It was like having your favorite storybook characters come to life. That’s the best way I can describe it.

This past weekend I attended a gathering of people, mostly autism bloggers, who had participated in helping to raise funds for a service dog for Riley, Michelle O’Neil‘s daughter. How powerful it was for me, someone who, less than a year ago, did not personally know anyone who had a child on the autism spectrum. To sit at a table with twelve other parents of ASD children, including bestselling author John Elder Robison, was an incredible experience. I could literally feel the strength and solidarity of purpose. We are connected, and not just the people at that table. We are all connected – fellow bloggers and autism advocates, readers of autism blogs, and all parents of ASD children, no matter where they live or if they have Internet access or not. We all have different journeys, but we share the same goal – to help our children.

I came away from this weekend with a sense of completion, and belonging. When I started this blog almost a year ago, I felt so alone. I wanted so desperately to connect with other people in my shoes. I knew there had to be plenty of other parents of ASD kids out there (1 in 150, so they tell us!), but for ten years – ten years! – I didn’t know that I was already connected. Now I do. Not just with the ones I broke bread with this weekend – all of you. Those who read this blog, and those who don’t. Those who don’t even have access to computers. Whether we know each other or not, no matter where we live, we are part of┬áthis community.

I no longer feel alone. And I hope that in reading my words, all of you out there feel the same way.

14 thoughts on “Connected

  1. Fearless Females

    I’m glad you had fun with your friends… sounds like a nice bunch of girls, and good friends.

    It was too bad we couldn’t connect–I live so close–perhaps next time…

  2. kyra

    so wonderful to meet you! yes. the need to connect is powerful. and it was amazing to have that opportunity with you and all the other lovely women!

  3. M

    I’ve been waiting to read your perspective on the event. I was glad you had a chance to get out, go all that way, do some serious mingling. Sounds like you had a very good time. It’s just been interesting to read the accounts from various participants…the warmth and sense of connection everyone describes…very powerful stuff. Also, sounds like everyone enjoyed that Tanya lady…she was apparently a big hit. I can understand why.

    Anyway…hope you’re rested up, having a good start to the week.

  4. Yvonne

    Wow! I’m so glad you feel connected – I guess I was lucky to have met women my own age who also had sons with autism in the early years – we still have a bond that will always be tight. Don’t know what I would do without them!

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