CARY, N.C., Feb. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As autism rates continue to grow throughout the US and around the world, there are more treatment options than ever before. While greater research, awareness and acceptance has taken place, there is also a growing divide among the community. Now, the largest online resource for the autism community, National Autism Network, has issued an open letter calling for a more collaborative, unified community.
"Over the past year, we have seen a huge division within our population. Advocacy groups protest one another, discussions on our Forums and throughout the social media landscape often turn heated, and we even argue about the language that we all use to describe individuals on the spectrum. The simple question: 'Is an individual autistic or do have they have autism?' causes great debate," said Cari DeCandia, co-founder of National Autism Network.
While opinions about autism causes and treatments may always differ, DeCandia says it's vital that the community come together in the spirit of collaboration. A portion of her letter states:
As parents, we would do absolutely anything for our children and just want what's best for them. We also understand that individuals on the spectrum want to be accepted for who they are and not 'cured' - that autism is a part of them and what makes them unique. As providers, we work tirelessly everyday trying to make a difference in the lives of those affected by autism. We all, as a community, are coming from the same place, and ultimately, we all want the same things. What is different is the path we choose to get there.
Sometimes we get so caught up in what believe to be true, that it is difficult to be open to other's points of view if it doesn't help to prove our own point. If we collaborated, instead of taking a blind eye to other's opinions and thoughts, would we be in a better position to answer the questions that are being asked? Would we be a stronger and more unified community?
We believe that we would be. The National Autism Network was created to provide an environment for every person affected by autism to be able to connect with others, share information, stories, best practices and ultimately learn from each other. It is our mission to help unite and empower our community and we ask you as members to open your hearts and your minds and simply listen to each other and other's points of view. Let's all work together instead of against each other and make a stronger autism community.
In addition to being the largest online resource for the autism community, National Autism Network also offers the first and only HIPAA secure social network designed for the autism community. To read the full letter or to learn more about National Autism Network, visit www.NationalAutismNetwork.com.
About National Autism Network:
National Autism Network is the largest online resource for the autism community. Founded in 2011, its mission is to unite and empower parents, providers, family members and individuals on the autism spectrum by providing a growing community rich in knowledge and expertise with a common goal of working together to make a difference in the lives of those affected by Autism.
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SOURCE National Autism Network