As promised we have put up a new blog site that is, in a word, yours. It’s AMFAS: The Blogs and meant as a vehicle to help tell your stories about the military, life, family and autism.
Blogging is a great way for helping to deal with the stressors of raising an autistic child. Your experiences can also help other family members worldwide dealing with the same issues. It comes down to community and helping each other out. Even stories that aren’t autism-related help remind us all that there is more to our lives than just dealing with the hardships we’ve all experienced.
If you’d like to have your own blog but don’t have the means, we can set one up for you on a wordpress platform. If you have a blog, we’d like to share it through our community. If you know of someone with a blog please tell them about this and invite them to join in. Tell your stories and join in the conversation by commenting on the contributing bloggers posts. To get involved send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
DALLAS – The nation’s wounded warriors and veterans face extraordinary challenges in the years ahead, the military’s top officer told members of the World Congress on Disabilities gathered at the Dallas Convention Center here Nov. 19.
With 40,000 servicemembers and veterans having suffered physical wounds during service in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade, and “hundreds of thousands” suffering from post-traumatic stress, a national effort is required to repay their service, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.
“The signature wounds of these wars are different than any wounds we’ve ever had,” Mullen said, noting that medical advances and vastly improved battlefield treatment has given the combat wounded a 95 percent chance of survival.
The congress, established in 1999, brings together medical practitioners, educators, people with disabilities and caregivers to share knowledge and experiences to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.
“What I see here is an opportunity for collaboration and transparency and sharing of great ideas … you’ve absolutely got it right,” the chairman said.
Mullen said he is aware of the challenges involved with conditions from autism to brain injuries to post-traumatic stress, all of which the congress seeks to address.
“I’ve heard the term ‘disability’ as I’ve walked through here,” the chairman said. “But my focus … is on ability, not disability. My focus is on potential. My focus is on strengths, not weaknesses. And how do we make that connection? How do we lead our way to the future?”
Here at American Military Families Autism Support we’re still plugging along trying to get more support options online for our families serving worldwide. Expect some new changes and additions to be visible in the next few weeks.
There are some changes in how we’re looking to push forward with the AMFAS wiki site at http://amfas.org/wiki. As you’re aware, the intent was to grow this out of a community perspective, setting up a shell that represented over 500 military installations worldwide and have the subject matter experts (you at your location) to take a little bit of time and file in the contacts and information you use on a daily basis for medical, shopping, therapies, etc. This site setup in February has now passed 11,000 views. Unfortunately feedback on the concept has been that it is too difficult to learn how to manage a wiki, to get in and do anything with updating information. While the original concept of our military families joining in to gather this information is still valid, we need to go back to the drawing board and re-engineer it. The new format will reside on an easier interface allowing you to simply fill in a form. The plan is also to integrate ratings and mapping features for each page.
If you’re a blogger who talks about your experiences with military life and autism, we want to hear from you. We are launching a new comprehensive Blogs page by Thanksgiving that will feed in content from bloggers who would like to join us in talking about our challenges and efforts. If you have never blogged but thought about it, we can setup a free blog for you. It would have the (yourblog).amfas.org URL. Two blogs who have taken up this offer so far are Major Autism and Pieces. If you host your own blog or are happy where it’s at on wordpress or blogger, we’ll link off to you on this page as well. If you’d like to contribute your posts with linkbacks to your site just send an e-mail to email@example.com. Help build this community and spread the word on building more support and understanding for military families.
There are a ton of other jobs going on for AMFAS as we work hard to get the website up and build on trying to make a difference for all of you. Without you, this would be a waste of time. If you have and idea or a talent (writing, photography, graphic design, research, etc) and would like to participate in this project please let us know what you’d be interested in helping with. Together we can make a difference.