In a little more than two months we have had 525+ people who have joined our Facebook page. This is amazing to us as we started out by sending this out to our immediate Facebook friends, family, and by just talking to anyone we meet about our efforts and directing them to our Facebook site. We have seen people from all over the nation and world join our site and give us amazing support and feedback. We are proud to say that we have recently have been contacted by Babble.com and notified that our Facebook site is listed on their website as #21 on their Top 30 Pages for Autism for 2011. We are also listed as #4 for Top 30 Autism Facebook Fan Pages Most Supportive on this same site. HOW AMAZING AND ENCOURAGING!
This is what they had to say about us:
“Why you'll "like" it: This page, an offshoot of a website founded by the parents of a boy with high- functioning autism, not only provides the usual tips and information about autism and Asperger's as well as links to media coverage, but also culls worthy content from other Facebook pages and blogs, such as this post about friendship and autism or this list of promises to a child with autism — click carefully or you may find yourself in tears. The site also features a well-written blog. Ostensibly dedicated to helping parents find resources in Utah, this page's hopeful message reaches far beyond.”
I also had a friend, who is an educator in our school district, who made my day on Tuesday by letting me know that her class had received copies of our flier to be taken home to their parents for our meeting on April 13, 2011. We had met with the School District about 6 weeks ago and had been hopeful that they would be supportive and get the information out to the kids/families that may needs this. This is proof that it is happening! We are so grateful for their support and the support of the school that our children attend! Without our principal, special education team, and teachers who heard our ideas for our group and gave us a springboard I am not sure where we would be right now.
In this past week we were also told that there were other sites (including Autism Council of Utah), blogs, Facebook pages out there promoting our site and our meeting. We did a Google and Bing search and found that this was true. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WE HAVE AND HAVEN’T MET WHO ARE DOING THIS FOR US! We couldn’t do it without you and your support!
Another exciting thing that has happened to us within the past month is that were also accepted as members of the Autism Council of Utah. We have chosen to take part in some of their committees and feel we can assist in making a difference in the lives of children and adults with this disorder through this venue. This is all so very exciting to us, because we are learning so much. We attended the Annual Autism Council of Utah Meeting and left feeling refreshed and so supported. It was funny when we walked in the door, introduced ourselves to people and they said to us, “Oh, I know who you are! We are so excited for you and your group!” I am hopeful to have great changes and opportunities come my way by the connections made with these amazing people at Autism Council of Utah.
It seems like everywhere we go if we just open our mouths and start talking about Autism and Asperger’s and our group, someone tells us that they have someone in their lives with this disorder and they are so interested and supportive. We have had people from all kinds of professions that want to contribute….those that are in the position to contribute offer and almost beg to take part in our group meetings to provide information and support. All I can say is WOW!
Ultimately, what I am trying to get to is that we never dreamed that our “little project” would change, grow and evolve so quickly into a force that is moving forward at a speed we never expected. We know it will make a difference for our son and for other ASD and Asperger’s kids and adults. We still are small, but we can see that what we have going is powerful and great! The funny thing is that it has taken some work, but mostly it has been just by opening our mouths and telling people our story and ideas for helping these kids. It is amazing how when you “feel the fear and do it anyway” (by the way I love that book) you can do anything you set your mind to and can make things happen, just by asking and being passionate about something. My husband said it best, “ we must beat our drum and beat it loudly for everyone to hear!” I think we are doing that, and I hope to hear a chorus of drums pounding along with us soon!
Once again, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To family, friends, and everyone who has supported us through this process! We are thankful to God! He has given us the gift of our handsome son who is our inspiration, and gives us the faith and strength to keep things in focus and all the “balls in the air.” We are eternally grateful! We hope you all are inspired and gain strength from the information and support provided through our group and internet pages. We hope you will continue to follow us far into the future. Again we encourage you to get out there and BEAT YOUR OWN DRUM!