#Autism is a hashtag on Twitter, that has developed into an online community, constructed of diverse followers with a specific interest. “The National Autistic Society,” is an online organization that uses this hashtag to provide support, important articles, and discussion forums to members of the community.
During the summer I work as a para-professional, for a high school student with autism. From this experience I observed the positive influence technology can have on a student’s educational success; therefor, I have implemented the iPad into my lesson plans. I was recently introduced to the professional aspect of Twitter. Which lead me to discovering the hashtag, #Autism. There are autism experts, doctors, students, teachers, and parents tweeting key ideas for working with autistic children. Thanks to Twitter and the hashtag #Autism, multiple experienced perspectives can be found on the same news feed. As an elementary education major, I know I will be faced with teaching an inclusion class at some point in my career. The hashtag #Autism is a tool to help me prepare for that class. Not only can the hashtag influence my future success as a full time teacher, but it can positively shape my job in the summer. There is a vast variety of material tweeted, from a wide array of followers. Which means that there are multiple tweets every minute. I have a read many articles on autism, so I have some knowledge of the material/text. Though, there are still a few tweeted articles with too much professional jargon to understand. I personally feel that in most cases the simple worded explanation from a mother who has an autistic child, is more beneficial than the 10 page article posted by a doctor. The hashtag’s accessibility lies with the direct communication of information to a specified audience. The variety of followers, increases the success of the hashtag, as well as, the chance to find an answer/solution.