New autism site connects parents with providers

I am pleased to introduce guest blogger Eric Peacock. Eric is the General Manager of a new site recently launched for the Autism Community called MyAutismTeam. The site, which helps connect parents with providers, is free and was launched in partnership with Autism Speaks, Easter Seals and Parents Helping Parents.

Join MyAutismTeam

by Eric Peacock

Seven years ago I got a crash course in autism. The biotech I worked for received funding to do a massive genetic study of autism and, at just about the same time, my nephew Nicholas was diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

What stands out most from that experience was not the excitement of bringing cutting edge technology to autism genetics, but rather the utterly backward, painful process my brother and his wife (and all parents of kids with autism) had to go through to find good providers and services for their son. There was no one place to go to learn about great providers and resources for autism. The school district balked at the idea of having to pay for special services for Nicholas. My brother and his wife scoured the community for tips on providers and resources, fought for services and coverage, and stayed awake at night worrying they weren’t doing enough for their son. It took years to get the right team in place for Nick – precious years that could have been productively used to help Nick.

Sound familiar? Even today, seven years later, parents of children with autism are going through this same frustrating experience. They feel alone, and worst of all, they feel like they are re-inventing the wheel. This is the inspiration behind www.MyAutismTeam.com, a free site launched in April with a very simple mission & belief: It should be easy for parents of children with autism to find the best providers around to help them

Here’s how it works. On MyAutismTeam parents can

  • find other parents in the autism community near them & read their stories
  • see the providers (the “autism teams”) other parents use & recommend
  • ask questions and share tips about providers
  • communicate directly with other parents on the site
  • search a directory of over 30,000 autism providers and autism-friendly businesses nationwide – including all of the providers in the Autism Speaks and Easter Seals databases

We’ve been amazed by how broad and varied the “teams” are that parents pull together for their children: occupational therapists, swimming teachers, respite providers, barbers who “get it”, you name it!

We’ve just opened the beta of MyAutismTeam to all parents and providers in the autism community across the United States. Hundreds of parents are joining each week, and nearly every one adds a new provider we didn’t know about before.

Join MyAutismTeamand begin exchanging recommendations with other parents in the autism community, and please share our link with anyone you know that could benefit from the site. You’re not alone and you shouldn’t have to re-invent the wheel!


 

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