Once in a blue moon you come across something that makes you think, 'This is the find of the century!' Okay, this particular thing may not be the find of the century, but it certainly is my best find of 2009 and it is 'Autism Hangout' created and hosted by Craig E. Craig is an incredibly down to earth, intelligent, caring, humble man who (by choice, mind you) has become the parent of a child on the autism spectrum. On September 8th, 2007, Craig was welcomed into the family of DeAnne and her son Nolan who is a young man on the autism spectrum. Apparently soon after that, Craig decided to offer something to the autism community by creating a website whose goal is, 'Transforming individuals in need into a community of care.'
Autism Hangout is dedicated to bringing timely, relevant news, resources and hope to those affected by autism.
I have never met Craig, DeAnne and Nolan, and possibly never will, but I truly love this family. Spend a little time on Autism Hangout and I'm sure that you will too.
Along with community resources such as a discussion forums, blogs, groups, and events, Autism Hangout brings the very best in Video Reporting. There are video reports from various specialists in the Sensory Processing Disorder field, educators, service providers, and PARENTS who share their triumphs, hopes, fears and dreams, as only the parent of a special needs child can.
On Autism Hangout is posed a video interview that Craig did with SERVICE DOGS OF MINNESOTA. It brought tears to my eyes to see how these people were utilizing service dogs, to improve the quality of life for families of children with autism.
I know a woman for whom the gift of a service dog, as described in this video, would have made a vast difference in her life. She had a son with autism who, before receiving vestibular swinging in Occupational Therapy, was only able to sleep approximately two to three hours at night. Due to the fact that he might actually leave the home and wander off, (there was not sufficient support in place, and drugging the child was, for her, out of the question), the mother also had only a few hours of sleep every night for a period of approximately three years. Years. Sleep deprivation is a very common problem among the parents of children with autism and having access to a service dog with the above mentioned training could make a dramatic improvement in their quality of life. What important information this is.
I am very grateful for what Autism Hangout provides to the autism community. When we view everyone's children as our children, and everyone's needs as our own, there is nothing we cannot overcome together, and autism is definitely a disorder that is not going away anytime in the near future.
I hope you can show your support of Autism Hangout as it strives to bring the most current information and services to the autism community, and the broader community who empathizes with the needs of these children, and their families.
Submitted by Anonymous
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