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.
4 hours ago