Project Heart Touch - Finding Support on Your Autism Journey

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You are not isolated, nor do you need to feel alone—rather can be a part of a worldwide connection on Facebook to other moms, dads, kids and adults with special needs or who are on the autism spectrum. You will feel such warmth and support from people you’ll most likely never meet face-to-face.

PROJECT HEART TOUCH is a compilation of several heartwarming Facebook pages–profiles submitted directly by their community leaders. Here, you will find passionate and compassionate communities who will lift you up and carry you through your autism and special needs journeys.

You do not have to do it alone.

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Project Heart Touch - Finding Support on Your Autism Journey

  1. 1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE autism • special needs • facebook communities
  2. 2. W hen my son was growing up in the 80s, Aspergers Syndrome wasn’t on the diagnosis radar. And it took until he was 13 to confirm what I already knew at two, that he was on the autism spectrum. The diagnosis didn’t really change anything, because there was little in the way of resources—and most of my friends, family and “experts” didn’t understand the depth of his struggles. As his mom, I used my intuition as my only compass for finding people, programs and solutions to help him navigate through rough waters. It was often lonely. The uncertainty was always terrifying. There weren’t many who “got it” and, although meaning well, most never quite knew what to say (or what not to say), what to do (or what not to do). Today, I am not isolated, nor do I feel alone—rather I am a part of a worldwide connection to other moms, dads, and kids/adults on the spectrum because of the autism and special needs communities on Facebook. I feel such warmth and support from people I’ll most likely never meet face-to-face. I reached out to several page admins and asked them to share their heartwarming pages with you in this PROJECT HEART TOUCH e-book. Here, you will find passionate and compassionate communities who will lift you up and carry you through your autism and special needs journeys. You are not alone. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  3. 3. INSPIRE • EMPOWER HOPES • JOYS • LAUGHTER UNDERSTANDING TRUST • ACCEPTANCE RANT • VENT • SCREAM STUGGLES • SUCCESSES RALLY • UNITE • VALIDATE SUPPORT • PERSEVERE QUESTIONS • ANSWERS AWARENESS SHARING • CARING Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  4. 4. “ I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without feel judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength the relationship.” from Brené Brown Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  5. 5. FACEBOOK COMMUNITIES Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  6. 6. PARENTING BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS ADMIN | Shayla LINKS | Facebook | Website | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter “I’ve found new friends and learned things that have already had a huge, positive impact on our family life.” OVERVIEW | My daughter, age 4, was recently diagnosed with ASD. It took us over a year to piece things together. In the meantime, I was confused, angry, scared, and felt very alone. I turned to social media for help when all the big websites proved useless to me. My daughter’s case was not cut-and-dried. Several doctors told me and my husband that we were either bad parents, she would grow out of her “bad behavior”, or that nothing was wrong at all. She was then misdiagnosed with severe ADHD and I was told she would never be able to complete schooling. We finally found support and answers on Facebook and Pinterest. On a whim I started sharing what I knew on my personal Facebook page. That turned into a blog and then into my community Facebook page. PAGE THEMES | It is inspirational to entertaining with a heaping spoonful of sarcasm–I swear by it (the sarcasm). And speaking of swearing, this mama bird has a potty mouth so don’t be surprised by the profanity. You are going to find a mix of things on parenting and autism. I like to post things relating to my humorous parenting fails or sensory play my kids love. I’m very visual so there are a lot of images and memes. And of course the sprinkling of status updates with the latest shenanigans I find myself involved in. Oh, and the occasional bearded baby. It’s what happens when a tired mom gets an idea from her bearded husband. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I just want people to laugh. To know they aren’t alone in the challenges that come with parenting or autism. It gets so overwhelming sometimes that simple, obvious things can prove illusive. Maybe you will see a post and have a small “Aha!” moment that will make your daily life go more smoothly. And did I mention laughing? MAGIC MOMENTS | Seeing people come together and form relationships because of some silly thing I posted. And getting so much genuine interest in autism from people who don’t have any personal connection to it. MOST PROUD OF | Getting the answers we need to help my daughter. And receiving messages of thanks from moms and dads who tell me that what I have shared made a difference in their lives. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  7. 7. THE RANTINGS AND RAVINGS OF A LUNATIC AUTISTIC MOM ADMIN | Maggie LINKS | Facebook | Website “I want my readers to know I am on their side...I’m cheering for them. I’m thankful for their support and advice and I hope they will accept mine.” OVERVIEW | I started my blog as somewhat of a lark initially. I had older ASD kids compared to some of my friends who were just starting out in the world of Autism. One day I was trying to explain the differences in diagnoses, how to read their insurance documents to get coverage for therapy, and they said, “you should write all this down in a blog and help everyone.” I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. When we first received our diagnosis I would have loved to have the chance to talk to someone who had an older kid with Autism, to ask the smallish questions about everyday life. I decided to give it a try and write a few posts and see if I could get a few followers, and now I have “met” so many people online! PAGE THEMES | My mantra is: “Today is a new day. Yesterday is in the past and tomorrow is not yet written.” I believe that. If I let a bad day carry over into the next then the bad days would never end. Hitting the reset button every day at midnight gives me and my boys the chance to do our best every single day. I want my blog and Facebook page to be positive and I hope that people who read it see that there are struggles but together we will make it through. I also try and stress that you can never do too much research and to “trust your gut” when it comes to decisions for those who cannot voice their own opinions. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I always do posts that mean something and to make a difference. I hope that my readers will learn and grow along with me. I hope that they will take my opinion for what it is and it will help them forge their own paths. I want my readers to know I am on their side...I’m cheering for them. I’m thankful for their support and advice and I hope they will accept mine. MAGIC MOMENTS | The best thing is a continued sense of community. Let’s face it, autism moms and dads don’t have tons of time to be out having coffee and getting mani-pedis and, even if there were, it’s hard to find a kindred spirit who is going through the same struggles as you are. Who else but an Autism parent has a fecal smearing story to match your own and can tell it in such a way that you both end up laughing to the point of tears. Happy tears are as good a goal as flappy days. MOST PROUD OF | My boys, always my boys. They make me laugh and cry. They are hugs and kisses. They are the chocolate chip to my plain cookie. The sun rises and sets with them. They are who I wish to spend my time with and their happiness is my greatest joy. They make me a better mom and every day I want to do more for them and for our family. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  8. 8. THE AUTISM ONION ADMIN | Angelina LINKS | Facebook | Website “The most amazing thing is getting emails from people in countries across the globe, telling me that my story means something to them.” OVERVIEW | My youngest brother, Dylan, inspired me to pursue a career in ABA and I’ve been working with children with autism and related disorders for almost 7 years now. I’m a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and my blog, The Autism Onion, is about my experiences with autism as both a big sister and a behavior analyst. I started my page as an extension of my blog, in order to share my stories with others who are impacted by autism. PAGE THEMES | I write about everything from strategies and interventions to try, to news stories related to autism, to my own personal anecdotes. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | It’s my space to write silly stories, revelations, complaints, frustrations, heart-aches, and anything else that comes to mind. I’m a big sister… I’m a therapist… And, this is my attempt at peeling back the hundreds of layers of autism. MAGIC MOMENTS | Through the power of Facebook I was able to help a fellow blogger’s daughter get an autograph from one of her favorite celebrities. It was incredible to be able to help a family I have never met, and to make the little girl’s birthday extra special. MOST PROUD OF | My page has gotten more support than I ever expected, and the most amazing thing is getting emails from people in countries across the globe, telling me that my story means something to them. I get to share my life and my heart about autism and my little brother, and people all over the world reach out to me. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  9. 9. MILITARY SPECIAL NEEDS NETWORK ADMIN | Kelly, Wendy and Miranda LINKS | Facebook | Website | Blog “We’ve been able to steer many away from the pitfalls and mistakes that we’ve made. We’ve had an opportunity to affect real change in their lives.” OVERVIEW | MSNN was founded to address the special needs of military families across the globe. Our community has not only the needs that every other special needs family has, they also deal with months long separation from a parent/spouse, isolation from their nuclear families, being alone in new communities, and exceptionally long wait times to see specialists. They often times do not have respite care, and even if support group meetings were available in their area, they would not be able to go due to childcare issues. We’re a virtual support group, available to them 24/7—when it’s convenient for them. PAGE THEMES | We support all special needs families with all disabilities, across all branches of the military. Our goal is to support, inspire, educate, unite, empower, inform and connect peer-to-peer with our families. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | We hope that our readers know how much we care about them, their struggles and their successes. That we are here for them, and that it is our privilege to be a part of their lives. MAGIC MOMENTS | We have used our platform to spotlight success stories of our families. Several times each year, we have our members send in photos of their children, along with a short write-up, describing their latest success. To see the sea of faces and read about their perseverance in the face of adversity is overwhelming. You can’t describe the pride we feel for these kiddos. MOST PROUD OF | It has been wonderful to help families going through the same journeys as ours. We’ve been able to steer many away from the pitfalls and mistakes that we’ve made. We’ve had an opportunity to affect real change in their lives. There is nothing so rewarding as that. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  10. 10. ASPERKIDS ADMIN | Jennifer LINKS | Facebook | Website | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube “This is my daily vitamin. It’s reinforcement that my message of realistic positivity is both different and important... that all the crazy time and effort is making real changes in real families and real lives. That’s everything to me.” OVERVIEW | The Asperkids Facebook page was born in mid-2012 out of the enormous public response to the release of my first book, “Asperkids: An Insider’s Guide to Loving, Understanding & Teaching Children with Asperger Syndrome.” Questions from around the world began flooding in immediately from families who heard a real sense of hope and positivity in Asperkids and my first-person insights that they hadn’t found anywhere else. PAGE THEMES | Our page is the daily face of what has become the Asperkids World with—it isn’t always going to be easy, but it is going to be AWESOME—insights, tools and humor of an adult aspie (me), married to an aspie, and raising three Asperkids! Our mission is to make life for children with Aspergers more positive and purposeful, and to assist the adults in their lives in the ways they understand, parent, teach and respond to their children. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | Posts go up several times a day, and include a bevy of resources, laughs and “we’re in this together” moments: links to articles, book excerpts, games with kids, tour announcements, blogs, real Asperkid celebrations around the world, cheeky aspie humor, and video links. *Disney/Babble says that “Asperkids Facebook page is upbeat and fun, spreading a message of value, worth, hope, and purpose.” MAGIC MOMENTS | The single best thing that happens on Asperkids is our “Congratulations! You’re an Asperkid!” celebration. We send a box of awesome to a child’s doorstep. It’s a handpicked explosion of pride, fun and aspie fabulosity, designed to appeal to an Asperkid’s senses and sense-of-self. We have to admit. We think it’s pretty one-of-a-kind fantastic. Just like our kids. MOST PROUD OF | I’m grateful that I get a chance to do something that matters and see it in photos from every corner of the globe, hear it in the personal messages I receive daily, and feel it in the hugs I get when I meet the families, teachers and Asperkids themselves. Life just doesn’t get any better. And I am so blessed to be part of this conspiracy of positivity. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  11. 11. LIFE WITH LEGOS ADMIN | Kim LINKS | Facebook | Website “We have a dry sense of humor in our house and try to find humor in all things. Even if there is no humor in the moment, it can usually be found later.” OVERVIEW | I started the page in December of 2012 as a way to network with and support other families. We have learned so much in our journey, but each year, day even, we need more information and guidance. PAGE THEMES | I typically post a variety of things on a daily basis. Many posts are funny anecdotes or events from our day (usually related to our aspie son, but not always), Lego-related and autism research/ recourse related. We have a dry sense of humor in our house and try to find humor in all things. Even if there is no humor in the moment, it can usually be found later. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I hope others can find information and support in a non-judgmental way and find that humor and positivity are always good. MAGIC MOMENTS | I never imagined so many people would follow our page. While we are still relatively small, we have a lot of interaction on the page and great information is shared. MOST PROUD OF | It is comforting to know that I can post something about a bad day, challenge, funny comment or new skill and others will understand and offer support. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  12. 12. GROWING UP WITH AUTISM ADMIN | Christina LINKS | Facebook “It is a place to get support, understanding, and advice. It is a place to help each other get through our days.” OVERVIEW | I originally started my page to update my family and friends of my sons routine and what he was accomplishing without driving my other Facebook friends insane. That way they could chose to like or unlike the page. I soon after decided I wanted to share, befriend and give support or help to other families and friends who shared the same life situations I do. PAGE THEMES | Autism awareness and a personal journal of my son’s daily life. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I post articles that deal with autism, autismbased pictures, and different things going on with my autistic son and the issues we deal with. I post several times a day. My page means a lot to me. It means I can freely vent and others can vent and share with me. It means I have a community of others who understand exactly what I am going through. It is a place to get support, understanding, and advice. It is a place to help each other get through our days. MAGIC MOMENTS | I hope others are inspired by my page and enjoy going through Ty’s journey with me. It’s so rewarding when they use my community as an outlet and share as we impact each other and grow our friendships. MOST PROUD OF | I am proud to have so many great parents, relatives, and professionals following me. I am so proud of my son, how far he has come and is still going! Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  13. 13. SEEDs FOR AUTISM ADMIN | Cinder LINKS | Facebook | Website “I want people to see another side of autism beyond what the media portrays. Having autism isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be the tragedy that it often gets made out to be. ” OVERVIEW | Mary Ann, a blacksmith in Phoenix AZ, started SEEDs for her autistic brother, who was very talented, but had nothing to do during the day. It started with 4 young men and grew into the community it is today. Though she lost her brother to pancreatic cancer several years ago, the dream of helping adults on the Spectrum to live more independent, productive, meaningful lives continues. PAGE THEMES | SEEDs means Success Through Education Exploration & Development—We like to post several times a week, usually photos of what is being created, or information of relevance to the SEEDs community. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I want people to see another side of autism beyond what the media portrays. Having autism isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be the tragedy that it often gets made out to be. I want to people to support SEEDs and to think about how they can start similar endeavors in their own communities. MAGIC MOMENTS | I’ve watched my child blossom from an isolated teen who stayed home all day to a confident young woman, who is busy with friends, college, art projects. Some of her friends, fellow SEEDs students, have created their own aspie housing community. She visits them often and is planning to move there in the future after she graduates from community college. My daughter is no less autistic, but I don’t worry about her future like I used to. I see how capable she is. MOST PROUD OF | SEEDs is making a difference! My husband and I recently launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for industrial sewing machines. I’m happy we were able to help SEEDs continue to serve the vocational and social needs of adults on the spectrum. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  14. 14. CONQUER FOR CONNER – MY SPECIAL LOVE ADMIN | Sharon LINKS | Facebook | Petition “I want you to feel our love and realize that as your child gets older a special relationship will develop between the two of you— a bond beyond words or any feelings you will ever experience.” OVERVIEW | I want to share our positive story about the relationship between a newly single mother and her son. I post about my son Conner’s struggles and triumphs…our journey together to change special needs support law for children over 18. PAGE THEMES | Autism awareness and a personal journal of my son’s daily life. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | Writing this page has given me confidence and turned my fear and anger into strength, determination, faith, hope and love. I’m sharing my experiences and mistakes to help lower the divorce rate in families with special needs. MAGIC MOMENTS | My son is 21 and he just learned how to tie his shoes. I want everyone to know that there is no timetable for our children and there is always hope. Do not, I repeat, do not give up trying. When you read our page about our journey I want you to feel our love and realize that as your child gets older a special relationship will develop between the two of you—a bond beyond words or any feelings you will ever experience. MOST PROUD OF | I am most proud of my son Conner and how far he has come. He walks up to strangers and asks them to go to our blog and sign our petition. We had business cards made and he never leaves home without them. He is working hard with his communication skills to ask people to help us. He writes on our page. He truly wants to help children and make a difference. His hope and his dreams never waiver and I celebrate how lucky I am to have this remarkable young man as my son. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  15. 15. I AM MAEGAN, THE AUSOME 1, IN 88 ADMIN | Eileen LINKS | Facebook “Maegan’s page is about hope, love, acceptance and God.” OVERVIEW | Maegan was diagnosed with mild autism so I decided to start a page when she started to “come out of her own world” and I wanted to record everything. What a great way to do this on a Facebook page, I thought, and one day when Maegan turns sixteen, I will surprise her with this page as her birthday present. As soon as I made her page public, people started to ask questions. I thought this is my opportunity to help others, who like me once, do not know where to turn to with burning questions about autism, and this “awareness” page was born. PAGE THEMES | Maegan’s page is about hope, love, acceptance and God. I post things Maegan did, her milestones, awareness signs of autism, random facts, information on therapies (what works for Maegan), and sensory and tactile information. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I hope Maegan’s page makes it easier for people to learn about the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Taking in a lot of information from everywhere is really overwhelming and my brain sometimes just shuts off. It was so time consuming, so with Maegan’s page I try to curate the information so others can access it more conveniently. MAGIC MOMENTS | The great thing on Maegan’s page is that there is no negativity, only positive feedback from everyone. I’ve made so many friends here, and even if I never meet them in person, they help me cope. I also get to help them with their questions. Their appreciation makes every question answered worth it! MOST PROUD OF | I am most proud of how hard my little Maegan is working with me. I know it’s not always easy for her, but she never stops trying. She is the bravest person I know and my best teacher. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  16. 16. DUDE I’M AN ASPIE ADMIN | Matt LINKS | Facebook | Website | Bookstore | Twitter “I hear from parents who say my cartoons helped them understand their child better, or they plan to share it with a child who’s at the stage where they need some answers.” OVERVIEW | My hope was to explain to neurotypicals what Asperger’s is, and how it feels to be me, through doodles rather than just words. PAGE THEMES | I post weekly cartoons that get to the heart of autism-related topics, both entertaining and informative. My community has helped name two of my characters, most recently through the Name the Skunk Contest! The contest winner received a signed copy of my book. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | My page promotes a greater understanding of people on the autism spectrum, and an attitude of acceptance and compassion. My goal is to give readers a window into my everyday life, its highs and lows, with both honesty and humor. MAGIC MOMENTS | I hear from parents who say my cartoons helped them understand their child better, or they plan to share it with a child who’s at the stage where they need some answers. I also hear from adults who are first realizing they’re on the spectrum, and use it to disclose to family and friends without scaring them off. MOST PROUD OF | I’m very grateful to all the fans and for the opportunity to contribute an animated short to the TV show Flummox and Friends. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  17. 17. OUR WILD CARD ADMIN | Sarah LINKS | Facebook | Bookstore “I cannot express how much clearer my state of mind has become because of my Facebook community. I was in a very dark place a few years back and I did not think I would recover.” OVERVIEW | | I struggled to find a good support system when my son was diagnosed with autism. It has taken a lot of time and energy to find the resources our family needs. Providing a Facebook community where we can come together and help each other makes each of our lives a little less worrisome. The most helpful advice I have received has been from other parents who have been in similar situations. PAGE THEMES | My page was initially started in order to advertise “Our Wild Card” which is a book I wrote about the autism journey of my son Travis and the impact it has had on our family. Since that time I have begun using the page as a way to support the autism community as well as anyone who may be interested in learning more about autism. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I enjoy posting funny comments my children have made and usually post about things that are going on within our family. I want to ask questions when people in the community need some answers. When I run across articles or blogs that I think others would enjoy, I like to pass them on. MAGIC MOMENTS | I cannot express how much clearer my state of mind has become because of my Facebook community. I was in a very dark place a few years back and I did not think I would recover. I did not believe I could provide the environment my children needed in order to thrive. My Facebook community went a long way in helping me to recover. It is now my turn to be there for others who are having their own difficulties coming to terms with the hand they were dealt. I have met so many great people that I never would have found if it were not for Facebook. MOST PROUD OF | The support, love, and encouragement is often not available through people we see on a daily basis. It is nice to have a place where we can all come together. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  18. 18. RAISING CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES ADMIN | Kimberly LINKS | Facebook | Angel Wolfpack | Autistic Angel | Weighted Friends “We are proud parents who will go to the ends of the earth to help our children and our autism -special needs communities.” OVERVIEW | I am the administrator for four autism and disabilities pages: Raising Children with Disabilities, Special Needs Angel Wolfpack, My Autistic Angel, and Weighted Friends. PAGE THEMES | Connection, sharing, awareness, and support WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I’m a mother of five raising three sons with mental disabilities— autism, intermittent compulsive disorder, PTSD, ADHD, conduct disorder and sensory disorders. Our communities ask questions of each other, share pictures, and post information on multiple disabilities. MAGIC MOMENTS | We are proud parents who will go to the ends of the earth to help our children and our autism/special needs communities. MOST PROUD OF | I just started a new home business called “Weighted Friends,” lovable weighted stuffed animals that helps our special kids’ feel safe, calm and comforted when facing new and scary experiences, like doctors’ appointments, dentist visits, or leaving a loved one. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  19. 19. KETCHUP WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM ADMIN | Julie LINKS | Facebook OVERVIEW | | I wanted to start a community of support and awareness. “It has been a great way for me to vent, celebrate, and meet people who are in similar life situations to my family and me.” PAGE THEMES | It is about real life with autism and its ups and downs. I post autism quotes/pictures and status updates about our life with autism. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | It has been a great way for me to vent, celebrate, and meet people who are in similar life situations to my family and me. The page represents support and respect for the autism community as a whole. MAGIC MOMENTS | I posted something really honest about an incident that happened between my daughter and me. I was really opening myself up and someone who I had never heard of and didn’t know at all had the audacity to criticize me as a parent. And then she went one step further and shared my status update on their own page without even asking me if I minded. I stood up to the person and then many, many other mothers of ASD children who follow my page came out in defense of me. It really made me feel great to know that I had created not only a support group for others but one for myself, too. MOST PROUD OF | I am proud of the fact that I am reaching people around the world who have children with autism and that we can empathize, support, and commiserate with one another on a daily basis. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  20. 20. THE CRAZY JOURNEY OF AUTISM WITH A SIDE OF SPD AND ADHD ADMIN | Karen LINKS | Facebook “Our vibe is about my family’s journey with autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, ODD, T1D and our general day to day life with so much going on with all five of us, and how all these things affect our lives.” OVERVIEW | I started my first page in September of 2012 and had almost 2,200 followers but decided to make a new page June 16 of this year to include more of the family. PAGE THEMES | The overall vibe of our page is about my family’s journey with autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, ODD, T1D—and our general day to day life with so much going on with all five of us and how all these things affect our lives. I post updates on our family, links to resources, information on how things work in Canada where we live when it comes to getting support/help/funding. I post graphics I make, pictures of the family, and I generally share our crazy story. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I hope page and start reading they will there are others out there that not always a happy shiny advenwith no glossing it over to make it that when people come to our realize that they are not alone and have a crazy journey too. This is ture—our story is the real raw deal seem great. MAGIC MOMENTS | When I moved pages I had a great response, so many people have said THANK you for sharing your story…you have made a HUGE difference in my life…it is so good to know I am not alone. Hearing we have made a big difference in people’s lives is pretty awesome! MOST PROUD OF | Despite not having any formal therapy for my little girl, even though she was diagnosed at 18 months, (you can’t get any therapy here until they are either 2.5 or 3 at the beginning of the school year) I have learned and asked and researched ways to help her on my own. She has gone from almost nonverbal to making sentences and understanding so much more in the last year! NEGU! Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  21. 21. UNSCHOOLING ADVENTURES WITH AUTISM ADMIN | Lorna LINKS | Facebook | Website “It has given me a platform to share my life and give some support back into a wonderful community which has supported me and my son.” OVERVIEW | I started the page as a way to chronicle our unschooling experiences and support for other families unschooling children on the spectrum, and just unschoolers and parents in general. PAGE THEMES | Peaceful parenting, unschooling children on the spectrum, support WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I post at least once a day, anecdotes from my life and inspirational quotes, some parenting memes, information about autism and unschooling. MAGIC MOMENTS | It has given me a platform to share my life and give some support back into a wonderful community which has supported me and my son. MOST PROUD OF | I am most proud of the small community I am helping to build through inspiration, friendship, information, and support. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  22. 22. AUTISM INSPIRATION ADMIN | Jennifer LINKS | Facebook “My goal is to have something to help lift moods and create a little bit of joy.” OVERVIEW | Parents who have children with autism can sometimes become overwhelmed and tired, feeling like they are doing this alone. I want to provide a community where parents and caregivers can come to laugh and share struggles. PAGE THEMES | To share inspiration with each other. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I try to post something each day. I will ask questions, find heartwarming stories or share quotes. My goal is to have something to help lift moods and create a little bit of joy. MAGIC MOMENTS | We are pretty new, but we quickly got to over 1,000 likes and a few people have made comments. MOST PROUD OF | It has been a fun project and I enjoy finding things that inspire myself as well since I have three children with ASD. They helped me with the inspiration to create this Facebook community. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  23. 23. ASPIE LOVE ADMIN | Nance LINKS | Facebook “I’ve met some wonderful people on and offline, that I consider my ‘friends in the trenches’ so to speak.” OVERVIEW | I started the page after receiving my son’s diagnosis because I felt lost too. And nobody that we knew had ever even heard of Asperger’s Syndrome, but us. I needed to talk to people who had been there, done that. I saw other pages and thought it was a wonderful idea and went from there. My son who is an aspie and just turned 10, even helps and so does my husband. PAGE THEMES | Our overall philosophy is just to support one another as a community, build friendships and learn from one another. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I’m passionate about our page, about raising autism awareness and acceptance, and raising my son to be the best him, that he can possibly be. I usually post quite often, although, since I am a stay-at-home-mom and also homeschool, sometimes it isn’t as often as I’d like. We cover everything from the mundane happenings of a regular day, to major meltdowns and learning moments for our son and us as parents too. MAGIC MOMENTS | I feel as though I’ve been lifted by this community and maybe helped some others too. I’ve met some wonderful people on and offline, that I consider my ‘friends in the trenches’ so to speak. Something that showed me how much I value those friendships and how powerful they can truly be, is when the Boston bombing happened, one of the moms who admins another page was running in the marathon, and all I could think of all day, was that she and her family were down there and if she was okay. I cried and my heart sank...until I saw her post that she and her loved ones were alright and I was so relieved! I have still never met her in person, but it was then that I knew these were real, bonded relationships on this page. MOST PROUD OF | The Aspie Love page has also brought communication between myself and my son closer. He loves to talk about the page and gets excited if our “likes” go up. I’ve also been given information on resources I never would have known if not for the Facebook autism community. I’m proud that we have been able to rise above so many of the hard circumstances we’ve gone through and find strength and support within the Facebook autism community. I pray every day, that we can help others, or possibly lift them up, like so many have done for us. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  24. 24. SENtense KIDS UK ADMIN | Yani LINKS | Facebook “SENtense has lots of useful information about all kind of special needs not just ODD and is updated daily.” OVERVIEW | My name is Yani Knight and my son Ethan, who is now eleven was diagnosed with autism and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) which is why I began our page. We live in Stilton, Cambridgeshire UK. PAGE THEMES | Information, education, resources and inspiration WHY YOU SHOULD READ | SENtense has lots of useful information about all kind of special needs not just ODD and is updated daily. MAGIC MOMENTS | I have made lots of new friends whose children have autism and special needs and it stops us feeling isolated and alone. MOST PROUD OF | We have almost 600 members worldwide and are growing by the day. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  25. 25. MAGSY’S AUTISM AWARENESS ADMIN | Margaret LINKS | Facebook “I have met some amazing people and I get great satisfaction when people respond to my posts positively.” OVERVIEW | I want to raise awareness of autism but I also feel the need for people to be educated in what it means to have autism. I find most people actually think of physically handicapped people when they hear the word autism. I want to change that and let the general population know exactly what autism involves. PAGE THEMES | Helping to raise awareness and educating the general population to understand and know what it means to be autistic. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I make visual poster-style posts. Some are made to suit autism parents who want to repost my pictures on their own profiles, and others are informative posters with little pieces of information on autism. MAGIC MOMENTS | I have met some amazing people and I get great satisfaction when people respond to my posts positively. The author Chantal Sicile-Kira saw a poster using a quote of hers and emailed me to say how impressed she was with my page. She has asked me to do more using her quotes and send them to her. She has also asked if she can include my pictures in her newsletter. I love her books so this was just amazing for me. MOST PROUD OF | My son who has Aspergers—Together we have overcome so much and he is turning out to be an amazing young man…Mind you there are days that I might not be so positive about him as autism takes its toll on a family, but we’re getting there. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  26. 26. HONEYBUNCHES AUTISM BIPOLAR JOURNEY ADMIN | Janice LINKS | Facebook | Website “While there were many pages out there about autism at the time, it was difficult to find any about parenting a child with bipolar. Children with the combination of diagnoses seemed very rare.” OVERVIEW | I began a Facebook page about my son’s journey with autism and Bipolar to help spread awareness and get some support for myself. While there were many pages out there about autism at the time, it was difficult to find any about parenting a child with bipolar. Children with the combination of diagnoses seemed very rare. PAGE THEMES | I post a few times per day with updates about how my son’s day is going, inspirational pictures, things that I believe others might find helpful, questions people who read the page might have, sharing other pages and whatever else I might come across related to autism and bipolar that might be beneficial. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | This page is a place to vent, share experiences and raise awareness…where others understand. What I am hoping others take away from reading, interacting and joining my page is a sense of no longer being alone on this journey. While the world is a big place, when raising a child with special needs it does have a tendency to feel very small and like no one in the world understands what we go through. MAGIC MOMENTS | A lot of great things have happened on my page. The best one is that I actually connected with the mother of another little boy who has the autism/bipolar combo. I’ve also received a ton of advice during some tough times through Honeybunches that really helped. MOST PROUD OF | I am most proud of is how big the page has become. When I began it, I never imagined that I’d have over 800 followers. I know it’s not as big as some other pages, but I am proud of the page and how it touches others’ lives. If I can make a difference in one child’s life or help one family I am happy. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  27. 27. YES, THAT TOO ADMIN | Alyssa LINKS | Facebook | Website “I’m Autistic, and I wanted to connect with other Autistic people. Plus I’m an educator at heart and want the next generation of autistic people to be better accepted than I was.” OVERVIEW | I’m Autistic, and I wanted to connect with other Autistic people. Plus I’m an educator at heart and want the next generation of autistic people to be better accepted than I was, so it turned into a community, sort of. PAGE THEMES | Something goes up pretty much every day, though there are days where all that goes up is a link to my Yes, That Too blog post of the day. I’ll also ask for questions sometimes, and I’ll talk to whoever shows up. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | When I’m feeling good, I hope they take away “My autistic *insert relation* can grow up and live a happy life while still being autistic.” In a bad mood, it often turns into “Autistic adults exist and I am one, so stop assuming I’m a parent.” MAGIC MOMENTS | I’ve found a nice big pile of people who really do get that autistic people (and people with other sorts of disabilities) can be OK as adults. Different needs than our nondisabled peers, but people are getting that different isn’t necessarily bad. MOST PROUD OF | Being a part of helping people understand that being an autistic adult is OK is huge. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  28. 28. AUTISM – LIVING IT ADMIN | Christina LINKS | Facebook “I just hope to help those parents who are dealing with a new diagnosis’ and to have an autism community support group where everyone can interact without worry of being judged.” OVERVIEW | I started my page because I really had no support in dealing with my ten year old severely autistic and epileptic daughter. PAGE THEMES | My page theme is living with autism as a parent, grand-parent, sibling, and self. It’s mostly a support page for parents. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I post whatever is on my mind. I will share something I see that hits close to home, I share fan questions and advice, I share other Facebook pages and blogs, and I write a bit about what we go through. Running a Facebook autism page helps me to help other parents or give them a bit of a laugh or to point them in the right direction if they are feeling lost. I am reminded daily that others are living a very similar life. MAGIC MOMENTS | I just hope to help others if they need it, to bring autism awareness to the community, to help those parents who are dealing with a new diagnosis’ and to have an autism community/support group where everyone can interact without worry of being judged. MOST PROUD OF | I am most proud of my daughter and the dignity, grace and smiles that she always has through all of her struggles. She is non-verbal but she communicates in a way not many people can even begin to understand and she gives me strength, because if she can be happy through all her difficult times and not even be able to voice her troubles and talk them over with someone…then I sure can be happy through it all too! Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  29. 29. GEEK CLUB BOOKS ADMIN | Jodi LINKS | Facebook | Website | Pinterest | Twitter “We’re sharing our family’s real life experiences in a unique, respectful and, entertaining way to show how someone on the spectrum overcomes obstacles, triumphs over social anxieties, and thrives... quirks and all!” OVERVIEW | I have an adult son with Aspergers who is my hero because of the obstacles he’s overcome and the life he is leading. We’re sharing our family’s real life experiences in a unique, respectful and, hopefully, entertaining way to show how someone on the spectrum overcomes obstacles, triumphs over social anxieties, and thrives...quirks and all! We’re building a wonderful community on Facebook and have an active website with lots of information and resources. We’re about to release our first storybook APP, called “The Mighty League, Vol. 1: The Terrible Taunting,” written about my son by my daughter and narrated by my son. PAGE THEMES | Inspiration. Awareness. Acceptance. Support. Geeky Giveaways. Updates on our Storybook App. Shout Outs. Showcasing Autism/Aspie Heroes. Books. Geek of the Week. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | Our Facebook page is about autism and aspergers awareness and acceptance BUT with a geekish twist! We think that being different is something to celebrate, so our focus is on telling real stories…our own and others who are on the spectrum journey. We embrace our geek natures and try to have some fun while hopefully inspiring and empowering others along the way. MAGIC MOMENTS | I love being able to use my talents in support of others who are doing such great work by featuring them in articles, e-books, and on our social media networks. The best moments are when I can showcase someone’s awesome kiddo or help someone spread the word about their pages, websites, books, apps or products. MOST PROUD OF | I am over-the-moon proud of my creative children and how my son, despite his fears and anxieties, puts himself out into the world. I am so very grateful for the tremendous support and enthusiasm we have received from our Facebook community. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  30. 30. A REGULAR GUY: GROWING UP WITH AUTISM ADMIN | Laura LINKS | Facebook | Website | Chronicle Blog | Twitter “I can help you with all ages and stages of parenting a child with autism and assorted developmental disabilities, especially the teen and young adult years.” Laura Shumaker is the mother of three terrific sons. The oldest, Matthew, is a young adult with autism. She’s an optimistic mother/autism advocate/ writer, and parents like her because she tells them it gets easier and she means it. She writes a popular autism blog for the San Francisco Chronicle. OVERVIEW | A Regular Guy is a solution-minded autism forum. I can help you with all ages and stages of parenting a child with autism and assorted developmental disabilities, especially the teen and young adult years. PAGE THEMES | I created the page to share my experience as an autism mom of a young adult. It’s evolved into a place where parents and individuals with autism can brainstorm solutions to make life work. Want to know how to defuse a meltdown? Wondering if it gets easier as they grow? On the spectrum yourself, and have questions? You’ve come to the right place! I post whatever seems important to me and to the community at the time. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I want to inspire people to understand and tolerate the differences in others. I put a positive spin on life with ASD. I will answer any question. MAGIC MOMENTS | The feedback I receive from the community that they appreciate my honesty, point of view, personal experiences, and willingness to address anything. MOST PROUD OF | Helping a lot of people. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  31. 31. EM’S JOURNEY ADMIN | Jennifer LINKS | Facebook “We keep it real from all perspectives. The fun. The wacky. The serious. The sadness. The frustation. ALL OF IT!” OVERVIEW | It started as a page to empower my daughter, to give her a voice. It’s morphed into a family page where we share the real side of our journey with her. I post most of the posts. Em will come on here and there to answer questions and share with the community. I put up information I find and share our experiences both current and past and how we are helping Em transition to more independence and understanding. PAGE THEMES | Information on Autism. What autism is like for us day to day: no sugar coating here. How it affects all family members: Super Amazing Wonder Brother, Super Dad, Me and Em. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | We keep it real from all perspectives. The fun. The wacky. The serious. The sadness. The frustation. ALL OF IT! MAGIC MOMENTS | Getting to see a girl with ASD grow through therapies and maturity. See a family grow closer together and learn to embrace the differences. Empowering a future to look beyond what is a label. MOST PROUD OF | I’m most proud of keeping the page interactive and empowering our fans to ask questions and learn. It’s a very embracing and loving page full of inspiration from everyone. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  32. 32. AUTISM AND OTHER RAMBLINGS ADMIN | Laura LINKS | Facebook “Seeing everyone coming together to support people who need it. That is a wonderful thing to witness.” OVERVIEW | My son was diagnosed with autism at age 2, that’s 2 whole years ago now. When he was first diagnosed, I found so much support and advice on Facebook, via other parents on autism pages. They got me through a hard time and it helped to realize that I wasn’t alone and that this thing they call autism wasn’t actually the end of the world. Now that I have some experience being an autism mum, I decided I wanted to give something back and start a page that would help others in the way I had been helped. There is no substitute for being able to contact those who have encountered situations you may find yourself in and need a little advice on. The Autism community is great for that! PAGE THEMES | Humor! We all So what better way to switch off for at the funnier side of autism. You says or their endearing habits? those ‘relatable’ moments where ‘yep, that’s how it is!’ I also like to the many good things that go along ane we don’t want to CONSTANTLY not taboo…we just try not to focus know autism is a serious, tough life. a moment than to laugh—to laugh know, those funny things your child That’s what I am talking about. All we sit and nod our heads and say look at the inspirational side too, with autism. We all live this 24/7, be reminded about the bad. It’s on it here all the time. People are also able to post questions that they want other’s advice on, or they can post a rant to the wall if they are having a bad day. The page is NOT my page, it is for everyone, to use as they need to at any given time. I encourage everyone to get involved, share with us the victories or use our shoulders to cry on. But humor is always the main theme. We have to be able to laugh, don’t we? It’s not all autism, sometimes I do ramble about other things, like the impossibility of untangling iPod earphones and multiplying coathangers! WHY YOU SHOULD READ | Because there are so many people here who know what your life is like. And it’s good to look at the lighter side, the brighter side, and to not always focus on how hard things are. We are are all there for each other. And because I made an awesome autism minion ;) MAGIC MOMENTS | Seeing everyone coming together to support people who need it. That is a wonderful thing to witness. Seeing those who have needed some support come out the other side because of the encouragement and advice they have received. Priceless. Oh, and my autism minion. MOST PROUD OF | Creating a place where people feel comfortable enough to share their autism lives... to share the joy, the frustration, the hope and the laughter, knowing that they are amongst people who just ‘get it.’ Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  33. 33. ALL THE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN ADMIN | Amber and Jazz LINKS | Facebook “Everyday is a magic moment for us because our page has the potential to change someone’s life for the better.” OVERVIEW | I created All The Beautiful Children to find other parents like myself to relate to. My 10 year old daughter (Krista) is nothing short of amazing and I wanted to share her story as she has turned all of her downfalls into a positive experience. She has Bipolar Type 1 Mixed with Psychotic Features, ADHD, and Rolandic Epilepsy with Secondary Generalized Seizures. My admin *Jazz* also has a special needs child (Syndey) so we have worked together to get our page to where it is today. Although we both have our bad days with our children, we thank God everyday for blessing us with such beautiful and unique girls who make our lives that much more important. PAGE THEMES | All The Beautiful Children is a place where all family members of special needs children can come together. It is important to reassure families of special needs children that they are not alone! WHY YOU SHOULD READ | Our mission is to give all parents of special needs children a place to go when they feel as if they aren’t doing their best, if they are feeling alone, or if they are looking for guidance or encouragement. MAGIC MOMENTS | Everyday is a “Magic Moment” for us because our page has the potential to change someone’s life for the better. It is not about us, it is about those that we help! MOST PROUD OF | We are so thankful for those who have given our page a chance and have trusted us enough to send us messages to ask questions or to tell us how much they enjoy our page and how it has made a positive impact on their lives. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  34. 34. MICAH BOY GENIUS ADMIN | Michael and Jessica aka “Daddy” and “Mama Genius” LINKS | Facebook | Blog | MySpace | Twitter | Donate “...Real thoughts, real feelings, from a real special needs family whose faith has been tested by fire many times and we are still running this race.” OVERVIEW | This is about our son and our family who loves him. It’s about our struggles and victories. We started our page and blog after our son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Micah also has congenital hypothyroidism (CH) and a list of other medical issues due to his late diagnosis of CH. His baby brother also has CH, but has no medical issues because he was diagnosed and treated from birth. PAGE THEMES | You’ll see posts on faith, family, parenting, health, ASD, and CH. We post about Micah’s milestones, struggles, and victories. You may also see the occasional poop story. There is never a dull moment in the “Genius” household. We also have “guest bloggers” who post about their own ASD experiences. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | We are accepting of all people on our page. We have a multicultural family and we don’t play favorites. We don’t pledge allegiance to any one political party, so no debates going on here. We don’t believe in the infamous “cure.” We do believe in recovery for our son’s medical conditions. We believe in ASD awareness and acceptance. We love Jesus and strive to love others just as He loves us. If you read our posts you’ll get a glimpse into what our family holds dear to us - how we stick together. What keeps us from falling apart and giving up. Real thoughts, real feelings, from a real special needs family whose faith has been tested by fire many times and we are still running this race. MAGIC MOMENTS | Social networking has given us the opportunity to connect with the most wonderful people in several special needs communities. We’ve met other families dealing with ASD and CH. We’ve built relationships that will last a lifetime. MOST PROUD OF | Micah’s testimony of faith, love, and endurance is going to help save lives. I truly believe that. His story may even change the course of the way hospitals are required to screen for CH. We won’t stop telling his story until the day he can finally tell it himself. Image by Jadranka Isabel Photography Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  35. 35. A LEGION FOR LIAM ADMIN | Courtney LINKS | Facebook | Website OVERVIEW | I started A Legion for Liam as a way to vent and to help other parents. “I got permission to turn our town blue in honor of autism awareness, and my son Liam had a Light it Up Blue Dance Party where we took the time to educate the neighbor kiddos about autism.” PAGE THEMES | I post anything ASD related. I make a lot of my own inspirational graphics and awareness graphics as well. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I share our life. I am open, I am honest. I share what works for us. I share sensory ideas/crafts that I make with my son. MAGIC MOMENTS | This past April I got the permission to turn our town blue in honor of autism awareness, and my son Liam had a Light it Up Blue Dance Party where we took the time to educate the neighbor kiddos about autism, and also have some fun. He was so excited that he made the news for this. MOST PROUD OF | In the past two years I have accomplished a lot for our community. Not only do I run my Facebook page, but I home school my son, care for my hubby, run a local support group. I have gotten our town sensory friendly movies, sensory Santa Claus and sensory Easter bunny in our town. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  36. 36. SUPPORT 4 PARENTS WITH COMPLEX CHILDREN ADMIN | Judith & Amber LINKS | Facebook | Private Facebook Group “I love hearing from our community members when they have good days, or when their children reach goals they have been working towards...” OVERVIEW | We offer an online support system to a variety of families with a wide range of special needs from all forms of Autism to ADD/ADHD , Anxiety, SPD, ODD, Bipolar Disorder & many more, multiple (comorbid) diagnosis or undiagnosed with complex issues.. PAGE THEMES | We try to keep the posts to helpful resources, links, articles and occasionally share related pages, our own personal experiences with our children including the good, great, bad, and ugly (as we can all relate!), open ended questions that relate to everyday life with special needs kiddos that quite often start great conversations, and sometimes something that pertains to a special needs family topic we admins come across and want to share and open up for discussion. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | We have a great supportive community that is growing more everyday (almost 2,300 strong to date) and active for a little over a year. We welcome questions and asking for advice. And we respect those who want to remain anonymous. My main goal is to help parents, guardians, and caretakers get the support they need for the everyday happenings in our special needs households. As parents of children with special needs, we often feel alone and isolated. It is my mission to reach out and offer a safe haven for finding others in similar situations. MAGIC MOMENTS | I love hearing from our community members when they have good days, their children reach goals they have been working towards, share their beautiful photos, or simply post or messages to us to say thank you and express how much they love our page. I have been blessed in so many ways and have learned so much from our members! It touches my heart when members reach out to vent, need someone to talk to, and feel comfortable and safe sharing their lives with me and the community. MOST PROUD OF | I am most proud of my community members who have stuck by us and are always so supportive and understanding of the lives of others. I am amazed at how much we have grown and continue to grow as we continue on our mission to reach as many special needs families as possible. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  37. 37. JORDAN ALEXIS’S ASPERGERS JOURNEY ADMIN | Judith (Jordan’s mom from Support 4 Parents with Complex Children) LINKS | Facebook “Jordan really loves seeing her following grow, hearing from people on the wall, and making things for me to post! It is great for her self-esteem and motivation.” OVERVIEW | To share the long and ongoing story of my almost 9 year old daughter Jordan Alexis. Previously diagnosed with several psych disorders but recently through a full evaluation found out she in fact is on the high functioning autism spectrum (aka Aspergers Syndrome) along with a learning disability in math. So this is an account of where we have been and the next part of our autism journey from here. PAGE THEMES | The majority of our posts will pertain to Jordan and her everyday life. The good, bad, funny, sad, whatever. I’m not sugar coating anything because that’s what life is like in our household. On occasion I will post graphics I find online or share fellow autism-related pages. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | This is a brand new page and we’re still in the building stages, but I really want people to get to know Jordan. She has come through so much but still has the heart of an angel. No matter the situation, she can make people smile. I will be sharing her stories, from her point of view which is like no other. Once you start seeing the world a little differently, it doesn’t seem quite so bad. Jordan really loves seeing her following grow, hearing from people on the wall, and making things for me to post! It is great for her self-esteem and motivation. MAGIC MOMENTS | We are still new in a little corner of Facebook but we love seeing new people discover us and knowing they are now watching Jordan’s story progress! MOST PROUD OF | I am most proud of my Facebook friends who have followed me on my support page and continue to show us the love and support so many families like mine depend on to make it day by day. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  38. 38. LOVE FOR AUTISM ADMIN | Denise LINKS | Facebook “I sat home the entire day for World Autism Awareness Day and shared every follower that sent me a picture…I made sure every face was seen on my page into the very late hours of the evening.” OVERVIEW | I started this page in honor of my 14 year old son Vincent, who was diagnosed at a year old. I remember feeling so alone back then and threw myself into being a supportive person toward other families going through this. I also became a floor time therapist which led to working as a one-on-one therapist for children with autism. My goal throughout this entire journey was to focus on the positive and get other families to see progress. PAGE THEMES | My page theme is LOVE... WHY YOU SHOULD READ | I post inspirational messages that others share with me, and photos of our family to let people know how proud we are and how much fun you can have with your child if you just accept and learn through the journey. I share ideas that I have picked up along the way, events taking place, new products to check out, tips for their children, and other pages for networking. MAGIC MOMENTS | My magic moment for sure (there have been so many, but this one is best) was when I was asked by a follower of the page (who has become a friend now) to be honored at her autism event. We had a pampered day with great food and vendors, and I got to talk to families and accept an award all for the work I have done at Love for Autism. MOST PROUD OF | I sat home the entire day for World Autism Awareness Day and shared every follower that sent me a picture of their child or family…I made sure every face was seen on my page into the very late hours of the evening. I was not going to leave one family out! Everyone thanked me for showing them the love and compassion, and so did the many families they share their journey with. It was so rewarding. It was worth every minute I put into that day. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  39. 39. PROJECT AUTISM: ACCEPTANCE EQUALS OPPORTUNITY ADMIN | Project Autism Canada LINKS | Facebook | Website “Project Autism is an initiative run totally by volunteers. We host exciting events, plan great programs, all for the betterment of those affected by autism.” OVERVIEW | We are a community, a grassroots ASD family. Project Autism is a place where we address common concerns, and create happy, healthy, safe, social structures for free and low cost opportunities for everyone without large overwhelming overheads. Project Autism’s goal is to offer programs, workshops and events, connecting individuals, while creating strong relationships and uniting the community as a whole. “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” – Yoruba proverb PAGE THEMES | Autism-related news, interesting articles, information on upcoming Project Autism events, ‘I CAN’ programs that are free in the Halton community, workshops for parents, and community issues. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | Grassroots initiative implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures. Project Autism is an initiative run totally by volunteers. We host exciting events, plan great programs, all for the betterment of those affected by autism. MAGIC MOMENTS | Watching a mother of an autistic child sharing stories with another family and laughing together at similar issues. MOST PROUD OF | Seeing our community come together is our proudest moment. It is the reason why we work so hard to keep our families supported. We know that when they are all together—whether it is at a workshop, involved in an ‘I CAN’ program, or making play date plans—we are creating moments that will last forever. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  40. 40. SMART APPS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS ADMIN | Heather LINKS | Facebook | Website | Pinterest | Twitter “We are most proud of the helpfulness of not only our staff, but also of our readers and the developers. We are a community and not just another page about apps and resources.” OVERVIEW | Ron Engel started the page as a resource for individuals working with Special Needs. Readers of Smart Apps for Kids have shown an interest in receiving more information on apps and resources for individuals with special needs. Ron has a special needs child and had some people on staff who dealt with special needs either as an SLP or as a parent. He went on a search for more of us and added a great staff of parents, another SLP, and a teacher. We started the Facebook page and have moved into writing a blog also. PAGE THEMES | We find apps to share and review that we recommend for individuals with Special Needs. We began by focusing on the iTunes market, but are now rating apps for the Android market too. We combine pictures and quotes for uplifting posts and inspiration. We discover a variety of special needs resources online and share those with our followers. Readers submit questions for our daily discussion on our Facebook wall. We also turn these questions and suggestions into reader recommended lists on the blog. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | If you work with individuals with special needs in any capacity, we are a great community for you. You’ll find great resources to use and a community that is supportive and willing to help answer your questions. Tablets are being used a lot for individuals with special needs. We are a great resource to find the apps that you need. MAGIC MOMENTS | As the Special Education teacher on the staff, I have loved the collaboration with SLPs and parents to learn about different perspectives. The willingness of our community to help each other out on our daily discussion questions has been very touching. MOST PROUD OF | We are most proud of the helpfulness of not only our staff, but also of our readers and the developers. We are a community and not just another page about apps and resources. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  41. 41. EFFIN’ AUTISM ADMIN | Melissa LINKS |Facebook|Website |Twitter “I guess you could say I write about the challenges we face. Especially the gross ones. There’s a lot of poop and swearing in my blog.” OVERVIEW | I initially started this page as a secret place to vent. I didn’t share it with anyone. My friends and family all believed I was handling everything so well. To them, I was like the Pollyanna of autism. Well, you know what? When your kid is smearing poop on the couch, you don’t feel very sunny. I needed to rage and curse and not worry what anybody thought, and I didn’t care if anybody read it, either. Then one day, I read a post by another blogger, and it really struck a chord because I’d felt the same way and had even written about it. I shared the link on her page, and then other people commented on my page…and the next thing I knew, I had all of these friends I’d never met before who understood me! It was wonderful to not feel so alone in this. PAGE THEMES | I guess you could say I write about the challenges we face. Especially the gross challenges. There’s a lot of poop and swearing in my blog. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | If you are offended by poop and swearing, I’m not your girl. But I’m as honest as I can be. And I like wine. MAGIC MOMENTS | Whenever anyone says, “Me, too.” I’ve cried reading the comments—even the funny ones, especially the funny ones—because I feel like I’ve found a community. MOST PROUD OF | The one that really got me was when I posted “Eff You For Not Suffering With Me,” which was about resenting my husband for being at work. In my post, I complained that he got to stay overnight at hotels once a week. Then I got messages from military wives thanking me for the post! Here are these women who hold down the fort for months at a time, and instead of telling me to quit whining, they actually said “thank you.” One Navy wife said my post gave her a way to explain her feelings to her husband. I was so humbled and honored by the response. Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  42. 42. AUTISM WITH A SIDE OF FRIES ADMIN | Mama Fry LINKS | Facebook | Website | Twitter “Our lives can be a challenge and this a non-judgey, no mommy wars safe place.” OVERVIEW | Autism with a side of Fries blog is a story of motherhood, humor and autism. Laughing is much better than crying and sarcasm saves my sanity. PAGE THEMES | The companion Facebook page has become a place to share my humor and posts plus a question and answer forum for parents, teachers, therapists, and loved ones of those who love/live with someone with autism. We’re all in it together. WHY YOU SHOULD READ | This is a a fun place to share, support and have a laugh. Our lives can be a challenge and this a non-judgey, no mommy wars, safe place. Agree to disagree is fine. Act like a jerk? There’s the door or I’ll show it to you. So let’s remember it’s much better to laugh than to cry. Got questions? Post them! I’m sure someone here will have info. MAGIC MOMENTS | Sometimes all it takes is a cup of a coffee, a side of fries, and a good chin wag to give you some great perspective. I hope people consider this page a virtual friend who is there for you when you’re down...and just listens and laughs with you. MOST PROUD OF | This wonderful community that has made this page a Babble “Top 30 Autism Facebook Fan Page.” Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License
  43. 43. YOU ARE NOT ALONE If you have an autism or special needs Facebook community you’d like to share, please e-mail us at info@geekclubbooks.com Created By Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books | Autism. Aspergers. Special Needs. Acceptance. | (cc) Creative Commons License

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