Friday, October 15, 2010

Autism will not shut down on November 1st, so I'll still be here too!

On November 1st, there is to be a communication shutdown on social media to raise money & awareness for autism.  Thousands of people and organizations are participating globally. While I think its fantastic that this is a world wide effort and I support increasing awareness, support understanding, support raising funds for research and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), I will not be participating.

I have found a great community of other families living with autism on message boards, Twitter, and Facebook.  Social media has not only become an outlet & avenue of support, but also a great source of information. 

I can understand the link between the communication shutdown of social media and the challenge of social communication for people with autism (and their families).

However, on November 1st, autism will still be here and so will I.

November 1st is a Monday, which means its a school day for us, where we have found numerous challenges to work through.  Verbal or nonverbal, communication is a far harder ballgame than I ever realized, before autism became a part of my family's daily lives.  Verbal language, social language, body language, tone, facial expressions, slang, sarcasm, reciprocal conversation, they all create challenges that require patience, ingenuity, resources, work, and more patience.

So, while I understand the link that is being drawn by shutting down social media communication & autism, I don't understand how that truly spreads the word, information, awareness & understanding.  Everyone else will go on updating their status on Facebook, tweeting, and posting away.  And instead of drawing attention to autism, there will be silence.  And yes, many people with autism live in silence, but to me, that only means we need to speak louder.....not join the silence.

Support your local autism resources.  Personally, I have received encouragement & a great deal of information from both my local chapter of TACA and Matrix Parent Network.  I urge you to seek yours out and learn what you can do to help this growing population of people & families living with autism.


  1. Powerfully said my beautiful momma friend! I will join you... and I agree... we need to say more, communicate more, and not be silent. Silence only makes people forget...


  2. Hello,

    This is a question for the webmaster/admin here at

    Can I use some of the information from this blog post above if I give a link back to this website?


  3. I agree, Karen! That community shut down actually sounds more like ignoring autism rather than helping to increase the awareness. They should know better... but then there's wonderful mothers like you, using social media to spread the word :)

  4. Hi there! I followed your link in a comment over on Extreme Parenting.

    I won't be participating in the Communication Shutdown, but for a slightly different reason. I am both a parent of autistic children and an autistic adult. Online communication platforms have allowed me to communicate in ways that I could never do in "real life" least, not with complete strangers. I believe we should be celebrating Twitter and Facebook, not boycotting them.

    On November 1st, I propose we tag all of our online updates with #autismawareness, or talk about how autism affects our lives. Fill the silence with loud voices! :)

  5. I admire your tenacity and courage in this department BEYOND description. You KNOW that, but it's something that you need to hear, often, Kare. You are the picture of grace in MOTHERHOOD! Stand tall, m'dear: you do it so beautifully!

  6. I am so proud of you!!! It is sometimes hard to go against an effort like this, that seems to have good intentions, but I totally agree - we need to speak up, not shut down! I won't be participating either...maybe I'll even do a few extra posts reminding people of the beauty in our children with autism. They can teach us so much if we are just willing to learn.

  7. I'm finally on blogger, and wanted to say what an amazing post this is. Very well said dear. Good for you for voicing your beliefs, I admire that and you.
    Go Giants......thank God SF has one winning team! xoxoxo


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