Like a lot of people these days, I don’t tune in to the 5 o’clock news to stay plugged in with what’s going on in the world. Instead, I stay connected via social media. It seems like ever since smart phones became the status quo, our lives have been consumed by Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (more so my husband). These platforms, while great entertainment and distractions from things we should be getting done, can also provide news updates and help us connect with others.
For me, in addition to following friends and family, I’m also part of mom groups, autism groups, ABA groups, and business groups. These groups all offer support and allow their members to connect in ways never before possible. In the autism community, I’m always thrilled to see other parents and professionals share their resources with others. If you haven’t already done so, I highly encourage you to join local Facebook groups for resources and support. Some Facebook groups are closed, but a simple request to join should allow you in. Closed groups allow a comfortable space for people to connect.
If you're not sure where to get started, don't worry! Below, you can find some “go to” people and groups I find helpful:
Autism Mom Knows Safety
Also known as @theNatashaBarber on Instagram. She’s such a great resource for parents to follow. She offers tips about wandering and autism safety, and she shares articles and products for parents to implement preventative and proactive strategies. Examples include: digital trackers, alarm systems, identification tattoos (my jaw dropped when I saw Skin Shields).
Life with Greyson + Parker
A recent find. Blogger mom, Chrissy, shares her story about her two boys on the spectrum. Her relatable personality picks me up when browsing through my newsfeed. You’ll find beautiful pictures and videos of her boys, as well as posts from her blog and other helpful resources.
Mary Barbera is the author of the Verbal Behavior Approach, which I absolutely love. I’ve used her book in so many parent trainings reviewing and discussing chapters relevant to family. She’s the mother of a son with autism and a BCBA. Her Facebook page has great links to articles and resources, and she now offers an e-course for parents and professionals, which I haven’t had a chance to check out just yet.
I find myself reading and saving their posts pretty often. Both pages offer insight to ABA for professionals, but also have great insight for parents as well. I’m also part of a few applied behavior analysis groups that offer support in my career.
Pinterest + Instagram
Pinterest and Instagram are both visually pleasing with their how-to photos and behind-the-scenes of how to create beautiful projects: food, crafts… everything under the sun.
On Pinterest, try searching for: autism, visual supports, applied behavior analysis, etc. You’ll find endless amounts of information, which you can narrow down to what suits your style. Be warned, though: It can be very addicting! I often find myself on Pinterest for one purpose and come out with 100 other ideas and projects. If you’re not sure where to start, you can always visit my Pinterest @ParadigmABA. I’ve sorted the pins into the categories below. While clicking through, look at the related pins to find more of what you’re looking for.
- Paradigm Behavior
- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Social Skills
- Behavior Management
- Fun Activities
- Parent Resources
- ABA Activities
- Activities of Daily Living
- Calming Activities
For me, Instagram has been a hub for do-it-yourself and inspirational photos and quotes. Most do not relate to special needs, but almost all come from parents who share resources that help their lifestyle. I’m a DIY-er by heart and have a long wish list of projects in regards to life hacks, visuals + crafts, play, and organization. Here are some people I follow:
The Dad Lab
I am in love with Sergei's feed. He is a full-time dad and takes time-lapse videos of his sons interacting with experiments and creative play. Talk about inspiration!
I just discovered Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while browsing the PBS channel with my 1 year old daughter and found Vroom as one of their sponsors. Their initiative to find teachable moments at home is empowering and aligned with our mission to make positive behavior changes to the home. I highly suggest checking out their resources.
Teaching Special Thinkers
I love seeing the visuals this teacher creates in her autism classroom. It gives me ideas for the kids and parents I see.
I am a wannabe woodworker. I’ve completed a few projects (my dining table), but also have many incomplete projects. Ana White has hundreds of free plans on her site and there are a ton of projects for kids. Following her and @shanty2chic make me feel like I can do anything. My only barrier seems to be time. Do you have time? I’d wish I knew where I could find it!
The Honest Co.
Their quotes make me laugh. “I have nothing in common with people who wash, dry, fold and put their laundry away all in the same day.” I hear ya.
Teaching Playskills Children Autistic Spectrum
by: Melinda J. Smith
This book helped me channel my inner child while working at my first job as an ABA therapist. This book also followed me as a BCBA, training therapists to play and model language. Lastly, this book inspired me to create a playroom with common toys with play ideas and suggestions to model language. You can download these play guides for free.
Autism Internet Modules
Free training! A lot of these modules are used in ABA practice and I rely on them for training therapists and parents. I’ve actually used these modules in my graduate classes. They may be a bit lengthy, but it is worth a visit.
I hope you find these resources as helpful as I do. What sites and pages do you follow?
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