If you’re of a certain age or younger, I’m betting that a significant portion of your time is spent on Facebook.
I’m also betting that either the moment you had an inkling there was something different about your child, your first stop was the Internet. Then, once you figured it might be Autism, you started searching Facebook for Autism and Asperger’s groups.
There’s no harm in admitting this, but there might be harm in some of the groups you are in. There are many, many groups about Autism on Facebook and a lot of them a BAD. Avoid like the plague bad. They are full of Cureists, Autism Speaks lovers, ‘Autism Moms’ and so, so many myths about Autism that you could start a Religion.
In light of the Internet awfulness, I thought I’d cobble together a list of safe spaces. Groups where you can find experienced parents of Autistic children, groups where you can find Autistics ready and willing to offer advice; and groups where you can learn how to Advocate alongside Autistic people.
So, if you’re sitting comfortably, and in no particular order, let’s begin…
- ‘Autistic Allies – Supporting Autistics to be Themselves’ and it’s accompanying group: ‘Autistic Allies’
This group is a mix of Autistic people and parents/carers of Autistic people. Everyone there sees Autism as a positive thing, not something to be cured or ‘treated’, as it truly is as Neurodivergence.
This is a small group run by a lovely Autistic lady (who is also Mum to an Autistic boy). It’s intimate, personal and very supportive. Again it’s a mix of Autistics and non-Autistic people.
Does what it says on the tin. No question is too stupid here.
Another lovely group. This is geared towards those who were diagnosed a little bit older, so 10/11 plus all the way to adult. But we are sneaking in those who are supporting younger children. It’s a hugely supportive group and has a very handsome co-Admin… Don’t know who he might be…
A group very supportive of Autistic rights, so if you worry you might upset someone, check with an Admin first, they are genuinely lovely and very open to helping parent’s of Autistic children learn.
Another group with a handsome Administrator 😉 This is a mostly Autistic group, but that makes it an amazing place to get advice from.
This page and group are run by an AMAZING lady and very good friend of mine, Jodie Eaton. Jodie is a huge Ally Autism Advocate and has three beautiful children, all with very different issues. The group is not solely Autistic based, but is worth joining because of the fabulous advice and Autism positive message Jodie puts out.
A page picked with tips, information and support and run by a very knowledgeable person, who supports parent’s of Autistic children in the physical world too.
Another page teeming with supportive information, links, articles and specific advice too.
Please remember when you are in a group with Autistic adults to respect them, their wishes and take their advice with positivity and thanks. Autistic Adults were you children at one point, many of us went through life undiagnosed and unsupported, many of us are now parents ourselves. There are people who have been severely damaged by society and its never-ending need to change us, the labels that have been put on us and the prejudice we have suffered, so please be respectful.
I tell you this not to scare you off of us, but to scare you from allowing it to happen to your children in the same way.
Have fun and I hope you learn lots.
P.s keep checking back periodically as I’ll keep updating the list with more supportive groups 🙂