The first online community is an Autism Support Group that is dedicated to family members and friends dealing with Autism. It is a community where family members and friends can come together to give advice, share information and ask each other questions about Autism. The online community offers many ways of interacting and sharing knowledge with others who are dealing with the same or similar issues. It is a chance to share with others who are in the same situation as you and who can understand you.
Within this community you are able to post comments on the discussion forum. You are then able to comment on each other’s posts to give advice or answer questions. This is the way in which everyone is able to interact with each other. The site also offers articles and videos on autism to be uploaded by members to promote awareness and help build on peoples knowledge. I liked this community page as it’s easy to navigate around and anyone is welcome to join. It is easy to join and contribute to the page. The community is seeking to join family members and friends affected by autism together so that they have support and can share similar thoughts and experiences.
Link to this community: http://www.mdjunction.com/autism
The next online community I found was Altogether Autism. This website is for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, families and whanau, friends of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and anyone in the community who wants to know more. The websites main purpose is to inform you about the services available for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, people who can give you advice and where you can find more information. It is different from the online community above as it is not in a set out where there is a forum in which you can share ideas. It however is a place for people to go to find out more information. The site offer you links in which you can explore to find out organisations and individuals who provide a range of services which may support people with ASD. The site has articles in which you are able to read. It has a section on questions people ask that you are able to click onto and find out the answers. The site enables you to be up-to-date with news and events and you are able to subscribe to their news letter. I think this online community is a great base for those who have autism or know someone with Autism to look at. From here they are pointed in the right direction to finding out services available, new and events and information about the disorder. People are unable to contribute information themselves unlike the majority of online communities however I feel this is still a great online community that holds alot vital information.
The next online community I came across was AutismSpot-Empowering the Autism Community. This blog site is dedicated to providing parents, educators, professionals and those living with Autism with unbiased, comprehensive information. The purpose of this community is to provide information on the best practices, therapies, education opportunities, resources and home programs from people all over the world. It is a place to seek information and offer support to others by building a community that brings hope through expert advice. The site offers videos, news, blogs and forums. Once you become a member you are able to post discussions onto the forum and comment on other posts as well. This is the way in which people are able to communicate to share their knowledge, experience and personal stories. Communication through these forums is the foundation to building an online community like AutismSpot.
Link to this Community: http://www.autismspot.com/
Ethical Issues to consider:
The benefits of the online communities; AustimSpot and the Autism Support group include:
-People are able to share personal experiences and relate to each other
-People are able to give advice and answer each other’s questions
-You are able to post questions of concerns in which people in similar situations are able to answer.
The benefits of all three communities I have discussed include:
-They are base in which people can go to find links and resources that they can then explore
- You are able to learn from others in similar situations who understand what you are going through
-Can be accessed at all times
Limitations for online communities include:
-People who do not have knowledge on blogging and posting comments may find it difficult in doing so
-People may comment negatively on the online blog and abuse the privileges of the online community