We Are Here: An Online Community Mobilizes To Help Its Own

A few months ago, I started writing my story in the form of this blog. I didn't know then and still do not know where it will lead me, but along the way I discovered a fulfilling, new community of friends. We live across America and across the globe, and we speak to each other daily in 140 characters or less.

Since most of us are connected as parents of children with special needs or even as inspiring adults on the spectrum, we have a bond of empathy and shared experience, so 140 characters is all we need (a
nd we don't have much time for more).
 

When we have more to say, we often blog it. When I logged into Blogger for the first time, I had no idea - or maybe just didn't really care - that I was pretty much entering a foreign country with its own politics, language and monetary system (think likes, retweets, follows and sponsors instead of dollars and cents). However, perhaps because membership in this particular niche is so bittersweet, this community embraces newcomers warmly, even though they might need some TSL lessons first (Twitter as a second language).

The truth is that many of us feel more connected with this empathetic online community than we do IRL. So while I had no intention of taking on yet ANOTHER cause in my life beyond those living in my house, I am motivated to do what any good neighbor does - help in times of need. I also have adopted the group zeitgeist. One person's outrage becomes group outrage, and we all know that hell hath no fury like an online community scorned.

Today, I am sharing two important posts that have changed my worldview. Both were generated by my fellow bloggers who know:

1. The stylus is mightier than the sword.
2. The world is a rough place - especially for those struggling to navigate it --but we've got each other's back.

Take a look:


When Teachers Are The Bullies: It's About Dignity

Please watch Akian's story. It's hard. You probably will cry. You will be outraged. It's what keeps me up at night. (Metaphorically, of course...we all know that I have two actual, crazy kids keeping me up at night. But this too!) Still, I implore you to watch. How is is possible that people like this are teaching children? It's about dignity!

 

Calling All Bloggers: To "I Wish I Didn't Have Aspergers" - An AutismPositivity2012 Flash Blog Event

Whether you believe you are a qualified participant in this Autism Positivity "Flash Blog" or not, take a moment to think about how you would respond to this person...or to any person who expresses that they wish they were someone else. To someone who must live with an unwelcome identity that they cannot change. I can't wait to read all of the wonderful blog posts next Monday. I have no idea yet what I will write, but I so badly want to do it. After all, one day this could be my child.


I hope and pray that Akian's family and the nameless Googler  -- as well as all those whom they inevitably represent -- find some comfort, support and camaraderie among this amazing community, just as I have.

 

My blog: My Whac-A-Mole Life at http://whac-a-mole-life.com
Twitter: @whacamolelife
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whacamolelife

 

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