By Debra Muzikar
Recently a parent called me to express concern about his adult child on the autism spectrum. He asked if there was an online resource that he could go to. He wanted to talk to autistic people to gain insight into his child’s behavior. We all know there are a ton of parent support group pages out there. But there is also a growing number of pages either run by autistic people or who include the autistic perspective. I asked my FB friends for their recommendations. I’d like to share them with you.
Amythest Schaber has a youtube channel called neurowonderful with a lot of informative videos that are branded Ask an Autistic.
One of her most popular videos with over 100,000 views is on Sensory Processing Disorder.
Here are some Facebook groups:
1. Ask an Autistic Facebook Forum is a forum to ask autistic people questions. All of their admins are autistic. This group is not affiliated with Amythest Schaber’s videos or page.
2. Parenting Autistic Children with Love and Acceptance (PACLA) is a Facebook page which includes advice for parents from autistic people. It is not a support group. PACLA is an intentional community that provides a safe space for Autistic people in order to help parents learn from them.
3. Asperger’s Support Network on Facebook takes questions from parents and others and their members respond to the questions. It is a parent-run page.
And here are some informative advocacy FB pages:
1. The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism with over 150,000 FB members is a popular site for informative articles and advocacy information. One of their goals is to help new autism community members develop a positive yet realistic attitude, to appreciate the strengths while supporting the struggles of our loved ones with autism.
2. The Autism Women’s Network helps autistic girls and women of all ages.
3. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network FB page shares important information to the autism community. They have the slogan “Nothing About Us Without Us.”
4. We are Like Your Child is a group of autistic people who discuss their difficulties and how they work through them from a neurodiversity and social model perspective.
5. Those on FB may see the Âû symbol on many autistic people’s names. The Autistic Union facebook group offers insight into issues affecting the autistic community.
What does the Âû after my name mean?
1. I am Autistic. [or] I support those who are Autistic.
2. I embrace my Autism as a very significant part of my identity.
3. I embrace those who would sacrifice to protect all Autistic life.
4. I embrace the belief that Autism does not need any “curing”.
5. I embrace the self-advocacy goal of “Everything about us, with us”.
6. I embrace the definition of Autism as a neuro-social difference.
7. I embrace measures directed at protecting Autistics from attack.
8. I embrace a person-centered approach to all Autism issues.
9. I embrace rigorous scientific approaches to co-occurring conditions.
10. I embrace Autistics leading their own welfare organisations.
This is a small sampling of sites. I hope those who read this will add their favorite FB pages to this list. Thank you to all who take time to share!
Artwork in header picture by Carissa Pacerelli – www.rissap.com