains therapy fact sheets that summarize the most popular therapies for children with autism. The fact sheets are entirely evidence-based and are designed to answer the key questions every parent has when considering a new therapy. They include an evaluation based on the latest peer-reviewed research of whether or not individual therapies are safe and effective.

All references cited in the therapy fact sheets are summarized in the scientific evidence portion of the Web site. As new research is published in the scientific literature, it is summarized for parents, thereby closing the gap between experimentation and implementation. Each lay summary is written so that parents can quickly understand the basic points of each research article and the implication for their own child's care.

HealingThresholds.com also identifies and summarizes key media coverage of autism therapies. Like the therapy and reference updates, the news updates can be read on the Web site, with a feed reader, or via email updates.

The community center of HealingThresholds.com acknowledges that parents are experts in the selection and implementation of the many therapies and it provides a gathering point for that evolving expertise. The community center includes forums, blogs, and a wiki. The forums enable parents, therapists, and scientists to interact and share their experiences. The wiki is a user-editable portion of the site that tracks the collective wisdom of HealingThresholds.com users. The blogs enable individual parents to record therapy information for their child and to document their journey.

All content throughout HealingThresholds.com is free and can be accessed without registering. The site is funded through advertising in order to be self-sustaining. There is strict editorial separation between the scientific and user content and the ads.

For additional information about HealingThresholds.com, please contact Barb Miles or visit www.HealingThresholds.com.

About HealingThresholds.com -- HealingThresholds.com is a for-profit company that connects community and science to heal autism. It helps meet parents' needs by synthesizing vast amounts of complex information and linking it with advice and experiential wisdom from the autism community. This is done through the use of therapy fact sheets, research summaries, news summaries, and a community center. HealingThresholds.com is funded via advertising, and users can freely access information on the site. It donates a portion of its profits to further autism research. Please visit www.HealingThresholds.com.

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