I used to be a social media junkie. But three kids later and I need more time in my day to sleep and shower rather than catch up on the latest “friends” who I haven’t seen or talked to in 10 years. Some may say sleep is over rated, but come on! I cut back on my tweets and dropped a few hundred friends and ditched MySpace a decade ago. But one thing I do keep up on are the support groups I am involved in through some of those social media feeds. A few I favor are MilitarySpecialNeedsNetwork, MilitaryOneSource, and a few Facebook groups where I have made some great connections across the world (ya, I’m that cool!).
But last week a friend of mine, who is also the parent of two ASD boys, turned me onto MyAutismTeam. I have spent a few days milling around their site, updating my profile, adding in my kids ASD characteristics and even friending a few moms. It seems like a great social media platform designed specially for those individuals with a relationship to a ASD person.
I realized there are still some people who have never created a Facebook account or those who have completely turned away from the time devouring platform. Which is who I believe this platform was intended for. No worries of signing in and a gaggle of Facebook chats popping up, or realizing you have 347 unread tweets to peruse. The only purpose of this social media site is to connect you with other moms (in my case) experiencing the same life ups and downs; to share your story with others and to make connections that you might not have been able to make elsewhere.
I also feel this is a great resource for those in the military. With moving from base to base every few years, it is hard to keep in touch with all the friends you make. But these friends wont move and if they do, you can easily still communicate with them via the site.
I also know from personal experience how extremely isolating it can be with special needs children. We are human and we tend to judge what we don’t know, don’t understand and what we have never experienced. I get tired of the stares, snide comments and rolling of the eyes from individuals who don’t take the time to educate themselves or who simply act like a 12 year old. This can be a site where everyone knows exactly what you are going through- as they have been there before. And if they haven’t, at least they know of a safe place to go to for support when it does.