They say it takes a village to raise a child. That’s especially true for parents of children living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Finding a community of not just medical experts, but people who intimately understand the unique challenges of parenting a child with autism, can make all the difference.
That’s what you’ll find on this year’s winning blogs that shed light on living with autism. 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. Post 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 sons with autism, and Rob is unapologetically direct about its many ups and downs.
Melissa is a teacher of moderate to severe special education classes for fourth to sixth graders. She started her blog as a place to share all of the ideas and creations she’s implemented in her classroom. It’s become a wonderful resource for other teachers — and parents — who understand that working together is the best way to develop curricula that will help students with special needs succeed. Posts range from everything you need to know about a “calm down kit” to “motivating kids with zero motivation.”
Stimey is a mother and wife, a runner and spin enthusiast, a blogger since 2007 — and a woman living with autism. She was diagnosed in 2012, and writes about her experiences not only with autism, but life in general (everything from knee surgery to learning Spanish). Her posts are funny and honest, offering a personal peek into the life of this busy, active woman. In her bio, Stimey says she believes “autism may be different than you think, and that if you have a choice between laughing and crying, you should always try to laugh — although sometimes you may have to do both.”
Parents of children with autism will find a valuable perspective on Jessica’s blog. Her oldest child was diagnosed more than 12 years ago, and today, Jessica writes that her family no longer eats, sleeps, and breathes autism. It’s still a part of their life, but it defines neither their daughter nor their family. Her advice and insight into parenting a child with autism are invaluable.
Finding Cooper’s Voice is where blogger Kate chronicles her experience as a mother of two boys, one of whom has severe, non-verbal 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 content is provided by those with autism, 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.
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. Ethan’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.
Jenny is the mother of two boys with sensory processing disorder (SPD), and her blog has become a full-blown online sensory community. In addition to writing about her own family’s experiences, Jenny shares current news, practical tips and advice for parents of kids with SPD, and links to countless other blogs, books, podcasts, guides, and other helpful resources.
The goal at The Autism Site was to create awareness about the ever-growing number of children and families dealing with the challenge of autism. It also offers a way to help, with donations going directly to help provide therapy for those who need it. Visitors will find current news and articles relating to autism collected from across the web.
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 people with autism, 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 those with autism. Article topics are varied, with recent posts covering the role of cannabis as an autism treatment and the effect of autism on marriage.
If you have a favorite blog you’d like to nominate, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Timmons has been a writer and editor for more than 10 years. She writes, edits, and consults for a great group of steady and growing clients as a work-at-home mom of four, squeezing in a side gig as a fitness co-director for a martial arts academy.