They say it takes a village to raise a child. That’s especially true for parents of autistic children. Finding a community of not just medical experts, but people who intimately understand the unique challenges of parenting an autistic child can make all the difference.
That’s what you’ll find on this year’s winning blogs that shed light on living with autism spectrum disorder. They were all chosen for their active intention to educate, inspire, and empower.
As the world of autism spectrum disorders continues to shift, the Seattle Children’s Autism Center works to keep parents and caregivers up to date. In addition to serving as a reliable and current resource on autism, the blog is a place for engagement and community. Topics are varied and useful, coming from a provider’s perspective while remaining respectful to the understanding that opinions can vary greatly when it comes to different aspects of autism.
Rob Gorski has three sons on the autism spectrum, and he writes candidly about the good and not-so-good experiences of their daily family life. His posts are often short and direct, a quick description of something that happened that day or a decision the family is facing. It’s a transparent glimpse into the life of a father raising autistic sons, and Gorski is unapologetically direct about its many ups and downs.
Finding Cooper’s Voice is where blogger Kate chronicles her experience as a mother of two boys, one of whom has severe, nonverbal autism. She began writing as a way to manage her feelings of isolation and ended up building a village of support for both herself and her son. Her blog has become a safe, humorous, and honest place for other parents to celebrate the unique challenges that come with parenting a child with special needs.
The Art of Autism is a nonprofit organization and international collaboration that exists to connect people through the arts by showcasing the creative abilities of those on the autism spectrum. The art shown here comes in many forms, including blog posts, visual art, poetry, book and film reviews, and video submissions. The organization looks for multiple viewpoints, which means the content is provided by autistic people, their parents or siblings, caregivers, and therapists.
Alicia Trautwein is an autism and parenting coach and the creator of The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families. This is where she shares her expertise in parenting children with and without autism, which comes from both professional and personal experience. After her youngest two children were diagnosed, she looked online for personal accounts of raising multiple children on the spectrum. When she couldn’t find the information she was looking for, she launched The Mom Kind to spread awareness and help other parents.
The Journey Through Autism
Ethan Hirschberg was diagnosed at age 2 with high-functioning autism. Now 17, he writes about his life with special needs, none of which are getting in the way of his goals. Hirschberg’s posts are an interesting mix of his daily life experiences and his ideas for improved interaction among educators, pathologists, and other caregiver roles. His blog also features guest posts from expert contributors.
The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is a project of the Myers-Rosa Foundation, an organization dedicated to autism advocacy, education, and community support. The blog is a collection of autism news and resources from autistic people, their parents, and autism professionals.
Autism Parenting Magazine is a leading publication for parents of children on the spectrum, and this is where it shares previously published articles that focus on issues affecting autistic people. Article topics are varied, with recent posts covering the role of cannabis as an autism treatment and the effect of autism on marriage.
Kaylene George is an autistic mother to six neurodiverse children under 10 years of age. Aside from sharing what it’s like to raise a son on the autism spectrum, George shares her struggles and successes with parenting as someone who is on the spectrum herself. The mission of her blog is to share these insights, as well as to better empower other parents who have autistic children via helpful parenting and advocacy skills. Rather than being labeled an autism parent, George proposes an inclusive mindset of being an autism ally, too.
As a seasoned teacher for students in general education and special education classrooms, Jenn has realized that independence is a skill often overlooked when teaching autistic children. Throughout her blog, Jenn provides best practices that teachers can use for encouraging independent skills in autistic students, including reading, organization, and classroom management. While the blog is primarily geared toward teachers, parents will also find the resources valuable to use at home for their autistic children. Simply sign up with your email so you can have these resources available as you need them.
The goal of The Autism Helper is to provide materials to help autistic students succeed in school and beyond. Aside from general education subjects, teachers, and clinicians can find social-communication activities and handouts, as well as tips for individualized education program (IEP) adherence and daily routines. Parents may also find the organization’s blog helpful for coming up with activities and supplemental schoolwork. You can also check out additional blog topics by season, as well as special topics such as literacy and communication skills.
Teachers, homeschooling parents, and therapists alike may find the resources on Teaching Autism extremely helpful in curriculum development. Here, visitors can find blog posts and podcast episodes on a variety of topics, including classroom routine best practices, scripting, effective story time, and more. While the U.K.-based organization offers a lot of free resources, visitors also have the option of purchasing autism-focused worksheets and packets for general education, social skills, holidays, and more.
Purple Ella, a mother who herself is autistic, writes and shares videos about her family’s diagnoses and lifestyle in this practical, yet relatable blog about autism. Here, readers can learn more about topics such as what it’s like to be an autistic college student, how to manage autism with chronic illness, handling bullying, and more. Purple Ella also hosts other blogs related to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and chronic fatigue, which may offer additional insights for families whose loved ones have multiple disabilities.
Neuroclastic is a nonprofit organization that offers information for neurodivergents, all written from the perspectives of autistic people. Formerly known as The Aspergian, the Neuroclastic blog usurps the traditional autism advice website by outlining the dangers of “cure talk” and “harmful advocacy” posed to the autistic community while also exploring the intersections of disability with racism, sexism, and more. On this blog, readers will also find a sense of community while also learning important tips for safety, self-care, and navigating relationships.
As the name of this blog suggests, Autistic and Unapologetic is geared toward increasing awareness, understanding, and the embracing of autism. Originally founded by James Sinclair, an autistic man, the blog offers a wide range of topics, such as an in-depth look at why many autistic people love trains, understanding sensory overload and aggression, how to handle work get-togethers as an autistic person, and more. As a bonus, readers can learn about autism and current events, entertainment, and books.
As an autistic artist, Sonia Boue explores all of the topics that intersect with these two identities. On her blog, The Other Side, readers will learn more about Boue’s creative pursuits, but also learn more about autism from the insights of an adult on the spectrum. Boue explores self-care and other practical concerns, as well as more philosophical topics such as identifying neurodiversity with social disability. Access, social justice, and representation are also explored within the context of autism.
Eileen Lamb, an autistic mother who also has a son on the autism spectrum, established The Autism Café as a way to provide practical advice for raising autistic children while also discussing the ups and downs of her own family’s journey. Parents who have children on the spectrum will read about tips related to sleep schedules, socializing, therapies, and more. Lamb also shares what it was like for her to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as an adult, which can provide further insights for readers in all stages of their autism journeys.
James Guttman is a writer, quintuple bypass survivor, and autism parent. His website, “Hi Blog! I’m Dad” focuses on increasing autism awareness and advocacy efforts, along with self-care guidance for physical and mental health. He shares relatable stories about the everyday lives of his family, including good days and bad ones. Readers will find Guttman’s writing sincere, and sometimes blunt and humorous, all the while educational about what it’s like to raise children who are verbal and nonverbal.
The Color of Autism Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information and assistance to Black families living with an autistic child. Even though autism affects children of every race, Black children are often diagnosed later or are misdiagnosed. The ultimate goal of this organization is to help African American families recognize the signs of autism so their children can get the proper help as early as possible. Knowing how to be an advocate for your child is important, and The Color of Autism Foundation is here to help.
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