I am very excited to finally be launching a Facebook group for The Autism Page. I can’t wait to connect more with you all in this community. In this post I will explain a little about why I am setting up the group, who it is for and what you can expect from the group. You will also find the link at the bottom to join the group.
Finding my community
When I began the diagnosis journey with my eldest son I was really lost. I was struggling as a parent, lacking information and didn’t really know where to turn. Then I found Bristol Autism Support a group of local parents offering peer to peer support. It was exactly what I needed, somewhere I could ask questions and get honest answers, a place I was supported by people that understood the issues I faced. A huge amount of that support for me was in the Facebook group.
That Facebook group has since evolved into The Bristol Autism Network which I manage with a fantastic group of admins. I love BAN, it is such a helpful community. However it is a community based around location and for parents and carers only. I want to extend this community with the Autism Page Network. Opening up to members across the UK and also to adults on the spectrum and professionals. I think we all have something to offer each other in terms of support and information.
There is something special about connecting with people over common ground. I love my antenatal group who I bonded with over starting our parenting journeys together. I hope that the Autism Page Network will be a community where people feel they belong and enjoy connecting.
What can you expect from The Autism Page Network
I will be sharing useful and helpful information about autism. Some of that information will be posts from the Autism Page, some will be from other sources. As long as it is reliable, helpful information about autism it is welcome in the group.
I have got some rules which are set out in the code of conduct below. These will be regularly assessed and are always up for discussion with members.
The key for me is about respect, I want a community where we are genuinely helping each other out in a kind and respectful manner at all times.
There will be some regular posts such as Tuesday Tips. Each week we will have a theme for the tips such as sleeping or sensory aids. This is to give us an opportunity to share our top tips with each other.
I will also have Weekly Wins, this is an opportunity for us to share the things that are going well for us and celebrate with each other.
Once a month we will have Sunday stories, there will be a theme and members can share stories relating to the theme.
As it is a brand new group we will see how we get on and add or remove regular posts as appropriate. Members are welcome to post questions and helpful information at any time, the regular posts are designed to get us talking to each other more often.
At the moment all posts will need to be approved by a group admin, this is so that we can monitor discussions more easily. This does mean that posts may not appear straightaway. As the membership grows so will the admin team. You can however comment straight away on posts.
A bit about me
For those that don’t know me I am Jade, 37 year old mum to two boys on the spectrum (4 &6). I live with my husband and kids in Keynsham. A chocolate and food lover so I am constantly battling with my waistline. I am currently at home with my youngest in the day, we spend a lot of time going for muddy walks and visiting local soft plays.
In the evenings I write and manage this website alongside managing Bristol Autism Network. I am also a trustee for Bristol Autism Support and my son’s PTA. I also blog over at the Breakfast Page.
The Autism Page Network Code of Conduct
Autism Focused – keep posts to autism specific topics. If it is useful, helpful information about autism you are welcome to share it here.
Respect – everyone has a right to be heard please post and respond respectfully. If you have to think about whether or not your post or comment is appropriate, it probably isn’t. Also remember all questions are ok to ask and provide respectful answers as this is how we all learn.
Safety – Do not share too much personal information about yourself. Be respectful of your child’s safety, privacy and dignity – do not share too much about your child. Never post pictures of your child unless their face has been obscured. Whilst we make every effort to protect our group members, it is impossible for us to fully vet every member we add. Please be careful with the information that you post.
Confidentiality – We ask that all members respect the confidentiality of other members. What’s said in the group stays in the group. Members are not to share personal information posted in this Facebook group with anyone outside the group. If you are concerned about something that has been posted, please contact a member of the admin team so that the issue can be dealt with. Please do not, under any circumstances, take screen shots of posts in the group.
Selling / Fundraising – The purpose of this group is peer-to-peer support not selling or fundraising and these types of post are likely to be removed and could result in removal from the group. However if you have something that you feel is relevant to share with the group get in touch with an admin.
False / Misleading information Policy: Autism is not an illness and as such it cannot be cured. Anything offering to cure autism is not welcome in the group. There is also no link between MMR and autism so again this false information is not welcome and will be removed.
Equal Opportunities Policy: The Autism Page Network group supports everyone who needs us regardless of race, colour or nationality, ethnic or national origin, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, disability, religion or belief, age or any other ground on which it is or becomes unlawful to discriminate under the laws of England and Wales.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in comments made by those who participate in this group are the personal opinions of the posters and not necessarily of or endorsed by The Autism Page as a whole. All posts will be approved by an administrator and we reserve the right to remove any members not adhering to the community code of conduct.
How to join the Autism Page Network
It is simple, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/theautismpagenetwork and request to join the group. Answer the three questions:
- What is your connection to autism?
- Do you live in the UK?
- By joining this community you automatically agree to read and abide by the code of conduct. Is that OK?
Memberships will be approved regularly.
I hope to connect with you in the network soon I am really looking forward to hearing more from you all.