Friday, December 29, 2006

The Blogosphere As Parenting Resource

The blogosphere's value as a resource grows as the web medium matures. Out here you can find lots of fellow parents who share useful information. There are directories of such blogs (see Autism Hub, Technorati, Top 10 Sources and the Autism Bloggers Ring for examples) and if you wanted to, you could easily lose yourself in the virtual stacks. It's also possible within a short time to find what most interests you, whether that means reading about one family's experiences, studying a parent-scientist's take on new research or seeking news and information. I hope from time to time to share some useful and interesting links to other autism-centric blogs. Here are three:

1., is a series of audio interviews hosted by Michael Moll, a classroom teacher who has a son with autism. His recent interview with Mike Bernoski, the dad who went to lobby for the Combating Autism Act at Congressman Joe Barton's office with a video camera, is typical of his efforts to share information that is both interesting and empowering to other parents and their families. (Example question: why did you look so calm on the video? Answer: "If you start screaming and looking nutty, it's human nature that people will instantly go to the other side of whatever it is you are saying.")

2. Bartholemew Cubbins on Autism is the nom-de-blog of a parent who also happens to be a scientific researcher. He delivers short commentaries using his voice over videos, including scientific analysis of research he finds interesting for its rigor or problematic for its lack of same. He has a particular dislike for what he describes as the undocumented promises chelation experts peddle to parents desperate for a fix. But my favorite of his posts is the answer to the question, "What do I do for therapy with my child?" (Check it out here.) Some of the answers: swimming, playing keyboard, soccer ball kicking. He's answering the intensity of the question with the calm idea of having fun with our kids.

3. Whitterer on Autism is by mcewen, a British expat in California, mother of four, including two children on the autism spectrum. She manages to convey a sweet sense of humor both in her posts and in the photos she chooses to include. If you have only time for one short essay, read "7 Tips - Coping mechanisms for parents of children who have just been diagnosed with autism" and pay attention to the last one:

7. Seek out aforementioned child/[ren], the same child/[ren] who now owns a new label. Hug and kiss that same child/[ren] with or without labels.

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