Maximize MyAutismTeam by sharing a little bit about yourself. This article will help you get started meeting great people on MyAutismTeam. When making new connections and fostering friendships, it’s always useful to start with oneself.
Begin with you. Consider the value of customizing your own profile on MyAutismTeam. Whenever we hear something kind or insightful from someone, we have a natural tendency to want to know the person who said it. A photo of yourself adds personality at a glance and builds trust in the community. Your profile photo can be a large part of your identity on the site. To add your photo, just select the photo icon over your profile photo at the top left, then select a photo from your computer.
Add your story to your profile. Your story is another way for others to get to know a little bit about you. You choose what you want to share. Facts some people share in their MyAutismTeam story might include their family members, work and relationship situation, hobbies, how they deal with bad days, and any advice they have for other parents of children with autism.
Explore. A good first step to take when exploring MyAutismTeam is to browse around before jumping in. There’s nothing wrong with getting the “lay of the land.” Figuring out who’s active and how they are active is a great way to get to get a feel for the community. However, at some point, once you’ve figured it out, you should participate. Participating means commenting on other people's posts and sharing your own. Why is this important? It lets people know you're there, contributes to the overall tone of the site, and builds up trust with others. No one is here to judge. If anything, this is a place where others understand, vent, and share the small daily victories. It can be encouraging and uplifting to be a part of it.
You’ll be surprised how far sharing a little bit about yourself can go toward building trust among others in the MyAutismTeam community.
What brings you here? Before saying ‘hi’ to someone on the site, consider why you want to connect with others. People on MyAutismTeam are initially drawn here out of curiosity and hope. They want to tackle the everyday challenges of parents with children on the spectrum. To do this, they want to get perspective on what others go through by reading updates. They want to support others, share their day, and feel supported in return. As a bonus, they may find others in their neighborhood or even across the country who share their interests. All of these experiences build a great foundation for connecting with others on MyAutismTeam. Knowing what you want out of MyAutismTeam makes it easier to break the ice with others.
Meet other parents near you or whose children share a similar diagnosis. You can use the Find Parents feature on the site to filter search results for people by location, diagnoses, and even treatments. Once you find other parents like you, take a moment to read their story. When you click on a person’s name on the site, you’ll be taken to their page. At the top of the page is their “story.” There you can learn more about each person.
Read and comment on someone’s story. When you read someone’s story, you realize that it makes you feel better – not because it solves your problem, but because you find someone you can relate to. By “liking” and commenting on another's story, you’re letting them know you “get it” or that you appreciate the time they took to share their personal story.
Connect by acknowledging. The most effective connections we see on the site are made when people comment on each others’ updates, or “like,” or “hug,” or all of the above. Another level of connecting is “saying hi.” Saying hi shows you have taken a moment to learn about the other person through acknowledging what they’ve already shared about themselves on the site through their story, comments, or updates. Another way to acknowledge is to share what you have in common with the other person. Post on someone’s page on MyAutismTeam or comment in the activity stream. See what happens.
Welcome others to the site. You’ve seen them, you’ve been them – the new person on the site who works up the nerve and shyly writes in their first update, “This is my first post, I’m new here …” Welcome them! It sure takes guts to write that first post. Doesn’t it feel good to be received and warmly welcomed by others? It’s like being at a housewarming party you’ve been invited to, but you're not sure who to talk to. You can always feel good about welcoming new people to the site. It’s a great feeling.
Add people to your team. Anyone can add anyone else to their team. This is a simple way to keep track of others you’d like to get to know better or view whenever they post updates. It’s also a nice gesture between people. Be sure to let them know how you are doing by updating regularly!
Ask questions of others, and give and get answers. Gain a wealth of knowledge from other parents on the site and on your team! You can search by topic to find the questions that interest you, or ask your own. If you see a question someone has asked that you have an answer to, chime in.
Add providers to your team. Your team might include your neurologist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, or other health practitioner. Listing your providers on MyAutismTeam is a great way of helping other parents near you learn more about resources you find valuable. You may even have providers in common with each other.
How do you like to connect with people on MyAutismTeam? What ways have worked for you?
Next: Take a tour of our community guidelines! It's an easy way to become familiar with – and get the most out of – MyAutismTeam.