It’s now been 15 months since we started work on the American Military Families Autism Support project and much of it has been spent dealing with frustration. That said, we are happy to finally offer our military community initial operating capability of the AMFAS Base Resource, http://amfas.org/wiki a wiki-based endeavor that is part of a multi-step communication effort for families. This is the first phase of this Web 2.0 project.
The idea is simple: build a resource that has information on every base worldwide that families can reside at with their autistic children and provide information about what is available there.
Like many military families dealing with autism, priorities of life, family, military service and all that you scrunch into your day can become overwhelming. A lot of things have taken place in the last few days that led to pushing this out.
You see, this is the time of year when people in the military are getting their summer assignments for permanent changes of station, commonly referred to as a PCS move.
Because of this impending deadline to bring people into the fold and start assisting families with information, a decision was made to launch the first phase of this project, even before completed. At a forward-deployed location building a new headquarters, one commander referred to this process of standing up initial operating capability as trying to build an airplane while it is already in flight.
Your first question will probably be, “Where is all the content? I thought you were providing a resource.”
These days people are used to Googling information and having everything at their fingertips without any cost or effort. This mindset will disappoint temporarily, because this project is based upon people at all of these locations.
The short answer is that we are the content. The concept of building community is everyone being a part of and contributing to its growth. The military uses this concept to accomplish missions and we’ll use this to accomplish ours, but only if you are a part of it.
If you are at a base, you can tell people what’s there. If you need information, someone else can help you. This way we all help each other as a community, providing contact information for base and local services covering a full spectrum of treatment and support options for all ASD families. An example of what we want to accomplish can be seen on the Lackland Air Force Base page here.
In much the same way as our families hand-crafting GFCFSF baked goods or finding what works for our children, this resource isn’t premanufactured. It is built with love and hope and commitment to make lives better for our military families with autism.This Web 2.0 concept will ensure that all of us are part of the solution, specifically for military families and covering anything autism related with locations we are living.
If you’ve ever used Wikipedia then you’ll have no problem navigating this Wiki. Simply register and take part in making this living, breathing resource something that any static Web site will never match. You can edit and add content in an open free flow of information.
Keep in mind that this is the first iteration of this until we get pages updated and add more information. As we get the Web site up soon and add all the functionality you will see the idea turned to reality.
Please send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the AMFAS Facebook page at http://bit.ly/b8HHWb
Follow AMFAS on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/AMFASnews
AMFAS Update site at http://update.amfas.org