Jen: Online Community Connections
When my son was diagnosed we didn’t have mobile phones or computers. Because of my son’s challenging behaviour life could be very isolating. The few books in the library portrayed very negative stereotypes.
But with the birth of the internet things have changed. I have a wealth of information at my fingertips. I have taken part in various consultations and joined several campaigns. There are discussion boards, forums and email support groups! You can ask questions, exchange ideas, keep up to date with research and be part of a community. You no longer have to feel alone.
I started blogging a few years ago to share the experiences of my son as he made the transition to adulthood. Through my blog I have made many online friends, expressed opinions, shared information, had discussions and learnt much from others, as well as raising positive awareness as I have tried to show even with behaviour that is challenging my son can have a good quality of life. Through the internet I have given my preverbal son a voice.
More recently I succumbed to Facebook and Twitter – which has proved to be a valuable source of information, activities, expression, inspiration and support. I was a bit nervous to start with as I am not the most social of people but Facebook is what you make of it and is an excellent way of quickly and easily being able to keep up to date. A great way to share knowledge and so encouraging better practice.