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Autism Grandparents and Autism Blogs

Google “autism blogs” and you’ll see lots of sites including sites that list the top 10 autism blogs, top 40 autism blogs, and even top 100 autism blogs.

Now Google “autism blogs for grandparents” or “blogs for autism grandparents” and you’ll be able to find only one blog for grandparents – the site on which this article is being published: I haven’t been able to find even one other ongoing series of articles written specifically for autism grandparents. Ditto for “blogs for special needs grandparents.”

BUT, we autism grandparents can help our grandchildren by spending time reading various autism blogs. Why? Because we can learn things that can be valuable to our grandchildren’s parents – and of course valuable to us in our relationships with our autistic grandchildren. Our grandchildren’s parents are usually so consumed with daily challenges that they don’t have time to explore blogs – or to do much of any sort of autism research. I’ve found several productive things just by exploring autism blogs that I’ve passed on to my granddaughter’s (Angelina) parents that they wouldn’t have known about otherwise – things that have had a positive impact on Angelina’s life. For example, a blog is where I got the idea for one of Angelina’s favorite learning activities that involves containers of water and food coloring. I’ve found a couple of her favorite books on blogs, an autism book that has been helpful to her parents, and insider advice for IEP meetings that has been helpful for Angelina and her parents.

So where do we autism grandparents begin? Which blogs are best? Which blogs can we trust? Unfortunately there is no guidebook. It has to be intuitive. Following are a few things that I’ve learned from continually browsing autism blogs.

  1. Titles can be misleading. I don’t refer anyone else to a specific blog until I first read it myself. For example, following are some seemingly obvious titles of blog articles that I discovered just today, but haven’t yet read: “Using Video Technology to Support Autistic Individuals,” “Successful Adulthood Starts in Childhood,” “The Do’s and Don’ts of Overcoming Sensory Issues at the Dentist,” and “8 Ways Yoga Therapy Can Benefit Children With Autism.” Hopefully each of these articles is helpful regarding the specific topic, but I’ve learned that some are not.

  2. Be skeptical of miracle therapies. Just as the prevalence of autism is increasing, so is the number of miracle therapies that are being praised – and it seems that all of them find their way into autism blogs. Here’s what I do when I read about a therapy that sounds miraculous: I simply Google the name of the therapy followed by the word “controversy” – for example, “Son-Rise Program Controversy.” (That’s a real therapy program that’s apparently praised by lots of autism families.) If there are problems with the therapy, Google will find them.

  3. Offering stuff for sale is not an indicator of a blog’s value. I’ve found that there a lot of autism blogs that provide opportunities for us to part with our money: to buy books and t-shirts, to donate to good causes, to participate in workshops, etc. I’ve also learned that commerce and philanthropy are not indicators of a blog’s value or quality. So I don’t let that turn me off. In fact, one of my very favorite blogs is the ongoing series of articles written by Dr. Mary Barbera, a Board-Certified Behavioral Analyst and Ph.D. holder whose website offers a full range of commerce. Another blog site that offers commerce and philanthropy is “Finding Cooper’s Voice” which is widely praised and beloved.

My bottom-line suggestion for autism grandparents is to simply spend time exploring autism blogs. For me, a half hour of exploration every two or three days for a couple of months was enough to make me feel comfortable in the autism blogosphere and to find some blogs that I like. We can find things on blogs that can be helpful to our grandchildren and their parents.



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