I think there are two types of autism families in this world. Families who help others but mainly focus on their own journey, and those families who focus on their own journey, but remain concerned about those people behind them (and to a lesser extent, those ahead of them).
I spend considerable amounts of time looking at autism research (in journals and elsewhere), and I like to support autism research when I can, because only by researching can we unlock the autism puzzle. I am particularly passionate about early diagnosis, something which is difficult and expensive in Ontario. There is a research study being conducted at the University of Windsor on early diagnosis. If you live in Ontario and have a child six or under, please consider participating. It will help researchers understand barriers to timely diagnosis. This will not help you personally if you have a diagnosis already, but think of the families coming after you - can you spare a few minutes to try to help them avoid the heartache you did?