Facebook Groups You Should Be Following

If you are a Facebook user, you may have already seen something about these groups.  If not, you may want to add them to your feed.

Everyone Matters, according to their page, is a “global Inclusiveness campaign w Sir Paul McCartney, Nicole Kidman, Ellen D., Hugh Jackman, orgs & public with a message to judge others less, see the humanity in everyone, and emphasize that everyone has the right to be who they are.”  They highlight real stories from real people from all walks of life, as well as the usual graphics and pictures.  I often “share” what they post, so that I, too, can spread a message of inclusiveness for everyone. (@everyonematters on twitter)

EM fb page

Autism Shines, according to their page, allows you to “upload your photo of someone you love with autism, or yourself, and caption it with something great about them. Help us show the world all the positive attributes of autism!”  At first, I found the constant updates to my feed a tad excessive, but after awhile, I really grew to love the positive, beautiful pictures of children with autism from all over the world.  This page really puts a face (so many of them) to the label of “autism,” and it’s definitely not “Rain Man”. (@autismshines on twitter)

Single Mothers who have Children with Autism, is another page: “If you know or love someone with autism, have autism or just want to learn more about autism then you are welcome here. Follow us on twitter too at: www.twitter.com/SingleAutismMom”  I just started following this group, but I love that they share posts asking for advice.  They also share graphics with messages that jive with how I feel about autism in general, i.e. “Autism is not a choice, however Acceptance is.”

Finally, Shared Abilities is a new one for me, as well: “www.SharedAbilities.com is A Community for SHARING Information about Special Needs and Celebrating All We are ABLE to Accomplish!”  This is the Facebook page for a website with forums (fantastic resource for parents of kids with special needs!) and a newsletter.  They also post about various fundraisers and local opportunities all over the country. (@SharedAbilities on twitter)

You see, I use my Facebook page to share things that I think the people who care about me (and my son) ought to know, if they don’t already.  I love being a voice for people with autism, and indeed anyone seeking acceptance.  If others find that obnoxious, that’s their problem, and not mine.

I hope you check these pages out — I know they’re worth your time.

Sunday Shout-Out: Love That Max

Ellen Seidman’s blog, Love That Max combines wonderful stories about life with her son, Max, who has cerebral palsy, and large doses of advocacy.  She tells stories that special needs moms can relate to, not being able to have a normal out-to-dinner experience, rejoicing when Max has an opportunity to work at a car wash, and she writes about the r-word.  She has become such a cogent voice for us on that issue that she has been interviewed by major news outlets about it, and she never fails to articulate our feelings clearly.  She’s one of my heroes on that score alone.

Right now on her blog, and on twitter she’s telling the world about groups that are helping families with special needs children in the wake of Sandy, and how we can help.

If you haven’t already, go read Love That Max (and follow her on twitter @LoveThatMax).  You’ll see how amazing Ellen and Max both are.

Sunday Shout-Out: NAA’s Little Shop of Hope


English: Finnish road sign no. 791. Emergency ...

The National Autism Association has a shop on their site that they call NAA’s Little Shop of Hope – The Big Red Safety Shop.  They sell safety and advocacy items that are especially useful if your child is a wanderer.  I particularly like the stickers, iron-ons, and temporary tattoos that have an emergency number to call if your child gets lost.  I have experienced a few moments of panic at a mall when The Boy was younger, and more recently at his choir performance, where I just couldn’t find him for a few minutes.  I would have had a bit more piece of mind if he had had something on him that had my phone number, for sure.

I also like the cards that you can pass along to someone who is not understanding your child’s public meltdown.  I’ve never used these, but have lost count of the number of times I could have.

Please check it out, or pass it along to someone who might find these resources useful.